The holidays are behind us and now we are clearly in the season of Winter.  Sometimes this can be a “droopy” period when the motivation to learn is low, energy and enthusiasm have waned and we want to just curl up in a warm nook and read a book.  But this season can also be a very productive one, though the fruit will not show until later.

Here are a few suggestions for helping your child benefit the most from this season of learning:

1.) Continue to create the designated time for practicing.  We are accustomed to making New Year’s resolutions so in this time of starting anew, recommit to helping decide with your child when they will practice each day.  Encourage them to keep their commitment to give time to practicing, but do not take on their responsibility.  You can encourage and give appropriate consequences for not following through but it is their commitment to keep with themselves.

2.) Be sure practicing takes place the day after the lesson.  The day after a lesson is the most important day to practice.  When we learn something new, brain studies have shown that there is actual new neuron pathways that are formed.  These pathways are very fragile and the brain will trim them away if not reinforced within a short period of time.  Practicing the day after a lesson will give the student the best chance for remembering what was taught in the lesson and applying new skills to keep the neuron pathways growing stronger.

3.)  Attend a piano concert.  There are many fine performances available in our area and sometimes a student will be energized and motivated in ways that could not happen otherwise by attending a live performance.  Here are a couple of upcoming concerts:

San Francisco Performances 2014-2015 Season / Kuok-Wai Lio, piano

Sunday, January 25, 2015, 2:00 pm PST at:
San Francisco Conservatory of Music Concert Hall, 50 Oak Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
See Description

Davies Symphony Hall is another great place to find concerts.  This Sunday night, January 11, Emmanuel Ax will be performing at Davies Symphony Hall.  He is an impressive musician and will be playing Debussy and Chopin.

This winter, then, let’s work together to promote deep learning, and focused practicing that will in due season, produce the fruits of the hard work done now.