Check out this beautiful painting I found this morning while searching for an image of “mother and child practicing piano happily” for this page I was creating! It reminded me that parents–particularly mothers–and children have been at this practicing business for a LONG time!
This week had more good learning moments during piano practice time for both me and my children. Especially me!
One day I was getting ready to go to work at my husband’s office and the time was tight. I needed to get myself ready and finish my work prep as well as be practicing with my children. I was a little stressed.
I decided that the practice time was in the long run more important, but I needed to be prepared and on time for my paid work as well. So I decided to see how trying to do both would go.
It went OK. Actually, I could see that if this wasn’t the regular norm, it was doable. I sat next to my daughter and worked on my laptop while she practiced. I could see that while I wasn’t paying as close attention, because we had been more consistently practicing the past three weeks, she was carrying on pretty well. I videoed her playing something she made up while doing one of her technique exercises. (She likes it when I video her with my phone.) We both celebrated her creative moment. Hooray for celebration moments!
On the other hand, yesterday was not as fun. Another child was stressed about getting to school on time (not a bad thing!) and primed for an argument. I was tired and not feeling my best, and I didn’t respond well to his initial crankiness. Our interactions went from poor to worse, any forward momentum fleeing.
After some personal reflection yesterday and this morning, I considered that I had some more progress to make in handling his negativity. When I sit down with this child again today to practice, I’m going to clarify my expectations and invite him to recommit to a more positive practice effort. I’ve recommitted myself internally to showing more kindness when he is not eager to practice while standing firm on my expectations. I can’t expect him not to fight when I put up my dukes (figuratively speaking) at his first little gripe.
I also prepared this visual (Positive Piano Practicing Page) to stick in the inside of both of their practice binders. I made it especially to remind myself of what I’m practicing while I help them practice music: I want to create happy moments while helping my children along their learning path.
Here are some other great articles I found this morning on helping a child practice:
Mrs. Livingston 🙂