Observing lessons can really be a great way of spending a bit of time with your child. Nothing deflates a child faster than an uninterested home audience. Children want and need their parents support and approval. Practicing for piano lessons everyday is a lot of hard work. Coming with them to their lesson and sitting in can show them that you are interested and proud of all the practicing they do. It also gives them a moment to shine and show you what they do in lessons. Just think back to when you were a child and how excited you were for your parents to come to open house night at school. You wanted them to see your classroom, meet the teacher and see all the things you had been working on that were hanging on the walls.
Sitting in a classroom while school is in session can be another thing entirely. You are the child’s authority at home, but in the classroom they are expected to respect and follow teacher’s instructions instead. Of course, it would never work if parents all converged on the classroom at once, reminding their children to sit up straight, stop fidgeting, etc., while the teacher is trying to instruct.
This is why piano teachers are always thrilled to have interested parents sit in lessons, but not so thrilled when they either aren’t paying attention at all (reading a book, or texting), or the opposite, paying too much attention! “…..shhhhh, that part says piano….louder! that says forte! sit up straight, listen to the teacher, wasn’t she supposed to be playing staccato there?”
Although the remarks are all observant, valid, and important, piano teachers would prefer to save them for a conference afterwards. Perhaps during the staccato section, the teacher was watching for correct fingering. And during the piano section, they were listening for rhythm issues which is why they were not corrected on the spot for those items. As a piano teacher, I have to pick my battles (so to speak), because there is so much involved in every piece they play.
So, by all means PLEASE observe lessons, but if everyone follows the ground rules first, we’ll have a great and productive session!
Ground Rules pdf —–>Observation groundrules