A sample keyboard practice plan for parents of beginners!
Thursday, March 7, 2019 by Rebecca Keogh | practice, parents, kids, piano
Keyboard practice for beginners
Ever wonder what you can do to help your child with piano practice? You are paying for the lessons so you want to make sure you are getting value for money! All you need to know is what they need to practice and help them plan in their daily practice sessions. They should know what to practice from the previous lesson but if they cant remember, it will be written in their notebooks or emailed to you. This blog post should help you to help them. If you have any questions feel free to message me via email or any of my social platforms.
How long should practice be?
Set a timer! 10 minutes twice a day is recommended for beginners. Regular 10 minute practice sessions are far more productive then irregular 60 minute sessions and much easier to squeeze into busy after school schedules!
When should you practice?
It can help to tie keyboard practice to another event that happens every day. For example, straight after homework, or dinner for example. So every time that event happens, it is expected that keyboard practice will be done.
What should you practice?
A combination of music theory, scales, chords, rhythm and songs may be included in their practice session. If they are going to lessons they should practice whatever they last did in their lesson as well as anything else their teacher has asked them to go over. Below, I have included a sample practice session. The first 10 minutes could focus on revising theory like note values & other musical symbols, scales and chords. The second 10 minutes could focus on the song they are learning.
Example practice session for beginners
Try this for a week with your kids and see how much progress they make!
Draw 10 of each in your notebook. Write the note name & values above each one. Then cover over the note names & values and see if you can remember any of them. Ask a family member to test you. Good luck!
Play through your scales with a drum track or metronome 5 - 10 times each. (depending on how well you can play it after 5 times). Make sure you are using the correct fingering as shown by your teacher. Start slow (no more than 50 bpm). If you master the scale at this speed, up it to 55 bpm, then 60bpm, and so on.
Your thumb goes under after your middle finger (no.3) onto the F key when playing with your right hand.
Your middle finger goes over after your thumb (no.1) onto the A key when playing with your left hand.
If the student is a complete beginner, practice the scales with no metronome first, focusing on playing the correct notes with the correct fingers. Once this is mastered, then introduce the metronome.
Practice placing fingers down on the keys at the same time and then lift your fingers off the keys and place back down again. Repeat this 5 - 10 times.
Focus on the sections that you are finding difficult first. For example, if you are learning a song and you struggled with bars 5 & 6, then this is what you should practice first.
Play through the notes first without rhythm. Making sure you use the correct fingering.
Clap the rhythm 5 times.
Then try adding the rhythm to the notes. Master 1 bar at a time until you have gotten through all the bars you were given to practice.
Then play through the whole section without stopping. Keep going even if you make a mistake. This will help you get a feel for how the piece flows.
If you made any mistakes or found any bars difficult, go back over those particular bars. Then try play the piece from start to finish again.
Circle any sections that you struggled with with pencil so your teacher can help you with it at your next lesson.