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#2043737 - 03/06/13 02:48 AM Re: Teaching a 4 year-old [Re: Mooseknuckle]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4263
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Can’t resist one more crack at the OP who comes clean with ... the following lumpy treatise ...

“I don't have any delusions that I'm raising a Mozart here.”
(what a relief!)

“My child doesn't dread lessons”
(more relief!);

“he looks forward to the time we spend together
each evening in front of the piano.”
(but why not instead, read him the story of Treasure Island?)

“He has friends,”
(Nice to know that the tike has friends ...
how many friends came to his 4th birthday party?)

“he takes dance lessons”
(not necessary ... kicking up heels comes nachurly)

“is on a tee-ball team,”
(presumably for co-ordination)

“and I take him swimming every weekend,”
(boys should learn how to swim at an early age)

“and we do nature hikes in the park behind our house.”
(not too quick ... remember small legs)

PS Wouldn’t it be nice if the boy had a brother?

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#2043739 - 03/06/13 02:53 AM Re: Teaching a 4 year-old [Re: ezpiano.org]
AZNpiano Online   happy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5587
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Here is another commercial resource if you want to teach your kid play scales.

You use this? Seriously???

You might as well buy your students keyboards with keys that light up.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2043902 - 03/06/13 12:02 PM Re: Teaching a 4 year-old [Re: btb]
Mooseknuckle Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/07/09
Posts: 14
Originally Posted By: btb
Can’t resist one more crack at the OP who comes clean with ... the following lumpy treatise ...

“he looks forward to the time we spend together
each evening in front of the piano.”
(but why not instead, read him the story of Treasure Island?)

PS Wouldn’t it be nice if the boy had a brother?



Have you even read TI? I'm 38, read it a year ago, and found it even moderately difficult to parse as an adult. He has a hard time keeping up with Uncle Wiggily as it is.

He does however have a two-year old brother who's already rockin' HCB: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnU8d10MOhY

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#2044032 - 03/06/13 04:53 PM Re: Teaching a 4 year-old [Re: AZNpiano]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1027
Loc: Irvine, CA
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Here is another commercial resource if you want to teach your kid play scales.

You use this? Seriously???

You might as well buy your students keyboards with keys that light up.


Of course with many other resources (ops, can't share anymore because disappointed with people in the forum) to make it successful.
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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#2044038 - 03/06/13 05:07 PM Re: Teaching a 4 year-old [Re: ezpiano.org]
AZNpiano Online   happy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5587
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Here is another commercial resource if you want to teach your kid play scales.

You use this? Seriously???

You might as well buy your students keyboards with keys that light up.


Of course with many other resources (ops, can't share anymore because disappointed with people in the forum) to make it successful.

I am still baffled by the need for such a device. What does it actually do? It doesn't "teach" scales. It merely lays out finger numbers on some random keys that just happen to make up a scale.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2044116 - 03/06/13 08:05 PM Re: Teaching a 4 year-old [Re: Mooseknuckle]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
You might be interested to know that this device was created by a student because he found it helpful to think if scale fingerings this way. Student-led learning!

Some students are more visual, some more kinesthetic, some aural. If this device works for a student, why not?

I wouldn't use it for every student, but surely it helps some. It's not to teach the scale itself, but the coordination of the fingering.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#2044324 - 03/07/13 04:09 AM Re: Teaching a 4 year-old [Re: Mooseknuckle]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2472
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Mooseknuckle

He does however have a two-year old brother who's already rockin' HCB: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnU8d10MOhY


Hey, they kid is really cute!

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#2044325 - 03/07/13 04:12 AM Re: Teaching a 4 year-old [Re: Mooseknuckle]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4263
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Any boy of 4 can get the gist of these opening lines
of "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson

"I remember him as if it were yesterday, as he came plodding to the inn door, his sea-chest following behind him in a hand-barrow--a tall, strong, heavy, nut-brown man, his tarry pigtail falling over the shoulder of his soiled blue coat, his hands ragged and scarred, with black, broken nails, and the sabre cut across one cheek, a dirty, livid white. I remember him looking round the cover and whistling to himself as he did so, and then breaking out in that old sea-song that he sang so often afterwards:

"Fifteen men on the dead man's chest-- Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!"

in the high, old tottering voice that seemed to have been tuned and broken at the capstan bars. Then he rapped on the door with a bit of stick like a handspike that he carried, and when my father appeared, called roughly for a glass of rum. This, when it was brought to him, he drank slowly, like a connoisseur, lingering on the taste and still looking about him at the cliffs and up at our signboard.

"This is a handy cove," says he at length; "and a pleasant sittyated grog-shop. Much company, mate?"
My father told him no, very little company, the more was the pity.

"Well, then," said he, "this is the berth for me. Here you, matey," he cried to the man who trundled the barrow; "bring up alongside and help up my chest. I'll stay here a bit," he continued. "I'm a plain man; rum and bacon and eggs is what I want, and that head up there for to watch ships off. What you mought call me? You mought call me captain. Oh, I see what you're at-- there"; and he threw down three or four gold pieces on the threshold. "You can tell me when I've worked through that," says he, looking as fierce as a commander."

"Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!"

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#2044441 - 03/07/13 10:07 AM Re: Teaching a 4 year-old [Re: btb]
MaggieGirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 493
LOL, not any 4 year old, but one who has the attention span to be on a tball team, swim, piano, and take group instruction dance lessons all within a week can surely follow the story!

There are also abridged copies (some controversy exists with these).

I will say for a deeper understanding, my daughter enjoyed Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer much more at 10 than she would have at 4.


Edited by MaggieGirl (03/07/13 10:10 AM)

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#2044452 - 03/07/13 10:26 AM Re: Teaching a 4 year-old [Re: Mooseknuckle]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12211
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Just a comment, but it does seem like a lot of activities. Does he have free play/down time at all? I ask because many of the students I encounter these days are overbooked and stressed out. Having unstructured time is very important for the creative process at any age, but especially in these young developing minds. Relaxing is a learned behavior.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2044478 - 03/07/13 11:24 AM Re: Teaching a 4 year-old [Re: Mooseknuckle]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4263
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Oh, how well I remember as children sitting round a winter fire, as the dear old Pater, read about Tom and Huck.

Memories, memories ...

“You don’t know about me, without you have read a book by the name of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”, but that ain’t no matter. That book was made by Mr Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth.
That is nothing. I never seen anybody but lied, one time or another, without it was Aunt Polly, or the widow, or maybe Mary.

Aunt Polly, Tom’s Aunt Polly, she is ... and Mary, and the Widow Douglas, is all told about in that book ... which is mostly a true book, with some stretchers, as I said before.”

Samuel Clemens could sure spin a yarn.

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#2044483 - 03/07/13 11:30 AM Re: Teaching a 4 year-old [Re: Mooseknuckle]
MrsLois Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/19/12
Posts: 75
Loc: Manitoba, Canada
If you're concerned about his finger form, I would suggest teaching him to think of it as a spider with nice tall legs (granted, this won't work if he doesn't like spiders!), and we don't want our spider to get squished or fall down. I use this with my 4 and 5 year old students (and I have a lot of them), and I find this is successful in achieving good finger form.

At this stage, I might also suggest you find ways to develop his ear. Between the ages of 3 and 6, the ear is at its peak of sensitivity, whereas the finger muscles do not develop strongly until approximately 7 years old. You might find that teaching some pieces by straight imitation, without having him look at the book, helps develop his ear. Have him pick out some well-known songs by ear, on all white-keys, for example, Mary Had a Little Lamb, Twinkle Twinkle, Hot Cross Buns, etc. This may appear to be regressing, BUT if taken as an opportunity to develop the ear, this can develop his musical 'instincts' and help further his musicality when playing other pieces.

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#2044491 - 03/07/13 11:59 AM Re: Teaching a 4 year-old [Re: Morodiene]
Mooseknuckle Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/07/09
Posts: 14
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Just a comment, but it does seem like a lot of activities. Does he have free play/down time at all? I ask because many of the students I encounter these days are overbooked and stressed out. Having unstructured time is very important for the creative process at any age, but especially in these young developing minds. Relaxing is a learned behavior.


I guess it could seem overwhelming, but at 4 years, he's yet to start kindergarten, which means he has 7 days a week to fill with activity, so in addition to the activities I've enumerated, he's actually doing much more, but he's got more downtime than my wife knows what to do with.

I really like the idea of ear-training. That's something I wish I had a lot more developed in myself, and now's a great time to start with it.

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#2044511 - 03/07/13 12:46 PM Re: Teaching a 4 year-old [Re: Mooseknuckle]
MaggieGirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 493
It's hard to believe now, but one of the biggest 'gifts' is for a child to learn how to entertain themselves on their own without electronics or being in a structured environment.

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#2044531 - 03/07/13 01:55 PM Re: Teaching a 4 year-old [Re: Mooseknuckle]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
Amen to that, MaggieGirl!
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#2045059 - 03/08/13 12:59 PM Re: Teaching a 4 year-old [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Van Cliburn's early training was quite strict. And came from his mother.


Poor fellow. Think of the baggage in later life. He could have started with folk dancing and Kodaly singing.

Peter, VC got some serious baggage! Met him at Interlochen back in '63 at an after concert party. He seemed to have "issues" even then.

I was waiting to read that from someone. No matter how well he played when he was on top, and I think he did some impressive playing, the fact that he STOPPED playing so young, then was content to keep his name alive through a now international competition while continuing NOT to play publically seems like a warning to all of us.

There are other people who also had "issues" - Horowitz had many - but some of them continued playing till the day they died.

I'd point to them as models, not the child who were all but tortured at a young age and who were later left emotionally scarred.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#2046232 - 03/10/13 10:44 PM Re: Teaching a 4 year-old [Re: sonataplayer]
HalfStep Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/11
Posts: 206
Loc: Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: sonataplayer
Hi Mooseknuckle,

45 minute lessons six days a week seems like a lot for a 4-year old to handle. Is he enjoying his lessons?

Also, insisting on perfection with notes, rhythm and dynamics before progressing on to new music seems like a somewhat unrealistic expectation for a 4-year old unless he is unusually gifted.

What is the rush? I believe if you waited until he was six or seven he'd progress much faster and perhaps enjoy his lessons more.


Precisely what I was thinking. Let him learn to enjoy the instrument first.

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