Piano by number for children's piano lessons

 

 

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Guitar or piano for six year old

 

 

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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

 

GUITAR OR PIANO: WHAT'S BEST FOR A SIX YEAR OLD?

Many parents are presented with the idea of music lessons by their children. That's because children have a natural love of the sweet and happy sound of music. 

At around six years, many kids will want to start an instrument because they see their friends doing so, and because most school instrumental programs do not begin until the 4th grade. 

The two most common choices are the guitar or the piano. 

The correct choice actually, is up to your child. In fact, if they said they wanted to play the bassoon because they saw it in a movie, I'd let them have a shot at it. Seriously, you want the child to be happy that they were allowed to make the choice. They will have more fun with it if you let them have their way with this choice at first. Later, when they are wildly bored with the bassoon, suggest the piano or the guitar. 

But most kids will want piano or the guitar, anyway. Which might be the better choice for a six-year-old? 

Here are a few things to consider: 

  1. The guitar is rather the more glamorous choice, perhaps because of the "Elvis Syndrome" that entertainment for kid's drums into them. But the guitar is deceptively difficult to get started with for most kids. First and foremost, a guitar must be tuned by the player or it will sound very bad, and the child will not want to play a bad, discordant sound. Tuning is not easy to learn or to maintain, especially for a child beginner. So unless you are prepared and qualified to tune the guitar, I'd stay away from it unless the child insists. If the child insists, learn to tune a guitar, quickly.

  2. The piano, on the other hand, needs to be tuned twice a year at very most, and is always ready to play a tune if you want to. Pianos tend to be more rugged than the guitar, which is really quite fragile because of the thin neck and the tendency for six year olds to drop and generally abuse things. It's fairly hard for a child to abuse a 500 pound piano.

  3. The guitar is arranged such that the two hands perform two different tasks, the left hand pressing the strings, and the right hand strumming. The piano is arranged such that the two hands perform largely identical and interchangeable tasks. Thus, in terms of the usage of the two sides of the brain, the piano might seem easier for a child, still building the neuron path between the two hemispheres. And frankly, it is easier for kids. The piano has the added advantage that it can be played fairly well with an index finger alone, which is easily within the comfortable motor skills of the average child of this age. That's a big plus for kids who are by this age refining the coordination of their arms and legs, and fingers.

Ultimately, the guitar will win out as the child gets older and there are more and more images of cool guitarists. Many kids, boys especially, who are faithful piano students when younger, drop it when they approach puberty because they begin to see guitar as cooler.   

But as far as musical education goes, the piano is a far easier instrument on which to gain a deep knowledge of musical theory, perhaps because on the piano there is only one unique piano key for each note, whereas on the guitar the entirety of notes must be divided onto only six strings, making calculations and motions sometimes beyond the reach of most kids. There is a knack to the guitar that some people have and some don't. You have to try it to find out which type you are. 

Remember also that almost every great composer has been at least a competent pianist, if not in many cases a great one. This is perhaps because it is easier to play quickly a huge variety of notes and sounds on the piano that the guitar cannot hope to match. 

Nonetheless, the guitar is an endless favorite, a noble instrument that historically predates the keyboards and has been a favorite for hundreds of years. Almost all popular music nowadays and for the past fifty years has been designed around the sound of a guitar. 

Whichever instrument your child chooses, music lessons and indeed all musical activities have demonstrable benefits for children. Here are but a few I have witnessed from piano lessons: 

  1. Better math skills

  2. Better handwriting

  3. Higher self esteem

  4. Better handling of tasks

Let your child try the instrument they wish, and see the results. Then, move on to another if the child wishes. It's important that the child feel part of the choice and is excited at the prospect of learning the instrument, rather than having a choice forced upon them.   

 See also WHY THE PIANO IS THE BEST CHILD'S MUSICAL INSTRUMENT 

By John Aschenbrenner Copyright 2008 Walden Pond Press All Rights Reserved

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PIANO FUNHOUSE: Free Online Piano Games for Kids

 

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

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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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