Teaching piano to 4-5 year olds

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

I'm curious what books and methods have helped other teachers who work with preschoolers. The following have helped me tremendously:

AT THE BEGINNING; Teaching Piano to the Very Young Child by Rhoda Rabin (Schirmer Books)

SING & PLAY; Books 1-3 (method book), plus the teacher's manual by Ann Collins (Stipes Publishing)

PIANO STORIES; Songs & games for very young children of pre-school age to learn by imitation by Frances Frothingham & Gail Martin Haake (Carl Fisher)

NO H IN SNAKE; Music Theory For Children by Michiko Yurko

-- John Bisceglia (Bisceglia2000@yahoo.com), March 25, 2001


Hi, John - I appreciate all these interesting topics! I've always meant to purchase the Rhonda Rabin book, can you tell me more about it? I also love Michiko Yurko and use the No "H" in Snake book and Music Mind Games. Can't think of many others right now. I have used excerpts from Classic Tunes and Tales - not necessarily for piano, but for little anecdotes about composers. I also frequently use a floor staff with whole note "rings" which can be tossed by the student - this activity has been wonderful for identifying spaces/lines and note reading. I also play "War" using the FJH Piano Adventure flashcards and hope my students will beat me!

-- Jennifer DeBrosse (Jennifer.DeBrosse@worldnet.att.net), March 26, 2001.

Rabin's book AT THE BEGINNING starts with discussing characteristics of the child's art experiences and how to develop the "art habit". It goes into detail about the child, the family, and the teacher, and how to create the best environment for all 3 to work together. Teaching strategies for keyboard geography, ear-training, rhythm, reading, technique, and performance are outlined, including how to conduct the very first lesson. The appendix provides music games to develop small & large muscles and some rote pieces. The IDEAL SITUATION is to teach 2-4 children in a class, but most activities in the book can easily be adapted for private lessons. Having a sequencer and recorded arrangements of many songs has helped me tremendously; highly recommended! We can sit on the floor and sing "Open, Shut them" to move fingers at the hand knuckle, sing "Right hand, left hand" (from Bastien's Piano Party Book 1), roll a ball to the beat or march/swing arms and SING their new pieces. This age requires too much "hands on" time to have to play their pieces every time, plus a sequencer allows you to adjust tempo. If you have the energy, this age group is simply wonderful to teach, and they can come during the day!

-- John Bisceglia (Bisceglia2000@yahoo.com), March 26, 2001.

The "Music Minds Games" book is tops.

-- Music Educator (noname_poster@yahoo.com), March 27, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ