Joyful Piano Lessons
Joyful piano lessons for kids have better results. It is always easier to teach a happy child. I was teaching a ten year-old boy one day, and there was a commotion in the next room. His younger brother, three or four, was dancing up a storm as a reaction to his brother’s spirited playing. The older brother and I were playing SLEIGH RIDE by Leroy Anderson with abandon, repeating it again and again.
It wasn’t really a piano lesson by then, it was just fun. The little brother could not contain himself, so carried away was he with the spirit of the music. He danced and twirled to the point that the rest of the family came in to watch him.
Kids Think Music Is Fun, Not Work
If you think about it, the child was showing us what a child really thinks music is. It is bubbly, fun stuff that makes you move whether you want to or not. His older brother had learned how to play the complexities of the music, but the younger brother was expressing his feelings directly, without any skill other than the joy of movement. The sad thing is that most piano teachers forget this love of movement and music in their mad dash for musical literacy.
Maintain A Joyful Spirit
The hardest trick to learn as a piano teacher is to keep that joyful spirit alive while teaching a child the minutiae of playing the piano. It is easy to crush a child’s enthusiasm under the weight of curriculum. The only way to truly motivate a child at the piano is to never lose sight of that joy, to incorporate it into the lessons as much as possible.
Try to balance carefully the two elements, joy and work. Most piano teachers are afraid to lose control and surrender to joy in music. But that is exactly what will inspire your student to do more work. So when the moment comes in your next piano lesson, choose joy over work for a moment and watch the results. Joy is the most powerful taskmaster of all to a child.
(This title comes in two versions: Printed $19.95, and eBook $9.95)