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Piano Methods and Children's Personalities

Piano Methods and Children's Personalities


Piano methods and children's personalities must match almost perfectly. Otherwise the job will become stressful for both teacher and student. The younger the child, the more this is true. If your prospective piano student takes to reading sheet music like a duck to water, then you might be able to get away with the standard book based piano methods.

But most kids like reading music about as much as a trip to the dentist, and that's the truth. There are ways around this attitude, but none of the solutions are quick and all involve extreme patience and effort on the teacher's part.

Piano Is Easy

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Make The Beginning Palatable

To impose a piano method that the child finds uncomfortable is a recipe for disaster. We're not talking about endlessly coddling kids. We're talking about finding ways to make the start of piano lessons enjoyable enough for the child to want to continue.

Regardless of a child's personality, if they are having trouble reading music, you had better find other ways to keep them interested.

Making Music Like Finger Painting

The most prevalent trait of children at the piano is the impatient desire for instant mastery of a specific song. It may be a song they know, or one you show them. Simply put, children want to make music at the piano, however sloppy. When you finger paint, you expect a mess.

Think initially more of play than work. Thus if you can get a child to play even a few notes of a song they like, you have a chance of launching them happily. Take Jingle Bells as an example of a song. (Obviously, if you are teaching a 10 year old, you'll have to think of more stimulating material.)

Try A Song With Numbers

Jingle Bells 
| 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 * | 

Start With The Simplest Possible Fingering

If you can get a child to play, with one finger, the opening notes, they will light up and realize they just made music. Why did they enjoy it? You didn't impose reading music, you didn't impose fingering, and you didn't impose rhythm.

You simplified the material until the child grasped the essential fact: this is music and I can play it on the piano. The simple act of making music, however humble, is not lost on children.

Feed The Fire

They will want more songs, right away. Kids will respond if you are careful to simplify the material so it is within their grasp immediately. Repeat the above experience with dozens of songs, and you will have a child who trusts you. The child likes making music at the piano, and is eager to learn more.

But the music must be couched in terms they can easily understand. With such a student, you can make a slow, easy transition to reading music without risk of losing their initial enthusiasm.

If They Don't Resist, Read Music

If a child demonstrates a desire to read music, apply the same rules to that discipline. Simplify as much as possible. Without initial enthusiasm, you have no fuel with which to travel through the intricacies of beginning piano.

Your first job as a piano teacher is to awaken enthusiasm, not begin the indoctrination of the child with your piano method.


Piano Teaching Style

If It’s Fun For The Teacher, It’s Fun For The Kids

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

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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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