Make Beginning Piano Simple
To make beginning piano simple, you have to bring piano down to the child's level at first. They will be terribly confused and find it almost impossible to generate any enthusiasm if you ignore their level. This temporary lowering of the bar allows the child to move at their pace.
If they show understanding, we can raise the bar a little. If you let the child set the height of the bar, you'll see what the child can learn comfortably. In that comfortable mood, you might be able to introduce a little more complication. You might even be able to raise the bar half an inch.
Piano Is Easy
One Page Per Lesson
Most piano teacher's methods consist of trying to get the child to live up to their expectations. They expect to be on page 1 on lesson 1, and on lesson 2, they will be on page 2. If the child doesn't "get it," they are a problem the teacher would rather not have.
Now the teacher has to figure out how to get the kid to understand, and he can't just go from page to page as he expected. Maybe the old method doesn't work on all kids. But that would never occur to this teacher. What was the six year old expecting?
Kids Expect Fun
To a six year old, music is bouncing, bubbly fun. It is either fun or it isn't. There's very little middle ground. But the teacher doesn't want you to "taste the delicious sausage," to see if you'd like to become a sausage maker. He wants you to see exactly how sausage is made. And the going is tough. Wouldn't it be better for the child to experience the joy of making music, however humbly, and then, later, plunge into the intense world of music theory?
The problem is that the teacher has no way of making music simple enough for the child to play, without making the music terribly simplistic and boring. The "tunes" aren't even recognizable. So we suggest you delay reading music, and start instead with numbering the piano keys.
| 3 3 3 * | 3 3 3 * | 3 5 1 2 | 3 * * * |
| 4 4 4 4 | 4 3 3 3 | 3 2 2 3 | 2 * 5 * |
It's Fun Or It Isn't
Kids have enough mindless drudgery in school all day. The kid isn't expecting a circus in the lesson, but they're not prepared to sit still, be quiet and listen to a professor rant for half an hour. "Where was the fun?" says the kid. Pressure won't work. Kids have no idea of the goal you have in mind that requires such pressure. They thought they were here to have fun with the piano.
So we number the keys as above and I ask the child, "What songs do you know? What music do you want to play?" Then I set about translating their choices of songs into a form they can understand right away. Yes, eventually they will read notes, but for now we need to convince them that the piano is a fun place to be.
Nothing will happen until the child has decided that the piano is fun enough to continue. If it is too complex, the first lesson may be the last.
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
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
The Reverse Piano Method
Nurture Your Piano Students
Against Disciplinarian Piano Teachers