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Children's Hidden Piano Talent

 

 

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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

 

CHILDREN'S HIDDEN PIANO TALENT

How children learn the piano is a mystery to most people, and unfortunately that includes a lot of piano teachers.

For parents, even those with some musical background, enrolling their children in piano lessons is largely a leap of faith: the parent hopes the teacher will not alienate the child from the greatest instrument on earth, and pays them for ostensibly doing so.

But statistics are grim. 9 out of 10 children who try the piano using the conventional starting methods will fail.

It must be someone's fault, and the piano teachers have said for centuries that they bear absolutely no responsibility for this.

But that's rather strange. If, for example, golf teachers had the same track record, there would be almost no golfers.

Since I'm one of those rare piano teachers that get any child to play, and enjoy it, I assert that this broad majority of piano teachers are wrong, and are in fact responsible for the failure of most students.

You have to understand how the average piano teacher thinks. Here are a few examples:

"I learned the old way, and so will you."

"If you fail at my method, you had no talent."

"I don't know how teach any other way than the way I was taught."

"If my method doesn't produce results, it's your fault."

"I'm here to pass on the tradition of musical knowledge. Take it or leave it."

They go from page to page in the old texts, boring and frustrating generation after generation of kids.

Here's a personal example from my own past.

I didn't start out at the piano. I played the clarinet first.

I had never played an instrument. I got private lessons from a man we'll call Mr. Jones.

I could play the notes, out of tune and squeaky like any 8 year old. But Mr. Jones wanted perfection, and wanted to hear the clarinet as he played it, which was very well.

He insisted I play "long tones," wherein a clarinetist takes big breath and plays a note for a very long time. Long tones teach many valuable aspects of the clarinet. When Mr. Jones did it, it was beautiful. When I did it, it sounded like a lamb being slaughtered.

Finally, after several months, he sent me home with a note that read:

" I cannot teach John. He has absolutely no musical talent."

I have treasured that letter ever since as a measure of how shortsighted music teachers can be.

Why? I may not be Beethoven, but I've had a distinguished career conducting, composing and playing the piano. Not only have I given myself much pleasure with music, I have given it to others. Had I taken Mr. Jones's assessment of my talents, I would have become something else.

But, back as a child, I also played clarinet one day for a group of my father's artist friends, the painter David Park, who had a jazz group. They took delight in the one song I knew, and made me play it over and over again as they wove variations around it.

My point is that, to me as a child, music had much more to do with playing clarinet with those jazz guys and enjoying it, than slaving away with Mr. Jones and his long tones.

Playing with that jazz band didn't kill my clarinet career. Mr. Jones did.

The lesson? It's better to show a child why they should learn something than to force them to absorb it on a level other than their own.

When I played with the jazz band, it was a raucous celebration. 

When I played with Mr. Jones, it was worse than a trip to the dentist.

By John Aschenbrenner Copyright 2008 Walden Pond Press All Rights Reserved

See also WHY KIDS NEED FREEDOM TO LEARN PIANO

See also YOU CAN ONLY ENJOY PIANO MY WAY

See also PIANO CHORD GAMES FOR KIDS

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PIANO FUNHOUSE: Free Online Piano Games for Kids

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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PIANO IS EASY BOOK PACKAGE INCLUDES:

PIANO IS EASY (ISBN # 0-9718936-1-6) Sturdily bound, durable, colorful 120 page illustrated song book with 50 songs such as Jingle Bells and London Bridge, Play Along Audio CD and removable numbered stickers. 

Every book package order of PIANO IS EASY includes a copy of I CAN READ MUSIC. This fun, easy-to-understand music activity book is the best way to start children reading music. Click here for sample pages.

Every book package order of PIANO IS EASY includes a FREE copy of the 56 minute DVD video from TEACH YOURSELF PIANO. This video will have you playing chords (three piano keys played with the left hand) and fun, familiar songs with both hands right away. That's a $16.95 value free!

2 BOOKS,  PLAY ALONG AUDIO CD and DVD 

Click here for a list of songs.    Click here for sample pages.

PIANO IS EASY BOOK PACKAGE $39.95   

 PIANO IS EASY book package includes a 107 page song book with 44 songs and removable stickers, plus a Play Along Audio CD, free DVD and copy of the book  I CAN READ MUSIC.

You can also purchase individual books with CD $24.95

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