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Fun for the Teacher, Fun for the Kids

Fun For The Teacher, Fun For The Kids

The most basic fact about kid’s piano lessons is that if it’s fun for the teacher, it’s fun for the kids. Albert Cullum, a brilliant elementary school teacher in the 1950’s, used fun as the basis of his amazingly successful teaching techniques. One day, early in his teaching years, he was using the same old methods, teaching by rote.

He looked at the kids and suddenly realized, “I’m not having any fun with this. If I’m not having fun, these kids can’t be either.” This moment was the basis for his decision to seek teaching techniques that would enliven and inspire both teacher and student.

Piano Is Easy

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Fun vs. Force

Using the credo, “It has to be fun,” he embarked on an exploration of how to make children really interested in the subjects they were forced to learn. His ideas were wildly creative. To teach about weather patterns, he had kids outside the classroom window feeding a huge roll of butcher paper through the window to the kids inside. The kids inside took the paper and held it aloft as they danced around the room. Cullum made these kids feel the excitement of the wind, and as a prelude to learning about weather it was a brilliant and successful stroke of teaching.

My students have fun at their piano lessons. I mean hilarious, rollicking, boisterous fun. Or as fun as one can make a piano lesson. I am resolved to engaging the student in a way that captivated them as much as the piano captivates me.

How Does The Student Feel?

The one principle that works in all situations was to studiously observe the reaction of the child you are teaching. For example, a sighing, tentative student is telling you that you are going way too fast and are no fun. A laughing, animated child is ready to learn anything. The solution is to make the task so simple that it becomes a ridiculous game -- a game that anyone can master.

Try a song on our online piano and you'll see how easy it is to become interested in the piano:

I'm A Little Teapot
| 1 * 2 | 3 * 4 | 5 * * | 8 * * | 6 * * | 8 * * | 5 * * |

Then you add another game or song to that, then another one to that, and sooner or later you have a child playing a scale, or with the perfect hand position, or mastering the idea of using the five fingers as a group. Thus your job as piano teacher is to discover how many little games a complex piano movement must be broken down into. The fun comes from the ease of each component game.


Piano Teaching Style

Piano Methods and Children’s Personalities

The Backwards Piano Method

Reverse Psychology and Children’s Piano

Help Your Child Enjoy The Piano

Ten Rules for A Pleasant Piano Teaching Atmosphere

If You’re Having Fun, You’re Not Learning

The Difference Between the Worst and Best Piano Teacher

A Piano Teacher’s Emotions

A Pleasant Piano Lesson Atmosphere

The Use of Humor in Piano Lessons

Make Use of Your Student’s Sense of Humor

The Piano Whisperer

Fitting the Piano Method to the Child

Soft Piano vs. Hard Piano

Why I Teach Piano

Advice To A Young Piano Teacher

Teaching Children's Piano

Guilt Is The Wrong Way To Buy Attention

The Piano Teacher’s Tone of Voice

Knowing When To Back Off

Piano Candy: The Case For Bribery

Why Nagging Your Child To Practice Won’t Work

How To Make Your Kids Love The Piano

Teaching Kid’s Piano Is Like Herding Cats

Repeated Victory Will Make You Invincible

Ratio of Talk To Activity in Piano Lessons

On Which Side of the Piano Do You Teach?

Setting the Mood Of Children’s Piano Lessons

Why Kids Succeed At The Piano

Child Pianists Are Like Guide Dogs

The Purpose Of The First Five Piano Lessons

The Real Goal Of Children’s Piano Lessons

The Philosophy Of Piano For Kids

How Simple Should Piano Lessons Be?

Piano Toys You Should Bring To A Lesson

Fun Kid’s Piano

Joyful Piano Lessons

The Invisible Piano Method

A Patient Piano Teacher

Make Beginning Piano Simple

The Reverse Piano Method

Nurture Your Piano Students

Against Disciplinarian Piano Teachers

1 comment

  • Thuhoai

    Dance monkey

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We've turned notes into numbers for happy beginners at the piano!

Play Along Songs Are Fun!


Turn that big piano into a toy! Play fun piano games with your child today! We help take the confusion out of beginning music theory.

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