If You're Having Fun, You're Not Learning
"If you're having fun, you're not learning." That's what a lot of piano teachers think, but they're wrong, from a child's point of view. Such a statement may be true of law school or cramming for an exam in a subject in which you have no interest. Apply it to kids piano and you’re in for a rude awakening.
Anyone involved with teaching children knows that sternness and discipline only work to a degree. Ultimately, you’ll need the cooperation of the person you’re trying to teach.
There are only two ways to gain the cooperation of a child. You can use force or love. If it’s hypothetically a life or death situation, you may be justified in using mental force, but kids piano is not such a situation.
Piano Is Easy
Treat Kids As Equals
There is always the chance that the child will take advantage and goof off. That is a chance worth taking. This is because I have never found a child who didn’t respond positively to being on a somewhat equal footing as an adult, even for a little while.
As my model teachers, I use the fabulous piano teachers I had as a child and as a young professional. When one is a talented young professional pianist, no teacher yells at you or intimidates you. It isn't necessary or productive. There is a spirit of mutual respect that breeds a positive learning atmosphere.
Find Motivation Other Than Force
You may say, “You can’t treat six year olds like professionals. That’s insane.” But you’re wrong. Kids have very developed antennae, and can sense force in a millisecond. You can use hypothetical, theatrical force somewhere in the background, if you only jokingly refer to it in the future.
But as soon as the child sense real force and anger, cooperation stops immediately. You need to train the student to know when you mean business, and be clever enough not to make it odious for the child.
Ratio Of Fun To Force
Maintain a ten to one proportion of collegial cooperation to gentle force. Once you’ve established that force is only used gently and when necessary, like a horse, the child will begin to cooperate with you. Never forget that a child is always ready for learning if they are in a good mood.
You have to be clever enough to offer them the chance to be in that good mood as you teach them. Doing this takes exquisite sensitivity to the child’s reaction to your teaching. The average child becomes interested in the piano by means of series of lesson , not any single lesson.
The child feels they want to be in the room, and therefore they will learn as much as they can that day. I’ve never met a kid that wanted to spend two seconds in a room with an angry piano teacher.
Piano Teaching Style
If It’s Fun For The Teacher, It’s Fun For The Kids
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
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