Children from birth can be enjoying musical experiences that are a great delight and ready them for learning a musical instrument later on. I am always surprised how often children come to start piano lessons and don’t sing, don’t listen to music and are not very interested! What a pity!
I am working on a programme for starting very small children playing with much help and encouragement at home. Meanwhile here are some things that can be done at home to prepare children for learning the piano. These are notes I prepared a few years ago when I gave class lessons for very young children. My thoughts are very interesting.
Piano Lessons for Very Young Children
Jottings and Thoughts for teaching and helping young children learn
Children are usually excited to be taking lessons and may understand much more than they show. Your child may join in with everything or prefer to watch at first. That’s fine. Accept whatever happens.
Only a small percentage of 2-3 year-olds can sing in tune. This percentage slowly increases each year. We encourage but don’t push in-tune singing.
Your young child lives in a world of imagination and absorbs what they require from their environment. Young children are self-teachers. We can’t teach them. Our rich offering must be at child-level so that they are interested and want more.
Music must be enjoyable, at home make all music-making some thing special, never something that should be done.
Activities in the lesson should be followed up at home as much as you can: singing, keeping beat, moving to music, drama, telling stories, encouraging listening.
Lesson activities will include illustrating the concepts of rough/smooth, loud/quiet, fast/slow, high/low, long/short as well as a host of over skills.
Our movements help coordination, first of large muscles and then small muscles (hands and fingers), increasing body awareness.
Lessons include stories to encourage concentration and listening. The stories will usually involve music, sounds, rhyme or rhythm.
Parents should be actively involved and very patient and tolerant with their child.
We use active listening: for name, by cue, what to do, simple instruments and sounds, story – length increasing with age-, rhythm and melody copying.
Music establishes patterns of brain development which is crucial for language development. Movement aids nerve connections and tracking helps the eyes.
Music speaks to a child’s heart.
Music aids the development of body, mind and spirit.
Make your home a musical home. Above all else sing and move with ease.