Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#1733273 - 08/15/11 02:07 AM New 3 and a half old student
Liezl Tajanlangit Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/06/10
Posts: 43
Hello expert piano teachers. I had recently earned a new student who is 3 and a half years old. I knew this was going to be a toughie but i thought it would be possible since I myself started learning piano since I was 3.

I had already given her one lesson and i noticed she can understand especially when what i tell her to do is just new but then after moving on to something else for a short break then getting back to it.. she forgets. Her concentration level is obviously still very low. And she always says "i want to play the piano!" (because i try to make activities without the piano)

I told her mother before leaving that i am going very slow with her daughter just to make her aware and she told me this is not a problem and our aim is only to make her daughter love and enjoy the instrument and i should be there as a guide.

Any ideas for what i can do for a 30minute class to keep the child happy and enjoying? I would love that when i leave, she would start missing me and her piano lessons with me.

Thanks laugh

Top
(ad) My Music Staff
Check out the new way to manage your music studio
#1733356 - 08/15/11 08:19 AM Re: New 3 and a half old student [Re: Liezl Tajanlangit]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
She might be old enough for My First Piano Adventures...if you go slow enough. Listening to the cd between lessons and learning the songs might be really fun for her. There are a lot of teacher/student activities that you can do together in the book.
_________________________
~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

Top
#1733400 - 08/15/11 10:05 AM Re: New 3 and a half old student [Re: Liezl Tajanlangit]
Lollipop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
Dance, clap, wiggle, march - anything to help her learn the beat. If you have any rhythm instruments, use these, too. My students love the triangle best.

Let her "play the piano" by working on concepts such as "low, scary sounds" or "silly birds." Ask her to play notes that she thinks sounds like various animals, monsters, trucks, squeaky doors, or whatever.

Use the same to practice f and p.

Let her play going up and down on two black keys, or three black keys, exercising different fingers, and working on good hand position and independent movement of fingers. Make "rainbows" by jumping from low to high notes, with round fingers and lifting from the wrist. Put a rubber eraser on the back of her wrist and see if she can keep her fingers round while playing and lifting, without dropping the eraser.

Make or print coloring sheets of kinds of notes (quarter, half, etc), or of guide notes.

Help her recognize notes on the keyboard using "doghouse" (two black keys, with D for dog inside the doghouse.) (The others I use are Dog's neighbors Cat and Elephant. And the keys around the three black keys "Grandma's house": Front door, Grandma, Aunt ---, Back door.)

Lots and lots of repetition for these things. To overcome resistance at non-playing activities, you may want to invest in a digital timer, and set it for 3 minutes or so, and let her know that when it beeps, it will be time to play the piano again. Or time to march. Or whatever other activity you have in mind.

At this age, sometimes you will have to do what she wants to do. smile
_________________________
piano teacher

Top
#1733403 - 08/15/11 10:14 AM Re: New 3 and a half old student [Re: Liezl Tajanlangit]
Luke in ChiTown Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/11
Posts: 96
Loc: Chicago, Illinois, USA
I would devote plenty of time during the "piano lesson" to developing general musicianship skills. Alternate time spent exploring the keyboard with activities like keeping a steady beat, singing, identifying high and low sounds, hearing patterns like stepping up and stepping down. Even if you are not going the Suzuki route with such a young student, definitely work towards teaching some simple songs by ear.

The hardest thing for a teacher to deal with when working with VERY young students is that you will feel that progress is coming VERY SLOWLY. You will feel like you are doing the same exact things over and over and over. That's ok. Just keep at it, make the lessons as enjoyable for the student as possible, and the progress will come. You will become bored doing the same activities repeatedly WAY BEFORE a three or four year old ever will.

Starting piano lessons with a three or four year old is something that many teachers would discourage you from doing. And I agree that if you approach it like you would with a six year old, you are probably setting yourself and the student up for frustration and failure. For a child this young, there is absolutely no reason they should be caused to feel any stress or anxiety associated with music in any way. Keep the lessons fun- the learning will follow.

Good luck and keep us posted!

PS - I second the motion for using My First Piano Adventures.
_________________________
Memorizing note names is boring…
Apps are cool!
www.FlashnoteDerbyApp.com
Now available for Android as well as iOS devices.

Top
#1733754 - 08/15/11 07:37 PM Re: New 3 and a half old student [Re: Liezl Tajanlangit]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1263
Loc: California
My First Piano Adventures is really for the older beginner (for 5's and 6's). The Fabers are testing a preschool piano method that should be available sometime, but not sure when.

Ditto all the suggestions above. Preschool age children require a completely different way of teaching. Do lots of activities away from the piano. Don't focus solely on repertoire. Large muscle activities like marching, tapping, stomping, etc... are essential.
_________________________
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild

Top
#1734426 - 08/16/11 03:50 PM Re: New 3 and a half old student [Re: Liezl Tajanlangit]
IPlayPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/08/11
Posts: 97
Music for Little Mozarts! I used it with a 4 year old student last year and it was great. The book(s) pretty much lays out almost all of the exercises Lollipop suggested-minus only a few.

Top
#1734432 - 08/16/11 03:59 PM Re: New 3 and a half old student [Re: IPlayPiano]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1644
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: IPlayPiano
Music for Little Mozarts! I used it with a 4 year old student last year and it was great. The book(s) pretty much lays out almost all of the exercises Lollipop suggested-minus only a few.


Yes, I like Music for Little Mozarts, too, for preschoolers.
And i agree with above comments about activities away from the piano for this age, during the course of a 30 minute lesson.
What is working for me and my 4 year old student is:
15 minutes at the piano, 10 minutes using tamborine, drum, maracas, etc. for rhythm games, and about the last 5 minutes or so playing a board game. I use www.susanparadis.com for great board game ideas. You can download and print them off, then laminate.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

Top
#1734987 - 08/17/11 10:29 AM Re: New 3 and a half old student [Re: Liezl Tajanlangit]
rada Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 1124
Loc: pagosa springs,co
I like playing 'hide and seek'. They hide their eyes....I play something like C-D-E...they open their and try to find the keys....I would tell them I am beginning on "C".....also as they progress I might ask how many keys do they wish me to try ....

rada

Top
#1735560 - 08/18/11 02:16 AM Re: New 3 and a half old student [Re: Liezl Tajanlangit]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA
Quote:
i thought it would be possible since I myself started learning piano since I was 3.


What material your teacher had used?



Edited by ezpiano.org (08/18/11 02:17 AM)
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

Top
#1735601 - 08/18/11 04:59 AM Re: New 3 and a half old student [Re: Liezl Tajanlangit]
Elza Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/10
Posts: 21
Loc: UK
Being in a similar situation 15 years ago, I experimented with ways of teaching the piano to very young children. The most important thing is to keep the lessons interesting, varied and fun. Now when teaching very young children (two and a half to seven years old) I build 8 to 10 different musical activities into the lessons, and in a 30 minute lesson I generally have time to do 6 of them. As well as playing the musical pieces, these elements include sight-singing, sight-reading, improvisation, listening then singing and playing back on the piano, listening and singing back using a large set of staves, rhythm exercises, finger exercises, story-telling, playing with puppets etc. These elements can be combined in a variety of ways. Please let me know if you would like to hear more.

Top
#1735626 - 08/18/11 06:22 AM Re: New 3 and a half old student [Re: Liezl Tajanlangit]
samasap Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/10
Posts: 607
Loc: UK
I think every child is different and actually found with one of my pupils that they enjoyed more chord based exercises initally. I think maybe because the sound is fuller and it sounds more like a fuller song when they start learning. Try and play a few different songs with chords being the main feature in the right hand and see how they find it.

Top
#1737468 - 08/21/11 02:39 AM Re: New 3 and a half old student [Re: ezpiano.org]
Liezl Tajanlangit Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/06/10
Posts: 43
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Quote:
i thought it would be possible since I myself started learning piano since I was 3.


What material your teacher had used?



I do not even remember how my teacher taught me :p

Top
#1737469 - 08/21/11 02:40 AM Re: New 3 and a half old student [Re: Elza]
Liezl Tajanlangit Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/06/10
Posts: 43
Originally Posted By: Elza
............ Please let me know if you would like to hear more.


Oh please do tell me more about your different musical activities that you had come up with.

Top
#1737474 - 08/21/11 02:53 AM Re: New 3 and a half old student [Re: Lollipop]
Liezl Tajanlangit Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/06/10
Posts: 43
Hello all.... SOOO i taught the child yesterday for a second lesson and i asked her what she had remembered from what i taught her from her first lesson. she replied "black keys and white keys" i said wooowww very good laugh and how many black keys are there?? she replied "2 black keys and 3 black keys" i said wooowww excellent.. then i continued to follow Lollipop's advice:

Originally Posted By: Lollipop

Help her recognize notes on the keyboard using "doghouse" (two black keys, with D for dog inside the doghouse.) (The others I use are Dog's neighbors Cat and Elephant.


she was able to find the dog house and the dog easily (with my help of course.. when i stop touching and guiding her hand she confuses it a little bit with the three black keys) but the cat and the elephant were tough for her

I carried on trying to teach her where her left hand and right hand is using susanparadis worksheet on colourful hands.. it was quite tough for her she needed help from me and later on from her mom

Her mom asked for more worksheets for this to help her differentiate from left hand to right hand.. so i guess i'll have to focus more first on this and later on when she perfects this maybe to the finger numbers..

I would like to ask if anyone would know where i can download and print free worksheets for this kind of topic: right hand and left hand differentiation and finger numbers

Also, she will be saying "i want to play the piano! i want to play the piano!" so what will be possible to teach her on the piano?

Please continue giving me advices. They help me greatly

Thanks

Top
#1738474 - 08/22/11 04:48 PM Re: New 3 and a half old student [Re: Liezl Tajanlangit]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
you could draw a star on her left hand at the beginning of the lesson.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

Top
#1739122 - 08/23/11 03:52 PM Re: New 3 and a half old student [Re: Liezl Tajanlangit]
Elza Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/10
Posts: 21
Loc: UK
I am happy to see that you are progressing and that your student enjoys the lessons.

Before elaborating further I would like to answer your specific questions. In order to help the child to distinguish between right and left I suggest you use colours. For example I use red for the right hand and blue for the left hand. You can mark the child’s hands with red and blue using a marker pen, or put coloured rubber bands or ribbons around her wrists. You can then mark the appropriate lines in the music with red and blue if it is necessary.

At this early age you can’t expect the child to use all ten fingers. You need to treat each child individually as the muscles develop at different times in different children. It is more important at this age to use a relaxed arm, to feel the weight of the arm, and to use maybe 1 or 2 fingers in each hand BUT in the correct way. I strongly recommend you NOT to play legato initially! Ask your child to play tenuto (i.e. with separated notes) at the beginning. You should keep playing tenuto until the child is able to use all fingers in the correct way and with a correct hand position. This may take up to a year. If you force the legato before the student is ready then that can lead to bad habits and incorrect technique.

You should teach the various elements of musicianship through free musical games. These are fun for the child and are essential for making music. Usually these improvisation games can be linked with various stories. They enable the child to learn the concepts of soft and loud, long and short, and low and high, and to combine them in many ways. For example, by playing an improvisation on the piano, the child can describe a cat creeping along a fence, then suddenly jumping off in order to try to catch a bird or a mouse. Children usually have vivid imaginations and find these story games entertaining. Even a timid child can be opened up by asking questions about the story. Is the cat black or white (play on black keys or white keys)? Does the cat jump up or down? Does it jump loudly or softly? Is it a big leap or a small one? Does the cat catch the bird, or does the bird fly away?

BUT, as you already said, children like to read written music because they know that that is what adults do. However we must teach using the child’s language. A 3 or 4 year old child can read pictures. Realizing this, many years ago I began to develop the Dogs and Birds method with my husband. This approach uses animals to symbolize the notes. We initially started with Cat Dog Elephant ... , but being a Kodaly specialist I wanted to use monosyllabic animals so that they could be sung. Therefore Elephant necessarily became Egg. We use Cat Dog Egg Fish Goose Ant Bird. These animal symbols are printed in the notes in order to aid the learning process. Children can (and should) sing these animal names as they play. This provides ear-training in addition to learning the piano. Singing and playing together also trains the child’s musical memory, muscle memory, and last but by no means least, the child’s phrasing – which becomes as natural as breathing.

It is vitally important to ensure that the child develops a good sense of rhythm and pulse. In order to make sure that the student establishes this I teach him/her to COUNT out loud as he/she is tapping the rhythm. Dog and Birds Book 1 contains many rhythm exercises interspersed throughout the musical pieces in order of difficulty. They will teach the child to understand rhythm and pulse. In addition they will help later on with co-ordination as the child starts to play pieces hands together. It is important to slow down the children since in general they tend to rush. They should therefore count around one beat a second, because if they practise fast they will make lots of mistakes.

All of what I have said here and many more musical exercises and games are described in a Supplementary Book to Dogs and Birds Book 1, which was written for both Parents and Teachers. You can find more information at www.dogsandbirds.co.uk. I will happily send pdfs of sample material to anyone if they would like to try out the approach. Please let me know if you are interested – the website has contact details.

Top
#1739435 - 08/24/11 01:50 AM Re: New 3 and a half old student [Re: Liezl Tajanlangit]
luvs2teach Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 15
I have third grade students who still get their RH/LH's mixed up. SLOW progress is what you should expect. Don't worry about "Cat, Elephant". Just getting the "Dog" is great! Does she know what the letter L looks like? Maybe not, since she is so young, but you can show her how her LH thumb and second finger make the letter L. Have her trace her hand on a piece of paper with a crayon, later she can write in her finger numbers. And do the other stuff, especially off bench activities. Lots of variety in the lesson, but repetition of concepts covered. Kids this young need lots and lots of repetition.

Top
#1740155 - 08/25/11 01:57 AM Re: New 3 and a half old student [Re: luvs2teach]
Liezl Tajanlangit Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/06/10
Posts: 43
Originally Posted By: luvs2teach
Kids this young need lots and lots of repetition.


When do i know they are no longer wanting to repeat and are already bored?

Top

Moderator:  Ken Knapp 
What's Hot!!
LAST CALL - Piano Newsletter Ideas!
-------------------
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
114 registered (AndrewJCW, 36251, barbaram, Al LaPorte, ando, 36 invisible), 1385 Guests and 24 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
75498 Members
42 Forums
156118 Topics
2292591 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
do some experiment with dampers lining vs line of centers.?
by Olek
58 minutes 42 seconds ago
How To Improve?
by Xagan
Today at 05:59 AM
Franz Liszt - Un Sospiro
by sislermi
Today at 02:42 AM
Need advice on buying a Yamaha Disklavier
by Lady
Today at 01:17 AM
Surge protection?
by TX-Bluebonnet
Today at 12:01 AM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission