Helping Your Child Thrive Musically

Carmel Valley San Diego Community | Students Thrive in Private Music Lessons | Angelina Hardy

Photo Courtesy of Angelina Hardy

In teaching private piano lessons for the past 10 years, I have observed that all students start piano lessons with enthusiasm and much excitement.  However over time, some students struggle with their practice and progress, and lose their excitement and motivation.  During this stage, parents often come to me distressed over the battle they are facing with their child about personal practice at home.  I would like to share some encouraging ways that parents can help motivate their children to thrive and succeed in their private piano lessons (or any instrument).

  • When starting lessons, make it clear to your student that music training is a long-term process.  In fact, it is just like school; many high points along the way.
  • Practice is the most important thing your student can do to become a proficient piano player and musician.  Help your student create a consistent time schedule when they are to practice at home.  So even when they are not motivated to practice, they will still continue to do so because it is a pattern in their life.  Also, reward your student when they do a good job in staying committed to their practice schedule.  If you have a younger student, they will most likely need you to sit with them while they practice to keep them on track.
  • Make music lessons a priority and a commitment.  Students are not capable of doing 10 different things in their life and doing them all well.  Something will always suffer.  So make priorities with your student about what they will participate in and then commit to it.
  • Carmel Valley San Diego Community | Students Thrive in Private Music Lessons | Angelina Hardy

    Photo Courtesy of Angelina Hardy

    Talk to your student’s teacher about having them participate in recitals, local festivals, competitions, and Certificate of Merit.  These events give students a goal to work towards, they help motivate students to prepare and practice in ways they would never do on their own, and they give them a great feeling of accomplishment.

  • Surround your student with people who are passionate about music.  When they see other adults and peers loving and appreciate music, they will learn to love and appreciate it as well.  Make sure the teacher you choose for your student is a great fit for them; someone who will motivate them and get them excited to play.
  • Never belittle your student’s efforts.  Don’t compare them to other kids and don’t threaten to stop their lessons if they don’t practice.  Threats can work during periods of high motivation in music but can backfire during a “growing pain” period.
  • Remember this quote by Suzuki: “Music comes to the child more naturally, when there is music in his mother’s (or father’s) speaking voice.”  So be pleasant and encouraging about your student’s practicing.  Naturally there will be times when you will need to be firm with your child, so be prepared to coach and guide them along.

Your financial investment in your child’s music lessons, pays its dividends through the skills they acquire throughout the years.  You are giving your child a music education that will fuel their artistic side, allow them to express creativity, and give them a sense of pride in their accomplishments.  Don’t expect your child to be grateful for your sacrifices now.  Their gratitude will come years later when they can play and enjoy music as an adult.  Remember to express to your child how proud you are of their achievements, even when they are small ones.  I have seen many of my students thrive and succeed in music because of the great support they received from their parents at home.

Carmel Valley San Diego Community | Angelina Hardy | Community Contributor

Angelina Hardy

Angelina Hardy is a Private Piano Teacher in the Carmel Valley area. She graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance. She is a member of Music Teacher Association of California and currently serves on their board of directors in the San Diego chapter. Angelina is married to her husband, Jason Hardy, who is one of the Lead Pastors at Wave Church SD (a new church in Carmel Valley). They both love their jobs and love serving the Carmel Valley community and the amazing people that live here. They have two toddler boys whom they absolutely adore!


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