Practicing Patience and Allowing Creativity (Practicing at home, Part 2)

german mother and child at piano

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!

5 finger scale invention

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:

“How to get your child to practice without a fight”

“Ideas to encourage practicing the piano”

Happy Practicing,

Mrs. Livingston 🙂