Father and son encouraging each other to piano playing in home

Every once in a while we encounter someone who would love to buy a new piano for their home–but is worried it won’t get played often enough to make the purchase worth it. In this article, we discuss some of our favorite tips for encouraging piano playing in your home.

9 Ideas for Encouraging Piano Playing in Your Home

There are several benefits to just having a piano in your home for children, but there are also several ways to encourage piano playing in your household.

1. Lead by Example

One of the easiest ways to encourage piano playing in your home is to lead by example. The more you sit down and play the piano, (even if it’s playing the one song you learned in elementary school ages ago), the more likely others are to sit down and play. If you’re worried about your own commitment to playing, set a schedule with yourself to play for 15-20 minutes once or twice a week at consistent times when you’re almost always available. It’s easier to stick with a commitment on a schedule than to wait for the motivation to show up–and chances are it will become a new favorite part of your routine!

2. Make it Accessible

If your piano is in a room that isn’t used very frequently or if the instrument is situated in a way that requires extra effort to get to, it’s less likely to be used. If you can, make sure your piano is put in one of the main areas of the home and that the barriers to playing are few or none. For instance, many families choose to place their piano in their main living area. If they have purchased a grand piano, they’ll position the seat outward and open the piano lid to the main area of the room so it’s easy to sit down and play.

3. Piano Lessons

Another easy option is to take–or have your children take–piano lessons. After all, daily practice ensures the piano will be played, and strengthening piano-playing skills means you’re more likely to sit down and play for pure enjoyment.

4. Consider a Player Piano

Many clients choose to purchase a player piano for specifically this reason. A player piano has the ability to play piano music on its own without requiring a live player. This music can be simple or intricate depending on the type of player, and sometimes even includes the keys and pedals moving autonomously. If you’re interested in learning more about player pianos, please reach out.

5. Embrace Exploration

This is a tough one to encourage all the time, but another way to ensure your piano is used frequently in your home is to embrace exploration–even if that means toddlers playing the same four keys that their little hands can reach over and over…and over. The idea behind this strategy is to make the piano accessible and a “yes zone” for play. It will become more commonplace for your child to play the piano if they aren’t chastised often and early for doing so, making them more likely to want to sit down, explore, and learn as they grow older.

6. Kid-Appropriate Engagement

Encouraging your children to engage with the piano can be a fun way to ensure it’s used frequently in the household. Teach your child a simple duet that you can play with them, have “dance parties” where you play their favorite songs (or have the player piano play the songs), play their favorite nursery rhymes or songs so they can sing along, or teach primary music theory by playing loudly and softly or high and low and asking your child the difference between what they’re hearing.

7. Accessible Sheet Music

Whether the piano players in your household are advanced or just beginning, it can be a good idea to keep sheet music and music books for their specific levels accessible, such as in the piano bench or a bookshelf near the piano. Make it visible, when possible, so it can catch your family’s eye when they walk by, and consider rotating a piece of music or a music book on the music stand, open and ready to play, to encourage the occasional passer-by to sit down and give the music a try.

8. Start New Traditions

Another way to encourage piano playing in your home is to include it as part of your family’s traditions. Maybe someone in your family can play the “happy birthday” song when the cake comes out on birthdays, carols on Christmas, church hymns on Sundays or holidays, or parade marches on the 4th of July. Get creative, such as playing John Schmidt’s “Dumb Song” to kick off Saturday morning dance parties–the sillier traditions are the ones your children will remember most when they’re older.

9. Consider a Digital Piano

Many families consider buying a digital piano over an acoustic piano, especially if they have children in the household. Digital pianos come with a great number of learning tools, such as play-by-light programs, as well as different instrument sounds, backup musicians, recording capabilities, karaoke programs, device integration, and more. Children are so technologically inclined these days, many parents find that they take to the technology of a digital piano quickly and happily.

Final Thoughts

In almost all cases, we find that clients are even happier than they expected to bring a piano into their homes. If you have a love of music as most people do, the impulse to sit down and play will likely come naturally.

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