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LearningMusician Chat >> General Site Chat >> At what age do we teach piano?      
 
Viewing 1-9 of 9 total messages      

Unknown User

April 15, 2008 - 7:29 PMReply to this message
I recently received a phone call from a woman with a 3 1/2 year old who she wants to begin piano lessons... I have been told that as long as they know their ABC's and 123's they can begin piano training. Is this true? If I begin to teach a child this young, what should i expect as a teacher. Your suggestions and comments are appreciated. God bless!
 

Unknown User

April 18, 2008 - 8:14 PMReply to this message
Dileesa,

There are so many other factors involved in deciding when to start lessons with young students. Some 3 and a half year olds are pretty precocious as far as musical abilities, attention, creativity, physical size, etc. How creative of a teacher are you? There is so much to teach and learn before reading notes and full blown scales and chords.

Also how involved would the parent(s) be? Would he or she sit in on lessons, perhaps even learning with the child for at least a while.

Also, who is asking for lessons? The child or the parent? And why do they want lessons now?

It can be an awesome thing to think back in one's life and never remember not "playing" the piano. I remember not being allowed to start till I was in the 4th grade.

I've had students at age 4. One, who in class and before he was "ready" went up and played improvisations (doodles) named them and never knew the anxiety of performance. Big brother and sister did it, (Played their songs) so he did too. He became a very good player and excellent student.

I often start (after some time on hand position, five finger closed position, and key naming) new students with simple folk tunes played with both hands as when in the middle of the keyboard e4f4(thumbs) playing twinkle twinkle little start starting on middle C 3rd finger left hand. This only requires three fingers in the left hand and two in the right hand.You can teach many songs this way and then move them all over the keyboard in all positions all keys. You can also play simple accompaniments.

I think also that the feelings you have about teaching and working with the parent(s) and child are something only you can judge as being right for you and them.

All the best. I hope this helps.



 

Diane Quick

May 9, 2008 - 12:46 PMReply to this message
Since teaching at a private school that offered piano lessons as part of the "after" school enrichment, I had to teach anyone who wanted to and age began as 4 yrs. So, I looked at the current piano series and changed it to the Music for Little Mozarts (especially since I just attended a workshop with it). I have learned a lot since then (started 4 yrs ago) and the last year on my own as a private teacher.
The previous message had good questions, who wants them, why do they think the child is ready, do they have a piano or keyboard (on keyboard do they play the sounds or the keys), are they ready to help them with assignments and do work during the week, ???
Maybe you could start a pre-k music class (Music for Little Mozarts comes in a classroom set as well) or other series and 1. A class would be less expensive, 2. No piano required 3. See how the child works with music (can they hear hi/low pitches, hear fast/slow music, sing hi/low pitches. The child gets to know you and the parents and ta-da, "I'd like to have you as a piano teacher as well." comes from the parents. 4. You get to know the family if they are a good fit and will follow your expectations in lessons as well.
The little ones give your heart a smile when they enjoy playing pieces over and over in practice, or smile when you say "awesome" or hi-5s. Yet, patience is tested when they don't have enough strength to get forte, or keep the fingers curved, some of those technics may come at a slower pace than from older students.

Good luck!dq
 

Janis Palmore

Offering piano lessons, music theory lessons, and italian for singers lessons in Lithonia, Georgia

May 11, 2008 - 8:00 PMReply to this message
Two and a half years ago, I consented to evaluate a three-year-old for piano lessons. I have never regretted accepting this extraordinarily bright and talented child as a student. Last week, at a recital she performed three original classical pieces. You can well imagine that she is one of the brightest spots in my week.

Having students ranging in age from 5 to 18, I have come to appreciate that each has a unique way of processing information -- they learn differently; they have varied motivations; and they have various aptitudes. I could only dream about having a studio full of students like this precocious 6-year-old. The common bonds shared by both of my students who began lessons at three are (1) they both initiated the conversation with their parents about piano lessons; (2) they know their alphabet and were able to arrange letters from A-G and from G-A; (3) they have pianos at home; (4) they were focused enough to sit through a lesson; and perhaps most importantly (5) they have parents who are very involved in the learning process.

 

Antonio Gandia

Offering guitar lessons, bass lessons, and piano lessons in Moorestown, New Jersey

September 12, 2008 - 1:40 AMReply to this message

I truly believe each child is different. I used to think I could not teach anyone piano before they were at least 5 years old. Then, along came a 3 year old prodigy named Arjun Ayyangar, whom I had the fortune, honor and pleasure to teach. I was his first music teacher, and he got to be so good, after a while I had to hand him over to a more experienced teacher. He has perfect pitch and is now 10 and has become quite a celebrity, appearing on national TV (America's Most Talented Kids) and performed with the Cleveland symphony orchestra. Check him out at arjunayyangar dot com, or look up his name on YouTube. He has learned the national anthems to over 100 countries BY EAR!!! His piano skills are now better than my own!!! He's playing Haydn and Mozart piano concerti, etc. I am more of a piano teacher than a piano player, though.

So, he completely shattered my old belief. In my humble opinion, while most 3 year olds are too young to start piano lessons, you should not turn them down, as you have to evaluate each child individually. See how well they respond to rhythms, what kind of attention span they have, etc.Since Arjun I have had a few more 3 and 4 year old students whom, even though they were not as gifted as Arjun was, still made considerable progress. I absolutely had to have their mothers sitting next to the child to help control him and even discipline him. Here's some advice; if a student is going to hate someone for disciplining him or her it is best if that person is one of the parents! Your job is to teach; not to be a drill sergeant!
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On April 15, 2008 - 7:29 PM, Dileesa Hunter wrote :
> I recently received a phone call from a woman with a 3 1/2 year old who she wants to begin piano lessons... I have been told that as long as they know their ABC's and 123's they can begin piano training. Is this true? If I begin to teach a child this young, what should i expect as a teacher. Your suggestions and comments are appreciated. God bless!
 

Kenn Gartner

Offering piano lessons, voice lessons, and accompanying lessons in San Rafael, California

November 8, 2008 - 4:39 AMReply to this message


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On April 15, 2008 - 7:29 PM, Dileesa Hunter wrote :
> I recently received a phone call from a woman with a 3 1/2 year old who she wants to begin piano lessons... I have been told that as long as they know their ABC's and 123's they can begin piano training. Is this true? If I begin to teach a child this young, what should i expect as a teacher. Your suggestions and comments are appreciated. God bless!

I teach the very young: should the child learn the ABC's before he learns to play the notes, he will ALWAYS think the letter prior to the movement of the finger! Obviously, this slows any student down. Similarly if a teacher does not immediately have a child play the same note with all his fingers and both hands, the kid may get stuck with the idea that a certain note is a "one". Be careful. and good luck.

Kenn Gartner

PS: AFTER the kid has played a variety of notes with all his fingers and both his hands, I ask her how many names she has. I then tell her that notes have names also. BUT NOW THE STUDENT CAN PLAY C'S AND D'S WITH BOTH HANDS AND ALL FINGERS WITHOUT FIRST THINKING LETTERS OR FINGERS!


 

Diana Dallal, NCTM

Offering piano lessons, composition lessons, and accompanying lessons in Everett, Washington

November 4, 2009 - 10:54 PMReply to this message
I've seen some wonderful teaching with MYC - for Piano, specifically that starts at age 3. Sometimes it's just a matter of knowing how to teach the younger age group, and have a plan for the on the bench, off the bench. Check out myc.com. Since getting involved with them I no longer have trouble teaching 4 year olds (that's been my youngest so far).
 

Kelvin Ngethe

March 2, 2012 - 1:52 AMReply to this message
How do u get to teach a 3yr because sometymes it doesnt seem that easy?
 

Diane Quick

April 30, 2012 - 10:41 AMReply to this message
First you have to understand their dynamic - learning capability, can they sit, etc.
Next you can do clapback, playback games. Learning symbols. Creating and learning where hi/low are on keyboard.
Music for Little Mozarts has a "classroom" music series, no piano - but a great way to find out if kids have a beat, hear, etc.


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On March 2, 2012 - 1:52 AM, Kelvin Ngethe wrote :
> How do u get to teach a 3yr because sometymes it doesnt seem that easy?
 
LearningMusician Chat >> General Site Chat >> At what age do we teach piano?      
Viewing 1-9 of 9 total messages