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Moms who play the piano and teach their kids to play - I need your help

I would appreciate some tips and ideas. I graduated from the music school and play pretty good but I am not a piano teacher and I have problems teaching my 3 y.o. I have some piano books for little kids and they are very good but I don't know how to explain him so he will understand. All he can do is memorize some tunes and play them. I would like to teach him how to read the music. Where should I start? He is a smart boy and very interested in playing the piano.

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Asked by Bryans_Mom at 12:25 PM on Mar. 20, 2010 in General Parenting

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Answers (4)
  • You can't teach a 3 YO like you would teach an older child. At 3, he can't even read words, let alone music. It's more important to instill some basic musical concepts and use the piano to enhance these concepts. Such as loud, soft, fast, slow, high, and low, etc. Sing with him a lot, dance, move to music. Let him explore the piano, use some animal analogies for the high and low sounds. Find the patterns of 2 and 3 black keys, improvise songs on the black keys. Don't try to do any more than 15 minutes at a time, because if you force him to do more than he's developmentally ready for, he will end up hating it. I am a former piano teacher, piano major, music teacher with a master's and early childhood training. Message me if you have more questions. He shouldn't start formal music until he can keep a steady beat in his body and sing a song in tune.

    Answer by musichollie at 1:08 PM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • He already knows all this - I mean loud, soft, high, low, also black and white keys. We learned all this a year ago. His hearing is pretty good and he can sing (repeat) difficult songs without mistakes (I mean his vocal and not the words). I feel like we should go farther. Am I wrong?
    I don't make him do it - he likes it and asks me to "go and play the piano".

    Answer by Bryans_Mom at 1:27 PM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • Going and playing the piano is fine. Trying to teach a child this young to read music is not developmentally appropriate. You can keep playing it and keep playing with songs, singing, etc. His brain is not going to be ready for notation for at least another year or possibly 2. Let him be a kid. I would usually suggest not beginning piano lessons formally until 4 1/2, and then only for 15-20 minutes at a time.

    Answer by musichollie at 6:36 PM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • Thank you. I think you are right - I will wait until he is ready.

    Answer by Bryans_Mom at 8:51 PM on Mar. 20, 2010

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