How To Make Your Kids Love Piano
The secret of how to make your kids love piano is to take it slow. Take it easy, make a game of it, and get down to the child's level immediately. You should start by having the child make simple music before you embark on the great sea of musical theory. To a child, making music should be as easy as banging on a drum. You just take your hand and hit the drum head, right? That's not what most piano teachers think. They want to start the drill right away, whether you want it or not.
Find A Simple, Childish Musical Language
Reduce music to a language or dialect (numbers) a child can understand. This almost always means eliminating the reading of notes, and the substitution of a more immediate language, such as numbers or letters. Or you can simply show the child physically what to play, which keys to press.
Reading Music Restricts Kids Choice Of Music
Kids can play music infinitely harder than what they can read from musical notation. The average kid can play the Moonlight Sonata as long as they are not mired in deciphering the musical notation. Once you have the child excited about the Moonlight Sonata, or whatever song appeals to them, it is much easier to get them interested gradually in learning to read music. We suggest starting your child playing Piano By Number instead of notes.
Use Numbers Instead Of Notes
To help you do this, we have a series of books in which music is expressed in numbers, a language kids easily understand. Remember that the first step is to establish a sense of fun about the instrument itself. With your actions, show kids that fun things happen here. Until you get a child to like coming to the piano, all the exercises in Bastien, Alfred and Faber (popular methods used by teachers) will do nothing.
Manner Of Teacher, Mood Of Child
So consider two factors, the manner of the teacher and the mood of the child. Piano is an elective activity to most kids. Be prepared to offer a casual approach. It should seem more of a friendly activity involving piano rather than a master-student lecture. The teacher should be somewhere between a game-show host and a magician. Talk should be kept to a minimum, and activity emphasized.
Show Don't Tell
Next, consider the mood of the child. What is the current mental state of the child? Are they ready for a lesson today? How hard can you push before they shrink back? Next, there is the child's reaction to every task you give them. The tasks may seem simple to you, but we are dealing with creatures that have almost no control over their fingers.
Measure Their Reaction Constantly
When they seem confused, laugh, slow down, go back and show them in another way, or abandon the task completely and begin something else. Music reading, in particular, exhausts younger children because it calls upon the two brain hemispheres to enter into rapid-fire communication. Since younger kids are only now forming these cells in their brains, calling upon it too much makes them restive and then exhausted. Piano teachers do not realize this, and call such students "dull," or "lazy." Say this or mean this enough times, and you will destroy the child's desire to try. Common sense, horse sense, call it what you will. It works well with kids.