Kindermusikgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread
I'm getting certified to teach Kindermusik so I can have a source of income while I finish my BS Ed, Music, degree. I believe so strongly that all children should have the benefit of music from birth, for the joy of it, for the support music gives all the way through life and for fun. And, ok, if it does wonderful brain stuff that's ok too. So, as piano teachers, what do you feel would be the most important aspect of early music that would help a child later learn to play the piano, or any instrument?
-- Mary Jo Lewis (email@example.com), March 04, 2001
The most important aspect is the role of music in everyday life. A child who is surrounded by the sounds of music and people singing and humming will be more likely to begin learning that language at the same time they are developing their speech. On our old message board, someone posted a thought that singing and drumming are the earliest expressions of music, and these should be encouraged in a child. I think that is right on. A child quickly sees all of the enjoyment that others are deriving from making music, and develops a natural curiosity about it. If music is only played for special occasions, or the TV is the most common stimulus in the household, the child will learn other things instead. I hope this helps, have fun.
-- Kyle (Keyboardkyle@hotmail.com), March 05, 2001.
I must agree with Kyle. The originator of the method I presently use originally managed a program for younger children a la Kindermusik. He employed some 22 teachers of which I was one. While our main thrust was towards private teaching, many of us (myself included) taught class music to children in daycares, montessories, and preschools. One of our teachers had previously taught Kindermusik and judging from my conversations with her, the only complaint I would have with Kindermusik is that the program does not teach young children to read music. This, in my opinion, is an under-estimate of the ability of young children and we found that it is very possible, using the method that I now use, to teach children as young as 3 to read music in a class setting. Otherwise, I think the concept of Kindermusik is one that is much needed.
-- Phil King (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 06, 2001.
Mary Jo, I have a perspective not many people can share. My father owned a music store as I was growing up and I worked in the store many years before graduating from college with a business degree.
Kyle is right. Music must be a part of everyday life. We always had a piano, child-accessible guitars, harmonicas, recorders, etc. that we were encouraged to enjoy as a part of our play. Parents must provide unconditional support for their young childrens' music making explorations. Just as you would compliment a child on painting a pretty picture, you must be just as enthusiastic about early forays into music. The best way a parent can discourage a child is to express doubts about his abilities or to not experience pleasure from listening to his play.
I have seen so many music careers end before the student even walked out of the music store because of parents unwilling to positively encourage their child's interest. You could see it in the child's face whenever the parent complained about "noise" or cost or the child's perceived inability to learn. It is truly sad.
Off my soapbox! Please encourage your parents to be generous in expressing sincere pleasure of their child's efforts, while being sensitive to those shy children that might just be too embarrassed to continue if people notice them.
-- Resa (email@example.com), March 08, 2001.
I started playing guitar when I was 9.. My father was born and raised on a farm and a product of the great depression. Whether it's that, or other reasons, he was less the enthusiastic about encouraging his children in something as "frivolous" as music. However, one night when I was about 11, I was in my room playing the guitar and singing away when he knocked on the door and said, "Turn that radio down in there!" His mistaking me for the radio was the biggest shot of motivation I've ever received. (Although as I think about it now, he probably new full well it wasn't the radio!!) Anyway, I'm now 47, still play guitar, and started piano lessons two years ago. My children have always been surounded by music and their talents have flourished. What ever form it takes, encouragement from the child's parents is a vital part of early musical training..
-- Doug (Haftdougw@cs.com), March 14, 2001.
Thank you all for your answers. I will do my best to really encourage the parent participation. Kindermusik emphisises it and I will try to always remember that the most important influence is the parents and be sure they are totally involved. That will not be too hard with the littlest ones, since the parents are in the class, and what I do is teach the parents who teach their children. But it will be harder with the older ones whose parents only come in the last 15 min. to see what we've learned. I would think that if parents and child have been through the Kindermusik, or any other program together, it has to stay with them the rest of the way. Thank you.
-- Mary Jo Lewis (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 16, 2001.
There is definitely an art to communicating with parents. I've learned that the more I educate parents about everything from the specifics of productive practice habits to creating a positive musical environment at home, the better their child progresses. BUT, I've also learned that the written information we distribute needs to be:
1. Concise (too much information will be skimmed & tossed aside)
2. Encouraging (parents have a tougher job than we do; DAILY!)
3. Distributed regularly (we all need those "shot in the arms")
Most important aspect of early music? I think to empower the child with the feeling that what THEY create and improvise is just as important as the pieces and songs we teach them....maybe more important!
-- John Bisceglia (Bisceglia2000@yahoo.com), March 25, 2001.