The Straightforward Way
- Attack the problem directly. If you aren’t afraid of ending up beating a dead horse, feel free to try this way.
- Make sure you explain to your child, how important practicing piano is. Tell them that if they practice, they will get better, and that being able to play the piano will open many doors for them once they are older.
- Have your child practice for a certain short amount of time each day, soon it will become a habit.
- Give your child something to look forward to after playing the piano, for example a dessert after dinner; this will motivate your child to play
- Make sure you speak kindly to your child. Do not shout at them or threaten to cancel their piano lessons, because this will only make your child want to play piano less, and they will not enjoy their playing time.
- Keep in mind that if you follow step #4, your child is only practicing because of a reward – not because he/she wants to.
A More Creative Way
- A different approach… I always hear people talking about Asians forcing their children to do math problems, practice and instrument, etc. is a really bad thing. If you think so too, maybe it’s time we get creative…
Get your child to like piano music. How? Make it a part of their daily life. You can buy CD’s by great artists like Horowitz or Rubinstein and have your child listen to them. There’s nothing better than the moment when your child says, “Wow! I want to be like [insert pianist name here]!” When that happens, tell your child that the pianist put a lot of work into developing his skill. S/he should practice on his/her own then! If not, tell him/her that pianist practiced a lot too.
- As the parent, you should listen to that music too. If you listen to rap music, for example, your child is going to listen to rap music too. Then, he/she may get influenced by rap music. The result is his/her interest in piano will decrease, but you want him/her to stay interested!
- Buy some music. If your budget permits, you may want to consider buying some sheet music. If your child is interested in piano, s/he will be further spurred to learn when you spend your money on books for him/her. It’s like getting a 1st grader to read. You buy the 1st grader a book and s/he reads it. There’s no difference with piano music.
- Get him/her to know some music theory. Music is like a language. It’s only interesting when you learn to speak it. That’s what it was like to great composers like Chopin and Beethoven. Compare this to TV. Would it interest you if you watched the Spanish channel but understood no Spanish at all? Your child’s interest in piano could be greatly increased if he/she understood what it was about.
- Get him/her a teacher – and a good one. Find a strict teacher who at least has the knowledge to say, “You need to practice at least an hour a day”. Once your child gets skilled at piano, he/she will want to continue! If you were really good at tennis, wouldn’t you want to keep playing it given the opportunity to do so? With a good teacher, a child can progress extremely quickly. However, find a bad one, and you’ll find your child making little progress.