Best method for young children

Discuss the pros and cons of various "methods" with other teachers

Postby 109-1124648455 » Thu Aug 25, 2005 11:10 am

I am a mother who had private piano lessons from ages 4-10 ("traditional" not Suzuki) and private violin lessons at the Blair School of Music/Vanderbilt (Suzuki and traditional) from ages 9-16. I can read music well and I have an understanding of music theory. I play violin occasionally for weddings and I play the piano for fun at home.

I would like to teach my daughter to play the piano. My oldest daughter is now almost 3. Here are my questions:

1. Is it appropriate for a parent to teach a child music?

2. What is the most appropriate age to begin teaching the piano to a child? My three year old loves music, sings very well on pitch, and loves to sit at the piano and "play." I noticed that she was imitating me pretty accurately, using two hands, playing for long periods of time, singing to the notes she was playing, and even creating songs with little melodies. Is she ready?

3. What method do users recommend for young children? I have reviewed this website's reviews, which were helpful, but I'd like even more commentary.

Thanks!
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Postby 108-1121887355 » Sat Aug 27, 2005 9:33 am

My approach has always been when the child is interested, go for it! I have not had one as young as 3 but have had a few 4 year olds.
Follow her lead and your instincts. If she is 'composing' try to write it down for her, words and music. You probably would not find a teacher willing to teach her, and as long as you go slowly, with no plan in mind, except fun, she should do well with you.
If she seems ready,I would teach her the names of the notes on the keyboard - finding them in groups of 2 and 3 by the black notes. Have her find all the 2 black notes that 'live' close together and then all the 3 black notes. Then show her C 'lives' down from the 2 black notes, D has a special place (garage) between the 2 black notes and E lives just up from them. When her interest wanes, or it seems too much, back off.
You can try some duets, rote and simple, that might be fun. You could also play a short theme and see if she can repeat it.
She sounds exceptionally musical. What a joy for you to share with her. Keep singing!
I taught my children for about a year or two at ages 5, 6 & 7 and than sent them on to other teachers. My most talented, was the hardest to teach, as her ear was so good that she would play a song after hearing it once. I could not get her to read music for me. She now has a degree in music and loves to sing and play, runs a chorus in the schools, and is also a social worker. I teach my grandchildren now and my 9 year old needs another teacher this year (as her Mother did). I taught my 7 yo last year and she did very well as loves taking from Grandma. The year before, she was not quite ready although we did a few things together. Her brother, 51/2 wants to take this year.
Have fun and let me know how your daughter is doing with her music. E mail me at my address if you wish.
Joan
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