Teaching little children the piano

Questions on learning to play the piano, and piano music.

Moderators: Feg, Gill the Piano

Post Reply
tafatong
New Member
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: 28 May 2004, 16:26

Teaching little children the piano

Post by tafatong » 28 May 2004, 16:29

I'm an organist 'by trade' but also learned the piano at school too and have taught it before but only to only children. The thing is my 3 1/2yr old keeps bugging me to teach him the piano (we've got one in the living room) and I've got absolutely NO idea how to start with him. Obvioulsy he's too young too read music yet - so I don't need to worry about that (once he's ready then I've got no problem teahing him that) but I could do with some ideas on how to teach him some simple things on the piano!

Any ideas - how ever wierd and wondeful would be most welcomed.

Geminoz
Persistent Poster
Persistent Poster
Posts: 232
Joined: 18 May 2004, 00:47
Location: Australia

teaching little children

Post by Geminoz » 04 Jun 2004, 05:06

Are you sure he's too young to recognise notes in the simple learn to play books for children.
Children learn shapes at a very early age. I would give it a try, it could bring you both a lot of pleasure.

Gill the Piano
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4192
Joined: 25 Oct 2003, 19:39
Location: Thames Valley

Post by Gill the Piano » 07 Jun 2004, 15:26

If it's the reading of music which worries you, then you could try a colour-based method such as the Lisa Childs method. I personally don't see the point of teaching a child that middle C is a red blob, then teaching it the correct name later - why teach it twice? I started at 4 and was taught by a saint (!) who used Mrs Curwen's method and good ol' Walter Carroll and Diller-Quaille, all of which are still going 400 years later! I think if a child genuinely wants to learn then it will make an effort to read music. The music books around now are very colourful and appealing to children. What about going into the music shop, taking the child and offering a choice from the range available? Worth a try...

Geminoz
Persistent Poster
Persistent Poster
Posts: 232
Joined: 18 May 2004, 00:47
Location: Australia

teaching young children

Post by Geminoz » 09 Jun 2004, 13:34

I have to agree with Gill....the learn-to-play books for children are very colourful and appealing..some come with a cd to enable the child to hear the songs they are learning.
And the written music is in large print so its easy for a child to recognise the notes and symbols.
I would definitely give this a try.

frumpybabes
New Member
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: 11 Jun 2004, 20:18

teaching little kids

Post by frumpybabes » 11 Jun 2004, 20:24

I run my own music club for preschoolers and the 3 year olds can all read musical rhythmic notations such as crotchet/minums/quavers and clap these back in any order. By 4 they can read graphic colour score/notation and play Boomwhackers in group ensemble creating diatonic nursery rhymes. After this they move onto school and I continue teaching some the piano. I take children from 4 years and they can all read the music within the first term. Never had any problems teaching them. I do specialise in early years. My own children started at 4 and one is grade 3 on piano the other grade 4on violin and they are only 7 and 8 now :)

frumpybabes
New Member
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: 11 Jun 2004, 20:18

rhythms for the little ones

Post by frumpybabes » 11 Jun 2004, 20:27

tafatong

I can give you some info on how to teach rhythms to 2/3 year olds and how to progress into notation and play on there own.

Let me know if you want this

frumpybabes

tafatong
New Member
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: 28 May 2004, 16:26

Post by tafatong » 28 Jun 2004, 14:30

Gill Green wrote: I think if a child genuinely wants to learn then it will make an effort to read music.
That's all very well to say - but when you have a child who you know expectionally well (ie your own LOL) but he can hardly manage to remember all his 'normal' shapes let alone crotchets, quavers, minim's etc. and colours is sometimes a joke ("Blue" is green, red AND blue for him still).

Still I may take a walk into town with him one day to our ONE music shop and see what they've got.

Frumpybabes I would be very grateful for any advice you may have. I know he's musical (too musical for my liking when I 'asked' for a child with at least a sense of rhythmn I didn't expect to get one who could sing perfectly in tune at the age of 2 - infact before he could talk LOL).

I'm thinking I may hold off until he's actually 4 - because as he's a september baby he hasn't even started nursery yet - and perhaps once he does he'll find it a little easier.

amapola66
New Member
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: 08 Feb 2005, 18:49
Location: uk
Contact:

Post by amapola66 » 08 Feb 2005, 19:06

Gill Green wrote:If it's the reading of music which worries you, then you could try a colour-based method such as the Lisa Childs method. I personally don't see the point of teaching a child that middle C is a red blob,
I was a student of Lisa Childs. She was the most remarkable lady and sadly, has just this week passed away. The world will be a much duller place without her indeed. I am grateful that she has left her legacy in the books, although nothing can replace being taught by the great lady herself or by one of those she has trained. Her style is unique and she gave me the greatest gift, that of learning how to play from the heart and soul, rather than just from the fingers.

I have taught nothing else but her methods and using her books and have always had great success at teaching children from 3 years and up, as she did.
Although Lisa uses colour stickers for very young beginners, this is not really a colour method, they are just an aid, so that children who cannot yet read or write properly can concentrate on the musical aspect, rather than struggling with the alphabet!
Rhythms are learned using the French 'ta' system - again, no need for mathematics!

They all effortelssly move on to book 2, which is without colours and stickers are removed. The young children love the stickers too, it makes it fun for them. There is no 'reteaching' of notation, the correct way, let's face it, it is hardly difficult...A B C D E F G over and over up the piano!

Theory is taught at the relevant time, as most traditional ways of teaching.
(Non of Lisa Childs students or my own have ever received less than 90% in theory results).
It is, in fact, a very good way to catch the attentions of very small children who often have trouble concentrating and an amazingly fast way to learn the notes, which has the children playing little songs very quickly, therefore encouraging them at an early stage.

The Childs Pianoforte School teaches an amazingly high standard and has many very accomplished and successful students pass through its doors, guided by Lisa Childs, her daughter Valerie and quite a few old pupils, such as myself, who have been trained by her from a very young age.

She will be sadly missed and naturally, I can highly recommend these books as an excellent starting point for the younger students.

Best Wishes

Poppy Gonzalez

Jennie
New Member
New Member
Posts: 5
Joined: 31 Aug 2005, 19:23
Location: England

Post by Jennie » 31 Aug 2005, 20:31

Have you ever heard of the suzuki method? It originated in Japan and is based upon listening to music before learning to play it; and it can make learing notes easier. it's aimed at young children (I know of one piano teacher who won't normally take over fives)and progress is very quick. It also works for older people too; I started learning suzuki flute at eleven and I've come a long way, especially with regards to tecnique. There are (probably) teachers in your area which teach it, if you want to teach him/her yourself listening to a recording always helps. P.S. the music often gets memorized automatically. Bonus!! :wink:

User avatar
Bill Kibby
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5388
Joined: 04 Jun 2003, 19:25
Location: East Anglia UK
Contact:

Little children

Post by Bill Kibby » 28 Oct 2005, 11:51

By the age of four years, most children are mentally capable of incredible things. I have taught them computer programming as well as music, and they can do it, the real question is whether they have the menatl attitude to concentrate, get on and do it. You cannot teach a child if you do not create a strong desire to learn, and even then, a four-year-old will have a short span of concentration. The real problem in the UK is that, at that age, the education system does not want them to know capital letters, or the names of letters, and the way round this is teach the the names of the capitals ABCDEFG and keep them quite separate from reading sounds.
Piano History Centre
http://pianohistory.info
Email bill@pianohistory.info
If you find old references or links on this site to pianogen.org, alter these to pianohistory.info

User avatar
Bill Kibby
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5388
Joined: 04 Jun 2003, 19:25
Location: East Anglia UK
Contact:

Playing with words

Post by Bill Kibby » 12 Nov 2005, 23:32

Evene better, use the letters ABCDEFG to make over a hundred words, then play the words!
Piano History Centre
http://pianohistory.info
Email bill@pianohistory.info
If you find old references or links on this site to pianogen.org, alter these to pianohistory.info

Gill the Piano
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4192
Joined: 25 Oct 2003, 19:39
Location: Thames Valley

Post by Gill the Piano » 30 Mar 2006, 18:41

You'd be better off sending Frumpybabes a private message (square thing marked 'pm' on her last message)!

frumpybabes
New Member
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: 11 Jun 2004, 20:18

teaching young kids!!

Post by frumpybabes » 14 Aug 2006, 23:15

I don't visit this site regularly partly due to teaching committments and AB forum.

However I am happy to help when I can.

I still teach preschoolers music, if you would like to more about teaching rhythms to children of this age please PM me and I will send you details of resources I use. Recently one of the 1st preschoolers I taught started piano tuition with me, he is now 6 and has just passed grade 1 with distinction!! It works !!

My own children have all successfully made it into music. My kids have all taken up instruments. At 9 and 10 they both have two grade 5 distinctions and one has grade 6 too. I am very proud and very happy to help others who want to teach this young age.
Please PM if you need more help.

frumpybabes
New Member
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: 11 Jun 2004, 20:18

teaching young kids!!

Post by frumpybabes » 14 Aug 2006, 23:18

I don't visit this site regularly partly due to teaching committments and AB forum.

However I am happy to help when I can.

I still teach preschoolers music, if you would like to more about teaching rhythms to children of this age please PM me and I will send you details of resources I use. Recently one of the 1st preschoolers I taught started piano tuition with me, he is now 6 and has just passed grade 1 with distinction!! It works !!

My own children have all successfully made it into music. Since posting last my kids have moved on.
At 10, no.1. has grade 6 trumpet and grade 5 violin now and no.2. at 9 has grade 5 distinctions on both cello and piano. They have a very good social life in bands and orchestra and are loving every minute of it.

So I am more than happy to help just PM if you need assistance.

wukong
New Member
New Member
Posts: 1
Joined: 14 Aug 2006, 20:46
Location: London

which place should i sent my child to go and lean piano?

Post by wukong » 15 Aug 2006, 00:24

Hello friends, Could you give me some advice which place I should sent my child who is 3 1/2 years go to learn music, He like to learn Piano.
I found two places name are Royal Academy of music. the course name is A First String Experience And another one is Piano-Tutor.co.uk I am not sure which one is the better for my child? Or they may have another better place to go .
Please give me some ideas for my son. We are living in London.

Many Thanks

denisvw12
New Member
New Member
Posts: 1
Joined: 05 Sep 2007, 01:57
Location: miami

piano for three and ahalf year old

Post by denisvw12 » 05 Sep 2007, 02:03

you should teach him the scale and a song that he can play by ears, like twinkle twinkle, thats a very good start
Jessie
Jessica

Post Reply