Ideas for Involving Parents
Found in: Coaches
Carrie L., Michigan
What are ways you involve parents to keep them active in the lesson?
Sometimes I have a quiz where I ask questions and keep a tally of the score on the whiteboard. I did this last week with a private student (she started in a shared lesson but was unable to keep up) who has had some confidence issues. She has started the accompaniment program so I was able to include the ‘shapes’ into my questions and gave them both picture cards of triangle and straight to hold up as their answers.
I also asked verbal answer questions and some physical answer (chords or notes on the piano). Obviously the Mum worked out that I wanted the student to win and was very willing to play the game. When this student ‘beat’ Mum she just thought it was fantastic. I only do this sort of thing with the parent who I think will ‘play along’ though.
It’s just one idea. Anything to keep the lessons fun.
Kerry V., AU
Your imagination! What ever strikes at the moment to include them. At the first lesson I talk to the parents about assisting me in shuffling the kids around the keyboard as I want to focus on teaching not making sure people are able to watch. Or if they see anything that can help they will. This has worked a treat.
If the parents remain seated I motion for them to stand up. They know this from the first lesson this is what needs to happen. After awhile they seem to forget this, so reminders.
Sometimes I have a parent sit at the piano and show the instructions or get them to play. This keeps them on their toes. As well as show them how hard it is in the ‘hot’ seat. They soon stop being impatient for their child to immediately have action.
I also have parents support other children in the room at the practice key pad. This gives them a better ability to think about what they are doing rather than having the normal relationship/reactions/impatience with their own child. Helps them to teach their child a little differently too!
I have to actually ask some parents to, at least, let the children have a go at answering my questions before they jump in. So funny, the parents are on the edge of their seat with excitement, they seem to have regressed to their child self.
Most times, after I have asked the question and children are not sure what to say or how to answer, I invite adults to answer, or any sibling in the room for that matter.
Look at the parent when talking about things, regardless if it is ‘for them’ or not. Having said that, all things said in any of my classes are for all to hear and be a part of.
Give the environment that your classes are interactive for all people.
Elisa J., New Jersey
This was more a piano party idea that I haven’t used, yet. It could work in the beginning of a lesson when you’re going through the playlist. “Name that song” game for the life coaches. If you noticed, I didn’t say tune. You’re going to say, “hey let’s play name that song!” Hopefully, the parents will be excited…until they find out there won’t be any sound!
You can use the practice pads or a keyboard turned off. You can be kind and provide them with a list of song titles at least or not, so they can help each other with answers (help build camaraderie among the parents??). If you think it’s a good idea and decide to try it, would you let me know how it went? This would be a pretty good test on how well they really know the pieces wouldn’t it? You can also make them sing while the kids go through the playlist (must provide them with lyrics and must stand up….”you’ll sing better that way”).
Terri P., Michigan
I like to have the kids teach the parents the songs.