Piano by number for children's piano lessons

 

 

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Advice on Children and Piano Lessons

 

 

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Start with numbers, then read music

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ADVICE COLUMN

So many parents ask about their kids and how to get them to play music that we've started an advice column dedicated to kids and the parents that want them to play. 

You also might want to read an article excerpted from Newsweek magazine about the amazing effect of music study on kid's math scores, Music on the Mind. 

Piano kids score higher on math tests. Get your child started today!

Here are this month's selected questions, and answers from Emmy Award winning composer and teacher John Aschenbrenner, author of Piano Is Easy  

We answer all email advice questions, but we select the most interesting to be published here. 

 

Dear John,

My eight year old son is taking piano lessons and really likes it, but I can't get him to practice more than a few minutes a day. What do I do to make him practice?   Mrs L.V.

Dear Mrs. V: Your son likes piano lessons and you're worried? Any kid who plays voluntarily a few minutes a day is on the right track. Leave him alone, but encourage him, and don't be militaristic about practice. If you really want results, Mrs. V, you should take up piano. I'm serious. An eight year old is easily influenced by your actions, so why not take up piano together? Also, have you sat with your child and asked him to play a song for you? I haven't met a child yet who doesn't want attention and praise from their parents. Turn off the TV and start making music ten minutes a day. And read the Newsweek article Music on the Mind. A few calm minutes a day with you and the piano is what your child needs.

 

Dear John,

My eleven year old daughter hates piano and I have to drag her screaming to the lessons. What do I do? She says the teacher makes her do the same thing over and over again 'til she's ready to go crazy. She used to like it, but now she hates it.                                               Mr. Bob K.

Dear  Bob,

With all due respect, the teacher sounds like a disciplinarian unused to teaching children, and your daughter is right. Get her away from this dogmatist or she'll end up hating piano. There are very few teachers creative enough to make piano study palatable for most kids. The teacher's mistake is failing to disguise the repetition as a game. Perhaps what the teacher needs to do is give the child MORE music, not less. Lower the bar a little and let the child learn to read sheet music by exploring through piece after simple piece, however imperfectly, until she gains confidence and learns to read sheet music. Variety is all she's asking for. Under such a program, your daughter would probably enjoy playing. But unless you can find a brilliant, creative new teacher, let her go, let her quit.    

Dear John,

My son is ten and took lessons for two years, but when we went to try a new teacher, we discovered that he couldn't read music at all. He had memorized the songs and the piano keys he had to push, but never really learned to read the notes. What should we do? We want him to have the experience of playing music.                                               N.M

Dear N.M, 

First of all, your son is obviously smart: he managed to push the right piano keys in spite of the fact that he was never taught to read music properly. There's a reason for this. Most piano teachers don't really know how to teach reading sheet music, so they concentrate on getting the student to memorize a small group of pieces. The kids hate this boring, repetitive approach, but the parents think the kid is learning because those few pieces seem to be getting better and better. It takes a creative teacher to devise a program that fights the boredom of repetition. But it's really not that hard: teachers should have the child master reading sheet music by constantly presenting the same set of problems (the notes) in different forms (different pieces.) The "variety" approach works on even the most obvious "quitters."

Kids quit piano for a reason and, I hate to tell you this, the kids are almost always right.

More next month!

 

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"What is a good age to start piano lessons?"

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Piano Lessons: A Child's Point of View

Visit the WALDEN POND PRESS ARCHIVES and read articles about children and piano

Click here to read the entire tutorial HOW TO TEACH YOUR CHILD TO READ MUSIC

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THE COMPLETE BOOK PACKAGE: 

1. 107 page illustrated THE CHRISTMAS CAROL KIT Book with 44 songs, Play Along Audio CD, and removable stickers   

2. 120 page illustrated PIANO IS EASY Book with 50 songs, Play Along Audio CD, and removable stickers 

3. 50 page I CAN READ MUSIC Book 

4. 132 page TEACH YOURSELF PIANO STEP BY STEP Book, 56 minute DVD Video and removable stickers 

5. 141 page THE BIG BOOK OF SONGS BY NUMBER Book with 130 songs, and removable stickers 

6. 88 page EASY CLASSICAL PIANO BY NUMBER Book with 10 songs, and removable stickers, and 29 minute Play Along Audio CD 

6 BOOKS, DVD AND 3 PLAY ALONG AUDIO CDS 

Our BOOK PACKAGE price: $89.95Click here to order THE COMPLETE PIANO PACKAGE

See also ENTIRE LIBRARY PACKAGE

You can also purchase individual books with CD $24.95

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