I suggest that you try a
very child-friendly method, such as Piano by Number, to start your
homeschool piano program.
Remember that your first
objective is to get your child interested in the piano and music in
general, not unearth historic talent and make them achieve greatness with
recognize that the old method of forced practice doesn't work, unless
you're starting with Beethoven in the first place (Beethoven was forced
to practice by an evil father.) What this means is that only a
once-every-two-centuries genius like Beethoven could stand and survive
forced practicing, so don't expect it of your child. Allow them the room
and time to demonstrate their own brand of interest.
In the long
run you'll do better to let the structure be rather loose at first.
ever touch the piano you should begin by playing CDs of famous pianists.
You can get rather long excerpts of classical CDs at amazon.com. Just go
to amazon and search, for example, "Vladimir Horowitz," and you will
find dozens of CDs with audio samples.
You need to
set the mood that only classical piano music (or something meditative) can
set, thoughtful, quiet, yet full of life. Sit and listen to the CDs if you
have them. Most kids will appreciate the chance to sit quietly with you at
a special time where you can both listen and not be distracted. It could
be another style, jazz or pop, I'm just suggesting that as an
introduction, something thoughtful might be appropriate.
If you can find a real
piano for your lessons, it is better than an electronic one, but if that
is all you have it will do just fine.
instrument at the center of attention, like the living room or family
room, or a room that has the greatest amount of people traveling through
it. The reason for this is that kids will play little bits of songs as
they pass by, a habit you want to encourage. I've seen the greatest
success with families that put the piano in the kitchen, or an adjoining
type of room, where everybody always goes.
the piano be put aside in some special room where the child must go and
practice. All children respond to the idea of a piano as a piece of "social
furniture," a box that makes pleasant sounds and is sought out like a
toy. Kids want to show you what they can do with the piano, that's why
they offer to play it for you. They want to make you proud more than
objective is to turn your child into a "tinkerer," as I call it, a
child who likes to fool around with the patterns found in the piano keys.
This casual interest in
the beginning will turn into major engagement with time, so allow the
magic to happen.
One way to make sure that
it begins is to try it yourself. Go to the piano and try to play a song
from an easy method such a Piano by Number, which anyone can do with no
musical training or talent at all.
child sees you struggling to make music but enjoying it, they will try.
One of the best things about this method is the parent's report that
their child is teaching them, the parents.
Nothing makes a child
feel prouder than to be allowed, if only for a moment, to become the
teacher, and show their knowledge.
child has decided that the piano is not so very hard, they will give it a
try. It may take several months, but let them have this space to learn
Bells" and "Scooby Doo," and a dozen more songs by ear, without the
worry of juggling all the elements that necessarily go into beginning
piano lessons and starting to read music.
a thousand times further by engaging the sincere interest of your child,
on any level, before you go much deeper into the piano.
An enthusiastic start
leads to further interest at the piano.
Aschenbrenner Copyright 2008 Walden Pond Press All Rights Reserved
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