Recommendations for parent of 3 y/o new piano player

K Thong said: Dec 1, 2011
1 posts

My daughter 3 1/2 just started piano. We have recently purchased a Yamaha ydp 141 for her to be able to practice with at home. My concern is that I do not know how to play piano. I have had no prior musical instruction. Should I buy an instructional booklet or something to help me help her outside of class. I am unable to fully be “with her” in class, as I have a 6 month old. We just sit quietly in a corner of the room, while she has her lesson.
Any advice would be wonderful!


Catherine Toda said: Dec 1, 2011
Catherine TodaPiano
Bomoseen, VT
5 posts

Your daughter’s teacher is the best resource for you right now…finding a way to have someone care for your baby is the best answer. Then you could be in your daughter’s lesson and take notes and learn to play right along with her! It also will really nurture your relationship with her! What she is being taught are things that you, as an adult, can pick up quicker than she can…so you can ask the teacher to make sure you know what to do…so that you can reinforce those skills at home~

Here is a quote from the book “Thoughts on the Suzuki Piano School” by Haruko Kataoka  p. 31  How can parents, the majority of whom know no music, help children learn a piece? The teacher must coach the parent during the Book 1 stage so that the approa ch is understood securely.
Another good book is “To Learn with Love” by William and Constance Starr and also….”Time to Practice: A Companion for Parents” by Carrie Reuning-Hummel.

I highly recommend these books…

I’m excited for you that piano will be a part of yours and your daughter’s lives!

Catherine Toda

Suzuki piano teacher

Catherine Toda

Elizabeth said: Jan 25, 2012
Elizabeth K20 posts

Hi K,

Most parents who have their kids in music don’t have a strong background in music themselves, so don’t feel bad about that. In fact, I’ve seen some great music kids grow into professional musicians and their parents don’t know how to play any music at all!

You’ll hear a lot about the Suzuki triangle in this forum—parent, child and teacher working side by side always. And they’re many teachers who are very serious about a parent being at every lesson and practice session.

If this isn’t possible right now, don’t let it stop you from learning what you can. For now, practice exactly what her teacher says and practice a little bit each day.

It must be difficult trying to figure out how to help while having another very young one at home. If possible, and if your teacher doesn’t mind, I’d record her lessons with a camera (on a tripod) or a video phone. Sit down with your daughter and watch it together before it’s time to practice for the week.


Practice for Parents Helping You Help Them

Tomas Murdych said: Feb 4, 2012
1 posts

Hi K; I also have a 3 and 1/2 year old that is just starting. I just wanted to say good luck, and also, I found amusing that you are able to sit “quietly” with your smaller one in the corner!— One observation I had is that the smaller sibling actually gets trained to be perfectly quiet during those lessons with the older one; perhaps it is actually the effect of music itself that is being played and the conditioning of the weekly routine that works to your advantage, and eventually allows all of them to grow into it. We’ll see.


Lori Bolt said: Feb 10, 2012
Lori BoltPiano
San Clemente, CA
261 posts

I agree with Catherine that your child’s piano teacher will be your best guide and resource. Share your concerns with her and see what she suggests. Other than that, read about the Method, view the Parents as Partners videos for insights, and understand what the teacher assigns so you can guide your daughter at home. Above all….play the CD for both of your children!

Lori Bolt

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