Piano by number for children's piano lessons

 

 

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Piano For The Very Young

 

 

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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

 

PIANO FOR THE VERY YOUNG

I get correspondence from many people who want to start their child at the piano at the age of two or three.

I think that there is no age too young to start piano, in the sense that alphabet training, and This Little Piggy are appropriate for any age, and represent the beginnings of reading and math.

But the approach must be completely different from that of conventional piano lessons, and with completely different expectations.

If you teach a three year old and have five year old expectations, you are in for a rude awakening. True, there are amazing talents even at three, but 99.9999999999% of three year olds are very delicate creatures.

Examine first your motives. If you want the child to be a concert pianist, you are close to engaging in child abuse, for the life of a musician is slavery, and it is unthinkable to condemn a child to that without their mature assent.

If, however, your motivation is to simply awaken music within the child by means of the piano, you have selected an easily attainable goal. Let the child's reaction guide you as to how much further to go past awakening a sense of enjoyment.

FINGERING

Pretend it doesn't exist. The index finger is fine.

RHYTHM 

It exists in the simplest form: you produce it, and they feel it. Don't expect a three year old to understand it the way even a six year old does.

CHORDS

They exist mostly if YOU play them, but you can try to introduce two note chords, just to get them to use two fingers, and to plan for the future. Don't expect much on their part, but they usually can participate in ear training: is it happy or sad?

BLACK KEYS

They don't exist at first. Later they might, but they confuse the very young, who can't understand an extra set of keys on another plane. Stick with white piano keys at first.

COUNTING

Easy and natural to do, just don't make it complex.

HAND POSITION

It doesn't exist. You can play an exploratory game with a quarter on the back of their hand, but you'll be lucky to get them playing with two index fingers, much less a flat hand position. It is meaningless to a child.

SITTING PROPERLY

It's irrelevant unless they're not even on the bench. Avoid bringing up issues they can barely control.

PRACTICING

Are you kidding? Find a song they LOVE and see if you can interest them in it. Insist on nothing, expect nothing, and you may be pleasantly surprised.

ATTENTION SPAN

Five minutes may be a maximum. You have been warned. When the child says the lesson is over, specifically or implicitly, the lesson is over. Period. Most kids are happy with maybe ten minutes, and very few regularly want twenty-odd minutes. When the moment has passed, it has passed. Your job is to make sure they want another five minutes.

PLAYING WITH BOTH HANDS

Coordination of the brain hemispheres comes much later, but you can try. Children vary wildly in this development, and there is no one rule. I've seen 12 year olds who still have issues with it, so be very careful not to frustrate the child. In general, though, very young children have extreme difficulty with anything approaching two-hand coordination in the pianistic sense.

In conclusion, keep it fun, forget pace and curriculum and instead try to find some element that amuses and fascinates them, and then elaborate upon that.

The younger the child, the more you must make a piano lesson seem not a chore.

Think of the piano as this big furry animal, and you have to get the child to like it and want to interact with it again and again.

You can only win the battle of the piano over the long term.

And the battle can be lost forever in a single moment of impatience, anger or guilt.

By John Aschenbrenner Copyright 2012 Walden Pond Press All Rights Reserved

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TOPICS OF INTEREST TO PARENTS:

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

"What are the benefits of playing piano for my child?"

"How can I help my child read sheet music at the piano?"

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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