Piano by number for children's piano lessons

 

 

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Setting Up A Child's Piano Practice Regime

 

 

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Start piano at home with your child

Start with numbers, then read music

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SETTING UP A CHILD'S PIANO PRACTICE REGIME

"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."

That saying applies to kids and piano practice, as well as the proverbial horse.

You can set a length of time, say, twenty minutes, for piano practice, and enforce it rigorously. The result will be much like the horse: they'll sit by the pond for twenty minutes, but they'll only drink the water if they're thirsty.

The average piano teacher's solution to this problem is to instill guilt in the child, hoping that will make them work.

My view is that fear and guilt are not proper associates for a child's exploration of music via the piano.

If a piano teacher buys a child's attention with guilt, the truth is that they are unsuited to be a child's piano teacher.

Let's go back to the horse.

Find out what they are thirsty for. Kids are thirsty for fun, period.

Fun is one element that children will unfailingly respond to.

Thus, one's success as a piano teacher is measured by the ability to disguise routine music learning tasks as games. Games are inherently fun, and almost any musical task can be hidden within one.

Next, consider the lessons themselves. If they are dry, slow, full of talk and endless illustrations of things that have no meaning to a child, the child will zone out, and take that empty feeling home with them. Don't expect them to build on that empty feeling of failure in their home practice sessions. It won't ever happen.

If the lessons are dry and lifeless, they will not willingly approach the piano by themselves. Such kids will only play when pressured to by an adult in a position of power.

Assuming that the lessons are enjoyable, you have a chance of getting the child to play on their own. My view is to not force practice as an issue at first. Allow them to interest themselves in the piano as they would with a new toy.

If you insist on practice, the piano is no longer their toy.

Next, the music the child is practicing must be recognizable songs that everyone knows. For all of my affection for the Bastien Series of books, a key failing is that almost none of the songs in the very beginning series are recognizable melodies.

A child needs the self-esteem boost of playing a song they love and want to learn, and that they can play for everyone, announcing, "Hey, look, I can play piano!"

If, as sometimes happens, they ask for RHAPSODY IN BLUE, be clever enough to arrange it in a language they can readily understand. Here is the Rhapsody in Piano by Number:

10   11   12     5     6     7     8 

The point is to give the child some reason to practice. Here are several things conventional piano teachers assume, to the detriment of their students:

  1. Conventional teachers assume that kids have some grasp of deferred gratification. They don't.

  2. Conventional teachers assume kids like repetition of things that are not fun. They don't

  3. Conventional teachers assume that kids will practice to please the teacher. They won't.

  4. Conventional teachers assume that kids will practice to please the parent. They won't

Can you see it coming? Who is the one person that kids want most to please?

Themselves!

So until you convince them with actual deeds and experiences that piano is fun for THEM, they have no reason to practice at all.

 And if you have given them no reason other than guilt and fear to practice, don't expect them to practice those emotions willingly at the piano at home.

If your child doesn't want to practice, look to the teacher. They may well be spinning their wheels, going from page to page, unable or unwilling to be creative enough to interest the child as an individual.

If a child does not play piano on their own, they are not interested.

Find a teacher who makes the piano interesting, and then worry about practice regimes.

By John Aschenbrenner Copyright 2008 Walden Pond Press All Rights Reserved

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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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