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5 Ways to Engage Our Younger Beginner Piano Students

Updated: May 1, 2021

Children learn by observing, exploring, listening, and asking questions. Learning is as natural as breathing which makes young children ideal candidates for piano lessons. Singing and moving comes very natural to them, and they are often very quick learners!


Let's take a look at 5 ways teachers, parents and students come together to create the best learning environment, to ensure success and a life-long pursuit of music.


I. ASSESSMENT


An initial assessment is important because by understanding the student readiness, the teacher will know how and when the lesson plan will need to be adapted accordingly. A few things to keep in mind:


  1. Is the hand physically developed enough to depress the keys without tension?

  2. Is the child able to remain attentive for the length of the private lesson?

  3. Can the child follow simple instructions?


II. LESSONS


Once the initial assessment has been accomplished, the teacher will be able to provide the best instruction to the student with greater understanding and expertise. One important factor that can make or break lessons with young children is the teacher’s ability to adapt to the student’s personality. Music teachers cannot only be masters of their instruments. They must be master communicators, and an expert teacher knows the importance of teaching the human being first, the music second, and the piano third. This idea is different from the traditional way of teaching in the turn of the 19th century, where the student had to adapt to the teacher's method with little regards to the student's learning style. An expert instructor nowadays understands the necessity of teaching the child first and foremost and helping in their music development.



III. PLANNING


Piano lessons for young beginners require teachers to do short-term and long-term planning. It is very important to plan and prepare prior to each lesson. A general rule is to use the “age plus one minute” when planning classroom activities. In other words, a five year old can be expected to focus on an activity for a total of six minutes. Off-bench activities are particularly important because they allow them to move and engage their body with rhythm activities and games.


IV. REINFORCING


A very important element in teaching young beginners is ensuring that they understand the concepts well. This requires reinforcement by using different, so for for example, singing and moving are wonderful ways to develop the child’s musicality. Therefore, it is important to incorporate such activities in each lesson to develop their musical strength.



V. COMMUNICATION


It is very important to develop a positive rapport and relationship with the parents. Young children need more assistance during practice, so it is crucial to involve the parent during each practice session, and ensure the parent understands the weekly assignment. Inviting the parents to observe the lessons whenever possible is always a good idea to allow them to see the child’s progress and to come along-side the teacher as a team. Providing simple and easy-to-follow weekly goals to the student and the parent, along with consistent practice habits, will ensure the child’s success and musical development.



CONCLUSION


It is extremely rewarding to teach young beginners. With thoughtful planning and the willingness to adapt to each student individually, the investment given to young learners will prepare them for a life-long music journey filled with creativity, academic success and joy of learning.


If you would like more information, contact us and we will be glad to set up your first free trial lesson!




"5 Ways to Engage Our Younger Beginner Piano Students" by Piano Performance Arts Academy, LLC.


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