Learning the piano is simply a series of steps. Like Mount Everest, the higher you go, the harder it gets.
So conventional lessons start a child out at step #1, let’s call it.
Let’s say the teacher goes through the first ten steps in the first ten lessons.
Suddenly, you notice the child is unengaged, uninterested and bored.
Because none of those ten steps included the missing steps.
The missing steps are:
- Enjoy coming to the piano and playing simple, familiar songs.
- Establishing that the teacher is a positive, creative forcek, not just a harsh critic.
- Playing the piano at the child’s level, at their own pace.
- Enjoy exploring music that they can understand
The only habit needed to begin the piano is the desire to be in front of one. Conventional piano teachers destroy the child’s motivation to play by making it too complex, and going too quickly.
Kids need a buffer zone, a period of time in which the normal expectations of piano lessons are discarded, and the child is taught, by any means, to enjoy coming to the piano.
Unless you establish this sense of trust between piano, teacher and student, all the billion steps leading to the top of Mount Everest are useless.
The easiest way to do this is delay reading music, and number the piano keys as in the drawing below:
Having established that all you must do is push the numbered keys in order to play a song, the child will accept this language immediately, and begin playing dozens of songs, on their first lesson.
Of course, it’s more complex than numbers, but don’t tell them that.
At first you are establishing a positive relationship between the child and the piano. Until you do that, you will have sub-surface resistance all the time.
ARE THEY READY TO READ MUSIC?
If you have given the child a chance to start by this “soft” method, then in a month or two, you can try to slowly introduce the elements of reading music.
If you sense resistance or confusion, back off, and come back another day to try again. Your main goal at first is to not have the child say, “This is too hard for me.”
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