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Fitting The Piano Method To The Child

 

 

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Start piano at home with your child

Start with numbers, then read music

Books for Younger Kids      Books for Older Kids      Books for Adults

 

FITTING THE PIANO METHOD TO THE CHILD

Regardless of how you will eventually teach any piano student, you have to cater to them initially to get them interested. If you present children with the sheer cliff of musical notation right away, expect confusion no matter how much you simplify it, and no matter how smart the child is.

This initial period of "catering" I call a "starter" piano method. Like bicycle training wheels, starter methods are useful for a while, but destined to be discarded.

Still, you must look far ahead.

Ask yourself, "Assuming I do get this child interested in the piano, how will I teach them after that?"

  1. Some children will never have facility at reading much more than a few notes of the treble (right hand) clef. Almost everyone falls into this category.
  2. Some children will master the entire language of musical notation. They are the exception, and very rare.

Find out which type of child you have, the "never read" or the "read everything" child, and of course, every variation in between. It will help you set reasonable expectations, and help you design curriculum that gets the child playing first, not reading first.

Regardless of which type of child you have, remember that any child can be made into a piano player. It's just that almost all of these children will never be fluent music readers. Very few amateurs are fluent music readers.

Both types of children must be allowed to play before they read. Both types will end up "piano players;" except that one type, the "read everything," will go further with reading music.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of child, and a clever piano teacher knows how to combine the approaches into a single method that inspires the child.

What is the outcome?

The "read everything" child will eventually be self-managing: they will be able to get all the musical information they need from the page, and will be increasingly more independent and musically literate as time goes on.

The "never read" child will have to manage absorbing music in a blend of various other piano methods, none of them conventional: by ear, by eye, etc. Most can eventually manage knowledge of and facility with a few notes of music notation, but you must prepare them correctly. Remember that most "never reads" can be taught to read most of the treble clef, which amounts to the vocal range in most printed popular sheet music.

This means that the "never read" is a perfect candidate to get their all of their musical information from popular sheet music if you teach them chords. All popular music piano methods are based on this rubric: chords in left hand, right hand plays the notes of the treble clef.

This method is called the "singer-songwriter" method and is the basis of popular methods like Play Piano In A Flash. It is, in fact, the way that almost all adult hobbyists play.

Very few humans end up being able to sight-read the two musical languages, left and right hand, simultaneously, with any degree of facility or enjoyment. Don't expect it from the average child except in halting, fitful moments.

In fact, the best method seems to be a blend of the two approaches, regardless of how much potential the child has to read music in both clefs (hands.)   

By John Aschenbrenner Copyright 2011 Walden Pond Press All Rights Reserved

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Red musical note: start your child reading music today!

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Piano Lessons: A Child's Point of View

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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

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