will warn you, "Okay, but watch out for little Johnny. He goes a mile a
minute and never slows down. You'll have your hands full."
may be ADHD, or have a host of other issues, plus medication.
your place to ask what their medical condition is unless that information
is offered. Your job is to deal with the hyperactivity in terms of the
thing to recognize is that the child may have an attention span of about
12 seconds. Unless you accept that fact, you are going to be a very
frustrated piano teacher.
teachers simply won't accept such kids as students. They carefully
screen their prospective students and only take those that show both
promise and a calm attitude, or, from another point of view, those that
will be the least trouble. I do the opposite.
I have the
opposite approach. I accept all who seek to learn the piano, and then
figure out how to teach that particular individual.
It will be
very helpful if you can find a simple song that they love and want to
play. It has to be a song they know, because they will forget in 12
seconds what song they were playing.
on learning the most recognizable portion of the song, usually the
opening. Use their 12 second window of opportunity to make up games that
explain those half dozen notes of the song.
reminded that we are assuming you are using Piano by Number, for if you
try this with sheet music, on a total beginner ADHD kid, you will
inevitably have a disaster. Piano by Number evens the playing field and
makes many things possible for these kids.
you've selected Star Wars:
| 4 3 2
5 | 4
| 8 5
| 4 3 4
on getting the child to memorize the first 6 notes:
1 5 4 3 2 8
Let them use
any finger, unless it is obvious they are instinctively selecting more
than one finger, or both hands. Don't get in the way of their selection
of fingers. This is not about fingering.
ways that make them repeat it:
You are on a television
show. They have to play for the camera
They are in the circus
They are a scientist and
the numbers must be entered in a computer
They are an astronaut and
must upload cookies to the space station
Don't call it a piano.
Call it a VOLTRON 500 and command them to visit Vector 1543285 (the
numbers to Star Wars.)
Go off to
something else, but if you have chosen the right song, they will want to
return to the above game and play the song as a game in a thousand other
larger "game" of piano, you have just given them a first bargaining
chip, the song, so they can participate in the fun of playing recognizable
songs for themselves and others.
You now have
a willing candidate to learn more, and in no way have diminished their
the mistake of showing them how high the mountain is that they must climb.
hiking, and follow them, moving at their pace. If they turn back, follow
them like a shepherd and slowly reverse their direction until they are
moving once again back up the mountain.