Practice Tips for Teachers, Students and Their Parents, Part 2

By Leila Viss

Leila Viss generates creative-based, tech-savvy instruction and resources for her private studio, the University of Denver’s Piano Preparatory Program,, 88 Creative Keys events, music industry magazines, and frequent speaking engagements. This article was originally posted here at on August 29, 2019, and is reprinted with permission.

As music teachers, we realize we only have a short time to meet with our students, so we work hard to make practice engaging. (See what strategies I’ve been using in Part 1 of this article.) We also know that effective, engaging practice often needs parent support and a belief in the importance of practice. I’ve gathered some really well-done infographics and materials to help us have that discussion with our studio families.

manage and motivate your music students banner

Practice Strategies

Research has proven that there are specific strategies involved with motivation that result in progress. In one of my favorite blogs, I explain my own experience with tactics that motivated me and then go on to explain the science behind it. One of the quotes speaks of the power we hold as teachers:

Teacher = equips students with skills to succeed.

Progress = holds the power to motivate.

Click on the title to read The Science Behind Practice and Motivation

Click on this link to download the scientifically proven practice strategies in a format that you can share with your student families: Six Scientifically Proven Practice Strategies

There’s another page with a word cloud that includes more tips that you can print on the back side.

There’s another page with a word cloud that includes more tips that you can print on the backside.

Performance Preparation

And, since music was made to share, we must equip our students with strategies for rock-solid performances as well as rock-solid recoveries from slip-ups!

In a series of blog posts, I share the five Ps of performing, how to make friends with a foreign piano and ten tips for a top performance. My favorite quote from the series:

Performing is not about perfection, it’s about recovering from imperfection.

Click on this link to download the infographics and share these with your students: Five Ps of Performing and Ten Tips for a Top Performance

The Ten Tips for a Top Performance is included so you can print that on the other side.

The Ten Tips for a Top Performance is included so you can print that on the other side.

Parental Support

With your expertise, these ideas and infographics in hand, you hold the cards for developing strong practicers. But, there are important allies to recruit to amplify your teacher power—PARENTS.

We want, hope for, plead for, parental support at home. Quite often we expect them to know how to support their pianist, which isn’t always the case. It’s our job (and in our favor) to train and partner with parents by offering helpful tips. So, I’ve JUST finished up infographics for you to share with students’ parents.

Both infographics (ideal for a two-sided card) feature questions for parents to ask their pianists.

One side includes fresh questions for parents to ask after a lesson in place of the standard: “How was your lesson?”

The other side offers clever questions that equip parents to initiate daily practice by allowing their pianists to choose when and how practice will happen.

To get copies of these infographics, please visit my blog.

Here’s to a great year of powerful teaching, practice, and progress!