Top Ten Ways to Get the Most From Your Piano Lessons
by Jenny Simaile
ou'll get a lot more from lessons if you don't wait until the last minute before a lesson to get ready and if you don't just passively absorb information from your teacher while you're at the lesson. Here is our top ten list of tips to help you get the greatest benefit from your time and money spent learning to play. Follow them and you'll not only learn more and enjoy your lessons more, but your piano teacher will appreciate your effort to do your best.
Be prepared: This means doing to the best of your ability all that your teacher had set you to practise
Be organized: Make sure you have all the books you need together and ready to go.
Allow adequate time: Give yourself plenty of time to get to your lesson so that you don’t have to rush and arrive flustered. A few minutes early is even better!
Emphasize learning: Have in mind that you’re at your piano lesson to learn, not perform (unless that’s what you’re learning that lesson!), so your teacher won’t expect you to know everything or do everything perfectly. So relax, gone are the days when you get hit over the knuckles with a ruler (and if you do, change teachers!).
Listen carefully: Repeat instructions before playing if necessary and if you don’t understand them, tell your teacher this BEFORE you attempt to play.
Ask questions—”what does this sign mean? How do I play that?” If you have questions or problems that come up as you practice, write them down and take the list with you so that the questions can be answered at the lesson. (If you are scared of your teacher and find it difficult talking to him/her, change teachers—communication is one of the most important aspects in a student/teacher relationship).
Limit ‘chit chat’. View your once a week time slot as an opportunity to soak in as much about piano from your instructor as possible.
Focus. Concern yourself with what YOU are doing, not what the teacher may be thinking!
Get it in writing. Make sure you have down in writing and understand the specific aspects you will be working on for the week before you leave your lesson.
Remember your stuff. Take all of your books with you—don’t leave anything behind!