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#931204 - 06/13/05 11:37 PM Teaching 3-4 year olds.
Requiem Aeternam Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 1395
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Hey guys, my sister would like me to start teaching her daughter a little bit. She's almost 4 now and has already been showing some interest on the keyboard they have. She memorizes middle C for a few minutes at a time and can play a scale with one finger but soon forgets it, but that is just when we were fooling around.

But if I was to really start teaching her a little bit, what would you recommend for a child so young?

For example is it even worth it at this age to teach to read notes yet or should I try to just get her to memorize the C scale for example?

How would you go about it?

Furthermore, a child this young, is it possible to teach them proper fingering even for rudimentary scales like C or are their hands too small to do thumb under?

Is it wise perhaps to make a real big staff and try to get her to memorize a few basic notes and maybe a scale or two with notes in really big size or is it proper to just keep it as a regular sized staff?

Thanks any help will be appreciated, I'm no master myself, in the intermediate level and obviously I would just be teaching her the rudiments and when she's ready would hire a real teacher.
_________________________
"He who turns himself into a beast, gets rid of the pain of being a man."

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#931205 - 06/14/05 10:08 AM Re: Teaching 3-4 year olds.
princessclara2005 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/05
Posts: 429
Loc: Dallas, Texas
You can start with 5-finger scale, like
CDEFG, GABCD, introduce most of the pentascale first, let them know ABCDEFG on the piano first, starting with 2/3 black keys, and group the white keys according to that.

meanwhile, a lot of terms can be introduced, and also basic rhythm, quarter, half, dotted half, and whole note, rests, sharp/flat sign.

after that, you can consider teaching scales, starting C, G, then F...and on.

Music for Little Mozart book 1-4 by Alfred Publisher suites age group 4-6 very well, by end of book 4, they should know 19-21 notes on staff, all basic rhythm, rests, sharp/flat sign, and has some mobility on keyboard by reading patterns.

It usually take them on average 2 years at least to finish 4 books, sometimes 2.5 years or more if the child learns a bit slow, if a child is catching on fast, probably 1.5 years for 4 books, after that they can be any method books to continue their study.

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#931206 - 06/14/05 10:24 AM Re: Teaching 3-4 year olds.
Jamie D. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 102
Loc: Louisville, Ky
Note-reading will be a stretch for a child this young. This is how I would approach teaching her:
Try some ear-training. Play some intervals- start out with Major 3rd, 4th and 5th and octave. It is a major bonus if she can hum these intervals and then play them.
It might be a good idea to move her into a familiar childrens tune using the intervals. Sing the tune with her, then you play it and have her play the intervals she will hear coming up. B I N G O is a good one for P5, Check out your first piano book, you might find a few tunes for ideas in that.
Judging by her staying power, gradually move her into a elementery book- Lilia Fletcher Piano course book 1 for children (there might be one that is an intro for children).
Good luck.

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#931207 - 07/12/05 05:24 PM Re: Teaching 3-4 year olds.
bum Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/12/05
Posts: 1
Loc: NY
There are some general ideas that seem to work well with young children... You can take a look at some here:

http://www.serve.com/marbeth/pedagogical_guidelines.html Look under the 3-4 years old section.

Also, you can look at this tool to make learning notes fun:

http://www.e-znotes.com/

The real problem of course is to keep child interested in music. Too easy, and she won't learn much, too technical and she'll lose interest for good.

What you can also try to do is take her to a group music class with kids of her age where she'll have fun with other kids and learn fast. I know some kids who got a very good start that way.

Cheers,
_________________________
-Toly.

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#931208 - 07/14/05 11:57 PM Re: Teaching 3-4 year olds.
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
 Quote:
Originally posted by princessclara2005:
You can start with 5-finger scale, like
CDEFG, GABCD, introduce most of the pentascale first, let them know ABCDEFG on the piano first, starting with 2/3 black keys, and group the white keys according to that.

meanwhile, a lot of terms can be introduced, and also basic rhythm, quarter, half, dotted half, and whole note, rests, sharp/flat sign.

after that, you can consider teaching scales, starting C, G, then F...and on.

Music for Little Mozart book 1-4 by Alfred Publisher suites age group 4-6 very well, by end of book 4, they should know 19-21 notes on staff, all basic rhythm, rests, sharp/flat sign, and has some mobility on keyboard by reading patterns.

It usually take them on average 2 years at least to finish 4 books, sometimes 2.5 years or more if the child learns a bit slow, if a child is catching on fast, probably 1.5 years for 4 books, after that they can be any method books to continue their study. [/b]
thank you
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)

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