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#1971244 - 10/10/12 10:23 AM Young student
Gisele Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/09
Posts: 152
Loc: Schenectady, Saratoga Counties...
I have a new student who is barely 5 years old. His sister takes lessons from me and his parents wanted him to start lessons this fall also, which he has. They are not pushy parents so that is not the issue.

He's still too young (i.e. very short attention span) to learn the basic piano lessons.

Since his parents just want him to learn and have fun, what can anyone suggest I "teach" him? I have tried using Faber's "My First Piano" series but it's just not right for my student or me.

Any suggestions would be appreciated, even if it's not piano-based but maybe just music related for now. Thanks!

Gisele
_________________________
Gisele Sum, gsum82-piano@hotmail.com
Piano and Theory Teacher
Principal Church Organist and/or Choir Accompaniment

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#1971247 - 10/10/12 10:30 AM Re: Young student [Re: Gisele]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Get a rhythm instrument, such as a plastic egg filled with sand, and have him keep the beat by shaking it as you play something simple that would be an entry-level song that he could play when he starts piano. (or have him sit and tap his thigh with the egg).

Next, do the same and have him sing the words. Old MacDonald and Mary Had a Little Lamb are great with this.

And also have him count as he shakes out the beat.

I have used this strategy numerous times with siblings that are not yet ready to read and play the piano. They have all enjoyed it.

Keep it as simple as necessary for him to stay on the beat.

This trains him to listen, keep time, sing, count, and is fun.

_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1971277 - 10/10/12 11:50 AM Re: Young student [Re: Gisele]
Rm403 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/10/11
Posts: 31
Loc: TN
When I was in 1st grade I had this awesome music teacher named Mrs. Agle. We used to do stuff like this in music class (this was back when we could actually act like children), and I loved it. She also used rhythm sticks, clapping exercises, and we beat on everything imaginable. We could all read back then, too. Wow, you think there may be a connection there? Research has shown some clear connections between art and music and language acquisition. I guess it is more acceptable to pile young children down with homework than hire more music and art teachers. I guess my biases are showing.

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#1971285 - 10/10/12 12:00 PM Re: Young student [Re: Gisele]
Brinestone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 352
Obviously I don't know the student in question, but my son started demanding lessons at 5 1/2, and he is one of my best little pianists now. He's stuck with it and understood the basics. He's a little slower learning to read notes than his older peers, but I think most of that is that he memorizes too easily, so he only sees a new piece once or twice before starting to play by memory, no matter how many times I nag him to get his books out and look at them. *sigh* I think flash cards are going to be the only way to go with him. But this isn't about my son.

My point was, you may be surprised by how much you can teach a five-year-old. The Music Tree and Music Pathways systems are both great for young kids with small hands and limited ability to play right out of the gate.

If he truly isn't ready for real piano instruction, the other posts give great advice.
_________________________
Piano teacher since 2008, member of NFMC

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