Need advice please...

Get help, exchange tips, replace software or just talk

Postby skipdogchip » Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:03 pm

My 4 year old daughter has decided she wants to learn piano. My knowledge is very limited. Several weeks ago, after some serious research, I bought her a Yamaha YPG-625. I have researched software that instructs pre-school children and have narrowed my choices to, "Piano Wizard" and "Soft Mozart." I honestly feel she is not ready for private lessons, perhaps when she is a little older. Please let me know your opinion on which software I should purchase.
Thank you all for your help,
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Postby Stretto » Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:28 pm

I'm not very familiar with software for learning the piano but if the content looks similar between the two choices as far as what they learn like notes, rhythm, counting, etc., then I would base the decision on which one appears to have songs that appeal to your child, looks the least complicated for that age, and that just in general "looks" like it would be more appealing. Also, if those choices come in a series as far as purchasing the next "level of difficulty in skill" when one has been mastered, then look ahead to see what the subsequent difficulty levels and choices of pieces look like as far as how difficult they get how early and selection of songs.
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Postby Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed » Wed Oct 17, 2007 6:49 am

skipdogchip wrote:My 4 year old daughter has decided she wants to learn piano. My knowledge is very limited. Several weeks ago, after some serious research, I bought her a Yamaha YPG-625. I have researched software that instructs pre-school children and have narrowed my choices to, "Piano Wizard" and "Soft Mozart." I honestly feel she is not ready for private lessons, perhaps when she is a little older. Please let me know your opinion on which software I should purchase.

Welcome to the Message Board! Your question is not a simple one to answer. Let me suggest that you look at some other resources here on The Piano Education Page. First, take a look at our article, When Should Your Child Begin Lessons?. It gives you some simple tips about how to judge whether your child might be ready or not. Second, you might want to read my article, Choosing and Using Music Software, which outlines how to go about choosing the best software to help your child (or you) learn piano. Finally, we have reviewed over 50 piano and music software packages on our Piano and Music Software Reviews page. We haven't looked at either of the ones you mentioned, but the other reviews might be helpful in learning more about what pedagogical issues to look for. Hope these links are helpful for you. :)




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Postby skipdogchip » Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:18 am

Thank you...
Perhaps I am being a "pushy" parent. Most have suggested that I let her be a kid and see if a "genuine" interest develops. In the mean time, we bought "Alfred's Basic Piano Prep Course for the Young Beginner Lesson Book Level A" and the "Theory Book." Last night we sat and learned together and had fun. Maybe 15 -20 minutes. When her Mom got home from school she played the song on pages 8-9. Grace was proud and Mom was impressed. Perhaps this is the route we need to take and hopefully it developes further.
Thanks again and any further comments would be greatly appreciated.
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Postby Stretto » Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:11 pm

Sounds like you're off to a good start. I doubt if you are being a pushy parent. My two kids are 6 and 8. The one thing that makes them most interested in wanting to learn piano is when I sit down and start to play. Then they want me to teach them something or play their songs and ask, "can you give me a lesson". So far I've have just shown them things hit and miss but amazingly even if we go a while not having worked on piano, they still remember the songs they have learned. My 8 yr. old has shown more interest even from an early age. My 6 yr. old doesn't show much interest in wanting to learn or play the piano at all but likes to sing. My approach with my own kids has been try showing them some things on the piano and if they don't seem interested set the idea aside for a while and try again. I don't know much about software and haven't checked it out much but it might be fun to try it out as supplemental. On the other hand, my kids had some preschool software for practicing letters of the alphabet, etc. that I thought looked pretty neat but they haven't been that interested in it although they like to sit and practice writing letters and words out on paper like crazy so there you go - something to be said for the "good old-fashioned route" too!

My kids' preschool teacher used to always remind parents for example on art projects or other preschool work, "it's the process at this age, not the product that counts".




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Postby Tranquillo » Mon Oct 22, 2007 10:57 pm

My piano teacher told me about his encounters of a four year old ... and he says that he found that it was impossible to get him to practice.
On the other hand he did not look into methods for children and development at an early age. It seems it could be done just differently.
Taking methods such as Suzuki with much parental involement. At that age it is important for a young child to develop with parents around. ...
I am not saying do Suzuki ... I am saying look into the pros and cons of methods ... See what suits our daughter and go with the flow ..
Also with Kindermusick classes they are in group lessons designed for young children ... perhaps you can check them out and see what works
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