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Every Piano Lesson Is Not A Winner

 

 

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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

 

EVERY PIAN0 LESSON IS NOT A WINNER

 

Kids have good days and bad days.

Sometimes, I have the knack of changing tears to laughter, simply by understanding that what the child needs is not �business as usual.�

There are bad days that you can make into useful ones, and bad days so bad that they are useless in terms of piano lessons.

If a child is really distraught, there is little chance of a lesson, unless you decide to make it into a mini-recital lecture, perhaps of the funniest music you can find. Or tell funny stories about the great composers. Click here to read a few.

But the lesser degrees of childish discomfort can be combated in a variety of ways.

Fatigue, boredom, bad mood and apathy can usually be dispersed with a round of theory games. It is the gamesmanship that will keep them interested when they are in no mood for pedagogy. 

I once had a little girl as a student, and one lesson she was distraught because her cat was lost. There really was nothing we could do. No game sparked her interest, no joke raised a smile.

She wasn�t �there.� I made sure that she didn�t feel any displeasure on my part, and taught her little brother instead.

The next week, the cat had been found and everything was fine. She had the best lesson in months. If I had made her work when she was upset, she only would have remembered the drudgery of that day. Instead, she was refreshed and ready to go. No loss to anyone for being lenient and understanding. 

I suppose the real lesson was that we are allowed to enjoy the piano when we want to, not just when the teacher says it�s okay. Bending the rules in this direction will buy you, as a piano teacher, a lot of friendly mileage that can be redeemed for good work at a later time.

No matter what the outcome of the lesson, good, bad or indifferent, you must leave the child with the impression that they did a good job, and that you look forward to more fun next week.

This can only be accomplished one of two ways:

1. If the child is in the right mood, they will have a good lesson and the praise will be deserved.

2. If the child is not in the mood, you will have bent over backwards far enough for them to have learned something AND had fun. The proportion of the two is irrelevant. 

If you leave the child feeling guilty, incompetent and sad, you have moved backwards, and the child�s enthusiasm for the piano is diminished.

Resolve then, that the child, if they feel bad at the beginning of the lesson, will at least feel good when they leave. 

For those who say that I coddle the kids, I would reply: I�ve seen the results of hard-edged, accomplishment oriented piano teaching, and I have NEVER seen one of these kids just be a kid and enjoy playing the piano.

Yes, for a very few kids at the top, these methods work. But for the average child, it�s like making a three year old play basketball with teenagers. Of course they�ll hate it.

With these disciplinarian piano teachers, it�s always a psychological battle for the child, with the teacher and the parents on either side, and the loser is the child�s enjoyment of music, which is actually why you started lessons in the first place.

Any truly gifted child will not experience any negative effects by starting with a �soft� piano method. Simply switch them to the �hard� curriculum if they take to it. I have done this hundreds of times, and it always works.

But start the average child on the �hard� system, and you get the statistics the piano teaching industry is famous for: 90% failure. 

Start �soft,� test the waters, and then choose an appropriate curriculum for that individual child. 

 By John Aschenbrenner Copyright 2008 Walden Pond Press All Rights Reserved

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PIANO FUNHOUSE: Free Online Piano Games for Kids

 

 

 

ARTICLES ABOUT CHILDREN AND PIANO
Click here for the FREE EBOOK, a good place to start.  
Click here to read the NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES, including lots of valuable information from teachers and parents from various sources.
Click here to read ARTICLES FROM NEWSWEEK and other periodicals regarding children and piano study. 
Click here to read an INTERVIEW with the author of PIANO IS EASY.
Click here to read the essay, HOW CAN I HELP MY CHILD READ MUSIC?
Click here to read the entire tutorial HOW TO TEACH YOUR CHILD TO READ MUSIC
Click here to read the report WHAT IS A GOOD AGE TO START PIANO LESSONS?
Click here to read the essay PIANO LESSONS: A CHILD'S POINT OF VIEW
Click here to read the essay WHEN IS LEARNING FINGERING NECESSARY?
Click here to read the article  A CHILD'S BILL OF RIGHTS FOR PIANO LESSONS 
Click here to read the article IS PRESCHOOL A GOOD AGE TO START PIANO?
Click here to read the article BRAINS, CHILDREN AND PIANO
Click here to read the article WHY THE PIANO IS THE BEST CHILD'S MUSICAL INSTRUMENT 

ARTICLES ABOUT PRESCHOOL CHILDREN AND PIANO
Click here to read the article TEACHING PRESCHOOL CHILDREN PIANO
Click here to read the article PRESCHOOL PIANO ACTIVITIES

ARTICLES ABOUT CHILDREN AND READING MUSIC
Click here to read the article HOW TO HELP KIDS FIND MIDDLE C
Click here to read the article WHAT KIDS REALLY UNDERSTAND ABOUT SHEET MUSIC
Click here to read the article WHY DELAY READING MUSIC
Click here to read the article AN EFFECTIVE STRATEGY FOR KIDS LEARNING TO READ MUSIC

SPECIAL EDUCATION AND PIANO
Click here to read the article AMAZING MUSICAL ABILITIES OF AUTISTIC AND ADHD CHILDREN
Click here to read the article HYPERACTIVE KIDS AND PIANO 
Click here to read the article PIANO BY NUMBER FOR A SEVERELY DISABLED GIRL 
Click here to read the article DOWN'S SYNDROME AND PIANO BY NUMBER 

ARTICLES ABOUT CHILDREN AND PRACTICING
Click here to read the article WHY NAGGING YOUR CHILD TO PRACTICE WON'T WORK
Click here to read the article RULES FOR PIANO PRACTICE
Click here to read the article DON'T CALL IT PRACTICE, CALL IT PLAY
Click here to read the article SETTING UP A CHILD'S PIANO PRACTICE REGIME
Click here to read the article WHY CHILDREN SUCCEED AT THE PIANO

ARTICLES ABOUT CHILDREN AND PIANO BY NUMBER
Click here to read the essay THE PIANO WHISPERER 
Click here to read the article STARTING TO PLAY PIANO BY NUMBER
Click here to read the report USE PIANO BY NUMBER WITH SCHOOL CHILDREN
Click here to read the article BUILDING A CHILD'S CONFIDENCE WITH NUMBERS
Click here to read the article TURN YOUR PIANO INTO A TOY

ARTICLES ABOUT ADULTS AND PIANO
Click here to read the introduction to EASY CLASSICAL PIANO BY NUMBER
Click here to read the introduction to TEACH YOURSELF PIANO, an excellent guide to important self-teaching points.
Click here to read the article RULES FOR PIANO PRACTICE
Click here to read the article TIPS FOR ADULT PIANISTS
Click here to read the article PIANO FINGER STRENGTH IS CUMULATIVE
Click here to read the article THE PIANO ZONE
Click here to read the article MAKING EVERY MINUTE OF ADULT PIANO PRACTICE COUNT

ARTICLES ABOUT THE PIANO
Click here to read the article HOW GOOD ARE TOY PIANOS?
Click here to read the article ORIGINS OF THE BLACK PIANO KEYS
Click here to read the article HOW TO BUY AN INEXPENSIVE PIANO OR KEYBOARD
Click here to read the essay WHY GRAND PIANOS ARE BETTER THAN UPRIGHTS
Click here to read the essay PIANO WARS: EVOLUTION OF THE PIANO IN AMERICA
Click here to read the essay THE GREAT PIANO CRAZE OF 1910
Click here to read the essay THE BALLET OF THE PIANO HANDS
Click here to read the essay A PIANIST'S MEANS OF EXPRESSION
Click here to read the report HUMIDITY AND YOUR PIANO

ARTICLES ABOUT PIANO TEACHING
Click here to read the article HOW TO FIND A GOOD PIANO TEACHER
Click here to read the article SO YOU WANT TO BE A PIANO TEACHER
Click here to read the article MY CHILD WANTS TO QUIT PIANO
Click here to read the article WHY KIDS NEED FREEDOM TO LEARN PIANO
Click here to read the article PSYCHOLOGY OF HOMESCHOOL PIANO
Click here to read the article THE PIANIST WITH TWO BRAINS
Click here to read the article YOU CAN ONLY ENJOY PIANO MY WAY
Click here to read the article TEN WAYS TO BE A BAD CHILDREN'S PIANO TEACHER
Click here to read the article KIDS SONGS FOR PIANO
Click here to read the article TEACH YOUR CHILDREN PIANO
Click here to read the article ARE KIDS PIANO RECITALS HARMFUL?

ARTICLES ABOUT PIANO LESSONS
Click here to read the article DISGUISING REPETITION IN KID'S PIANO LESSONS
Click here to read the article PIANO LESSONS FOR CHILDREN: HOME OR TRAVEL
Click here to read the article PIANO METHOD BOOKS FOR CHILDREN
Click here to read the article GUITAR OR PIANO: WHAT'S BEST FOR A SIX YEAR OLD?
Click here to read the article TEACHING GUIDE DOGS IS JUST LIKE TEACHING KIDS PIANO
Click here to read the article HOW COME MY KID HATES PIANO?
Click here to read the article USING FAMILIAR SONGS IN CHILDREN'S PIANO LESSONS
Click here to read the article HOW KID'S COMPUTER TIME AFFECTS PIANO LESSONS
Click here to read the article PIANO SOFTWARE OR PRINT BOOKS: WHICH IS BETTER
Click here to read the article FOLLOW THE CHILD'S PACE WITH PIANO LESSONS
Click here to read the article TOYS YOU SHOULD BRING TO A CHILD'S PIANO LESSON
Click here to read the article THE TRANSPARENT PIANO LESSON STRATEGY
Click here to read the article WHAT KIDS LIKE ABOUT PIANO LESSONS
Click here to read the article WHY CHILDREN FAIL AT PIANO LESSONS
Click here to read the article ATTENTION SPAN, CHILDREN AND PIANO
Click here to read the article PIANO FOR KIDS
Click here to read the article CHILDREN'S HIDDEN PIANO TALENT
Click here to read the article SELECTING CHILDREN'S SONGS FOR PIANO
Click here to read the article KIDS MUSIC AND THE PIANO
Click here to read the article CHILDREN'S PIANO POSTURE
Click here to read the article SHOULD PARENTS FORCE CHILDREN TO TAKE PIANO LESSONS?

ARTICLES ABOUT PIANO STICKERS
Click here to read the article WHY PIANO NUMBER STICKERS WORK FOR CHILDREN
Click here to read the article WHY PIANO STICKERS WORK FOR READING MUSIC

ARTICLES ABOUT PIANO GAMES
Click here to see the game QUARTERS: A PIANO GAME KIDS LOVE
Click here to see the piano game FUN PIANO GAME WITH A PAIR OF DICE
Click here to see the piano game MOZART'S FAVORITE MOVIE 
Click here to see the essay BASEBALL, KIDS AND PIANO
Click here to read about PIANO CHORD GAMES FOR KIDS
Click here to read about VISUAL PIANO GAMES
Click here to read about THE FUTURE EFFECT OF KIDS PIANO GAMES
 
MUSIC HISTORY AND HUMOR

Click here to read the article PIANO LESSONS WITH PAPA BACH
Click here to read the article PIANO LESSONS WITH FREDERIC CHOPIN
Click here to read the story HECTOR BERLIOZ AND THE TRAIN WRECK
Click here to read the story TCHAIKOVSKY'S GREATEST FAN
Click here to read the story STRAVINSKY'S GOOD LUCK
Click here to read the article CHOPIN'S SINGING TONE
Click here to read the article MUSICAL FEUDS
Click here to read the article MUSICAL GENIUS
Click here to read the story FRANZ SCHUBERT: THE FIRST BOHEMIAN
Click here to read the story BEETHOVEN'S RAGE OVER A LOST PENNY
Click here to read the story MOZART'S LAST DAYS
Click here to read THE STORY OF HUGO WOLF
Click here to read the story THE WORLD'S LARGEST BLUE DANUBE WALTZ
Click here to read the story BEETHOVEN WAS NO BEAUTY
Click here to read the story VLADIMIR HOROWITZ GOES TO THE RACETRACK
Click here to read the story EINSTEIN'S GYPSY VIOLIN
Click here to read the story IGOR STRAVINSKY LOSES HIS COOL
Click here to read the story ARTUR RUBINSTEIN WAS A VAMPIRE
Click here to read the story EINSTEIN'S PIANO
Click here to read the essay WHY BRAHMS MUST HAVE BEEN FAT
Click here to read the article PIANO HANDS
Click here to read the article THE MASTER'S HANDS
Click here to see the article TAKE YOUR KIDS TO THE OPERA
Click here to see the article GEORGE SAND KILLED CHOPIN
Click here to see the article I MEET AARON COPLAND
Click here to see the story CARL TAUSIG COOKS HIS CAT

CULTURAL CRITICISM
Click here to read the op-ed opinion column WHY AMERICA IS LOSING THE CULTURE RACE
Click here to read the op-ed opinion column WHAT KILLED THE GOLDEN AGE OF PIANO
Click here to read the op-ed opinion column AGAINST FILM MUSIC
Click here to read the op-ed opinion column CARNEGIE HALL STARTS IN YOUR LIVING ROOM

CHORDS AND MUSIC THEORY TUTORIALS 
Click here to read the tutorial ROOT POSITION CHORDS
Click here to read the tutorial FIRST INVERSION CHORDS
Click here to read the tutorial SECOND INVERSION CHORDS
Click here to read the tutorial THE SIX BASIC CHORDS FOR CHILDREN
Click here to read the tutorial TWO NOTE CHORDS FOR KIDS
Click here to read about PIANO CHORD GAMES FOR KIDS
Click here to read the article WHY CHILDREN SHOULD LEARN ABOUT PIANO CHORDS

 

   

Piano Is Easy and the Piano by Number series are written by John Aschenbrenner, a noted children's music educator, Emmy Award winning composer, and Broadway veteran. 

Click here to view his distinguished academic background.

John is actively involved every day in inspiring children to take a happy interest in the piano using Piano by Number and simple piano games. You can, too! 

Red musical note: start your child reading music today!

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

LET US HELP YOU FIND AN INEXPENSIVE ELECTRONIC KEYBOARD TO GET YOUR CHILD STARTED!

 

 

THE COMPLETE BOOK PACKAGE: 

1. 107 page illustrated THE CHRISTMAS CAROL KIT Book with 44 songs, Play Along Audio CD, and removable stickers   

2. 107 page illustrated PIANO IS EASY Book with 44 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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