For a piano teacher, there’s no greater compliment than when a sibling signs up for lessons. It’s validation that you’re doing a good job!
At our music school, over 60 percent of our families have more than one child in music lessons. And while gaining multiple students from the same family is great for business, it does come with a lot of challenges; the greatest of which is sibling rivalry.
Piano Lessons and Sibling Rivalry
When two children from the same family are both taking piano lessons, there will undoubtedly be a certain level of competition. It may be blatant and open, or it may be subtle. But it will exist. And if it isn’t handled properly, it can often mean one sibling walks.
Teaching Piano to Siblings
Many parents try to nip sibling rivalry in the bud by registering their children in different activities. One child may take piano, while another takes guitar… or ballet… or archery. They recognize that a common activity will lead to competition.
But it doesn’t have to be this way!
The key is in making each sibling feel like they are in a different activity despite learning the same instrument from the same teacher. It is extra effort on your part as the piano teacher, but if you can make their lessons feel like night and day, while still maintaining quality, then you will have mastered the art of teaching piano to siblings.
So, how do you personalize piano lessons?…
1. Avoid using the same method books – When siblings play the same pieces from the same books parents, teachers, and kids will naturally begin to compare quality and progress.
2. Schedule lessons on different days – There is a serious convenience factor when piano lessons are on the same da,y but if you have extremely competitive siblings (and the parents are on board), piano lessons on different days can work wonders.
3. Switch up performance opportunities – Let each child bask in their own personal glory by scheduling individual performance opportunities.
4. Award Siblings Carefully – Many piano studios give recognition for Student of the Month or Composer of the Month etc. If you find one sibling is “cleaning up” it may be necessary to find a way to reward the struggling sibling, all the while still recognizing the efforts of the first.
5. Number Five is up to you! Leave us a comment detailing how you deal with sibling rivalry in your piano studio.
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