Piano by number for children's piano lessons

 

 

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What The Piano Means To Your Child

 

 

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Start piano at home with your child

Start with numbers, then read music

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WHAT THE PIANO MEANS TO YOUR CHILD

The piano is not just a piece of furniture.

The piano is either a fun object, or a dreaded device, depending on the experience a child has with it.

Almost every piano teacher is convinced they are here on this earth to teach children to read music, and nothing else. To do anything differently, they surmise, would be bad for the child, and would be a dereliction of their professional duties.

Does anyone stop to think that 90% of the children taught piano this way will resist, rebel and then quit, never to look at a piano again with anything but revulsion?

These industry statistics (that every teacher knows and none will admit to you) doom the average child to failure even before they begin trying the piano, especially if they are taught by these arcane methods.  

Even the simplest movements at the piano are excruciatingly difficult for most kids because their brains are not yet fully developed. Thus they have little problem solving ability outside of generic math problems.

The piano, when taught properly, is a tremendous mental proving ground for children, but it must not appear that way to the child.

It's the piano teacher's job to make the process of solving problems, physical and mental, as easy and as enjoyable as possible.

Have you ever seen a child with a puzzle they're interested in? They don't want to put it down. The piano is easy to make into such a puzzle-like device, if you are willing to listen to the child and their needs. 

Here are some of the needs of a child within a piano lesson:

  1. Children need to feel happy and secure, not judged and evaluated. Enjoying judgment and evaluation requires maturity in excess of what children possess.
  2. Children need an atmosphere of collegial exploration. You may think you're in charge, but if you have any horse sense you'll let the child think they are in charge.
  3. Children are over-managed these days. Let them blow off steam if required. Encourage it.
  4. Don't focus on the child and their performance. Center the lesson on The Song, that desired object they wish to possess and play.
  5. If you focus on The Song, the child will perceive your efforts as helping them get what they want. If you focus on reading music, they will only be convinced of their obvious and inevitable shortcomings.
  6. If you teach them a song they know and love, you have given them something. If you only show them how to read music, you have enlightened them on a subject that has absolutely no childish interest for them.
  7.  Don't be serious. When I look at my students during a lesson, I almost always see a beaming face, as if the child is thinking, "You know, I've had a hard day at school, and I'm a little tired, but this guy is so friendly and funny that I think I can enjoy trying to make music for a few minutes. It's really kinda fun."

Here's an example.

I teach a nine year-old, headstrong girl who never practiced at first, mostly because she is so smart that she gets things the first or second time. But then she never tries them again, convinced there is no point.

After almost a year she started having fun because I was so relentless in my positive approach. I didn't care if she didn't practice, and focused on getting as much done in the lessons as possible. She learned dozens of songs that she chose for herself, and became instinctively correct in her fingering.

Her natural intelligence led her at her own pace to start playing the songs she liked.

But here's what her Mom said to me, that will tell you what the piano now means to that little girl who began piano lessons so indifferently:

"Last week she had friends over and she sat with them and they all 'jammed' at the piano. She showed her friends how to play parts so they could all play pop songs together. They played at it for an hour. And she does that with all her friends. She wants to share how much fun the piano is to her now."

Given a diet of patience, the piano now means expressive, musical fun to this child. 

How easily it could have meant drudgery. 

By John Aschenbrenner Copyright 2011 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

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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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