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#946312 - 10/17/05 01:39 PM theory for 5 year olds
ghelene Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/05
Posts: 43
Loc: Toronto
hi everyone,

one of my students turned 5 a few months ago. she's worked very quickly through her first theory book, keyboard theory preparatory book a (by grace vandendool). i bought the second book for her to begin on, but i'm wondering if anyone has advice for appropriate theory material for 5 year olds. grace vandendool's preparatory book b covers some material which may be too complicated, including major scales, intervals, triads and simple time.

any ideas? should i perhaps introduce ear training instead?

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#946313 - 10/17/05 02:57 PM Re: theory for 5 year olds
Kreisler Offline

Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13837
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I think ear training would be far more useful. Much easier to do, too.
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)


#946314 - 10/18/05 09:18 PM Re: theory for 5 year olds
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10760
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Must these things be mutually exclusive? I'm not a formal music teacher, but I have taught my son and I have played the piano for 40 years now. Some children are sponges who soak up information. The theory doesn't have to be presented formally as theory. If the child can understand whole steps and half steps you can introduce intervals and simple major scales as part of ear training.

#946315 - 10/19/05 10:59 AM Re: theory for 5 year olds
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
I agree, you need to be doing BOTH theory and aural training in some form. It is interesting that the UK school national curriculum for music makes very little reference to musical notation and the stave until key stage 3 (age 11). For some reason the attidude seems to be that becoming musically literate is far too difficult for small children where as in fact it is far less difficult than learning to read and write which begins when they start school at age 4-5. I teach from age 4 upwards and find that althogh some cope better than others they are all capable of understanding aspects of music theory to some degree. Good theory work will enable them to work thigs out themselves.
Pianist and piano teacher.

#946316 - 10/20/05 09:44 PM Re: theory for 5 year olds
WKS70 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/04/03
Posts: 186
Loc: GA
Some kids learn faster than others, but they are very, very smart and capable of a great deal. Theory isn't difficult, although some books make even the simplest stuff look complicated. If it looks too hard on the page, teach the same stuff without the book. My four and five-year-old students understand intervals, rhythm, scales, etc. Too many methods, especially the traditional American methods, are dumbed down.


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