Soft way to mozart

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Postby 67-1141097892 » Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:34 pm

I am thinking of buying the Soft Mozart learning software for my 4yr old. Can anyone who has used the software give me any feedback.
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Postby Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed » Sat Mar 11, 2006 11:34 am

We have not reviewed this software - and will not after reviewing the program web site. I looked at the Soft Mozart Piano Teaching Method page. It has some disconcerting quotes touted as advantages of the software: "Even small children learn to play real songs from the first piano lesson, skipping the boring theory drill..." (NO theory??); "stickers will enable any beginner or child to play the piano keyboard from the first piano lesson..." (encourages position playing, rather than note recognition); "Revolutionary method to learn how to read music for beginners and small children..." (we view all claims for revolutionary piano methods as advertising hype- each method has advantages and disadvantages). Unfortunately, it's difficult to know how much these quotes reflect the reality of the teaching method, although I would tell you that there are some other quotations on the site that trouble me, as well. I would suggest some caution, based on these quotes from the site. ???

Edited By Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Editor on 1142098755
All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom. - Albert Einstein
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Postby 67-1141097892 » Sun Mar 26, 2006 8:12 pm

Thanks so much for your comments/advice.
I must admit I got caught up in the advertising-hype. It was at a time when my daughter was giving me grief at practice times and I thought it necessary to get extra help.
I have since been reading the parent forum on this site and found a suggestion in the "encouraging practice" discussions which changed everything (especially my thinking).
Since putting the suggestions into practice, Anika is not just prepared to practice piano but she approaches the keyboard willingly (and so does my 2 year old!).
Anika knows I expect her to brush her teeth, eat her dinner, learn her letters and numbers, and play the piano. Its just part of life. Her progress since we adopted this attitude has been amazing.
I have also shortened her practice times to 4 quality minutes several times a day and its working beautifully.
Thanks again. Cheryl
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Postby Stretto » Mon Mar 27, 2006 5:20 pm

That's great! You sounded so excited, I went back to review the thread you were referring to. :)
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Postby 67-1141097892 » Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:00 pm

The suggestions I have taken on-board were those made by Missbee. I see you were also part of the discussions at the time. There were a lot of sensible, thoughtful suggestions made by all involved.
I think its important to remember that at 4yrs old Anika is still just a baby (as she painfully demonstrated at piano lessons this morning!), but I think its equally important to guide their thoughts and address any issues such as reluctance to practice earlier rather than later.
I plan on homeschooling both my children, so I guess I have to take control sooner or later. Scary thought!
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Postby Stretto » Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:25 am

Misbee's tip was a really good tip. I plan on passing that tip along to parents of younger students or any parent that mentions their child isn't practicing much. You must be doing good to get your 4 yr. old to learn the piano. My 4 yr. old wants me to give her a lesson sometimes but then just wants to go through the book and pretend. I think since she sees me giving students lessons, she wants to pretend with me that she's having a lesson but she just plays around on the keys doing her own thing. We have a pretend lesson if she asks me to give her one, otherwise I don't try to formally teach her. The youngest students I've taught so far are 7, but I would be willing to teach some younger if I had anyone come along interested.

I also have a 6 year old and she is more interested in learning but I haven't been consistent at formal lessons with her either :D . The thing I do love best about her age or the younger one's is they are excited to play any song whereas the older kids are more particular if it looks too "easy" or isn't a song their interested in.

By the way, I was curious what books you are using to teach your 4 year old to play the piano with just in case I may ever get some younger students.

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Postby 67-1141097892 » Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:53 pm

Hello Stretto

We're using Alfred 's Basic Prep Course, Level A, For the Very Young Beginner. This was the course recommended by her teacher, Marie Devlin.

Marie is now in her mid-60's I would guess, but she used to teach the Early Childhood Music (Kodaly) at the Conservatorium in Sydney, and also here in Port Stephens for a short time. She is extremely passionate about music and very encouraging. She always goes "that extra mile" for us at lessons and includes many ECM songs and dances. Our 30minute lesson almost always lasts for an hour. We all enjoy ourselves.

I didn't know any of this when I was given her number by a local music store. I think I hit the jackpot!

There is one small problem though. Marie doesn't usually take people who only have keyboards (which is what we have). She made an exception in our case because Anika is doing the ECM at the conservatorium in Newcastle, and because I told Marie she showed more than a passing interest when her piano-playing cousins visited for a fortnight.

She has said, though, that we will need to invest in a piano before too long. Any thoughts on this?

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