Piano by number for children's piano lessons

 

 

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Give The Kid A Reason To Practice

 

 

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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

 

GIVE THE KID A REASON TO PRACTICE

If you put a standard piano book on the music stand and expect enthusiasm from a child, you are living in a pedagogical dreamland of unattainable expectations.

I'm not talking about prodigies. Prodigies take care of themselves, for their talent attracts the best teachers and backing for a career.

I mean average American children, brought up on a diet of indulgence, television, Disney and video games. These kids are simply the product of the parental input they have received. And then you, the piano teacher, get to teach them the piano, if you're crazy enough.

So if you put such a regular text in front of a child at the piano, you may realistically expect boredom, perhaps not the first time, but eventually. The child will tire of the mind numbing process of learning to read music, and unless you've also shown the child how much fun the piano can be, piano lessons will come to a crashing halt.

It's like algebra, calculus or trigonometry. Do you remember any enthusiasm for these subjects? It was like pulling teeth, and as soon as you could avoid such courses, you did so unless you were dead-set on being an engineer.

Perhaps the difference between reading music and playing music is the same as between a real building and architectural engineering. You could probably interest a child in the Eiffel Tower, but not a course in the details of nineteenth century French architectural engineering. 

The only reason a child ever practices the piano with enthusiasm is because they are playing music they love. Give a child a song they like, and you will find it difficult to get them to STOP playing that song.

The trick is to give them songs, even snippets of songs, to play rather than dull exercise pieces. Anything that can be learned from a Bastien or Alfred book (popular conventional piano methods) can be learned from a real song.

The difficulty is for you, the teacher, because you will have to rearrange the music at a moment's notice to the child's tailored abilities. This takes a lot of work and many piano teachers are too lazy to do it.

If you've got a nine year old who wants to play the theme to Super Mario, you'll have an enthusiastic candidate as soon as you satisfy this kid's musical tastes, whatever they may be. The child will absorb whatever you say more quickly and deeply if they are working on something they care about.

So you can choose as a teacher to hammer home your curriculum, boring the child and turning them off, or find the route to their sense of joy about music. If that route involves Chopsticks, Super Mario or the theme to a Disney cartoon, you better find and deliver that song quickly.

Chopsticks, for example, is loathed by conventional piano teachers, but loved by kids. What does this tell you? That kids have no musical taste? No, it tells you that piano teachers have no idea how to engage kids on their own level.

Of course, Chopsticks IS a loathsome song, but what it does is magic: it allows a child to play a recognizable melody easily, becoming part of the club of those that "play the piano." And in addition, any good piano teacher can use Chopsticks to teach a thousand lessons about rhythm, timing and memory.

Don't turn up your nose at the corny little ditties children latch onto. They are the gateway into their musical imagination.

By John Aschenbrenner Copyright 2010 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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