METHOD BASED ON CHILDREN'S PERSONALITY
prospective piano student takes to reading sheet music like a
duck to water, then you might be able to get away with the
standard book based piano methods.
But most kids
like reading music about as much as a trip to the dentist, and
that's the truth. There are ways around this attitude, but none
of the solutions are quick and all involve patience and effort
on the teacher's part.
To impose a
piano method that the child finds uncomfortable is a recipe for
talking about endlessly coddling kids. We're talking about
finding ways to make the start of piano lessons enjoyable enough
for the child to want to continue.
Regardless of a
child's personality, if they are having trouble reading music,
and that is the only tool you are using, you had better find
other ways to keep them interested.
prevalent trait of children at the piano is the impatient desire
for instant mastery of a specific song. It may be a song they
know, or one you show them.
children want to make music at the piano, however sloppy.
When you finger
paint, you expect a mess. Think initially more of play than
Thus if you can
get a child to play even a few notes of a song they like, you
have a chance of launching them happily.
Bells as an example of a song. (Obviously, if you are teaching a
10 year old, you'll have to think of more stimulating material.)
333 333 3512 3
If you can get
a child to play, with one finger, the opening notes, they will
light up and realize they just made music. Why did they enjoy
it? You didn't impose reading music, you didn't impose
fingering, and you didn't impose rhythm. You simplified the
material until the child grasped the essential fact: this is
music and I can play it on the piano.
The simple act
of making music, however humble, is not lost on children.
They will want
more, right away, if you are careful to simplify the material so
it is within their grasp immediately.
above experience with dozens of songs, and you will have a child
who trusts you, likes making music at the piano, and is eager to
learn more as long as it is couched in terms they can easily
understand. With such a student, you can make a slow, easy
transition to reading music without risk of losing their initial
If a child
demonstrates a desire to read music, apply the same rules to
that discipline: simplify as much as possible.
enthusiasm, you have no fuel with which to travel through the
intricacies of beginning piano.
Your first job
as a piano teacher is to awaken enthusiasm, not begin the
indoctrination of the child with your piano method.