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What about Preschool Piano Lessons?

I often have parents in my early childhood education class ask what is the best age for a child to begin the piano. My usual response… it depends. Preschoolers learn and grow socially very quickly, but because each child is so unique, it really does depend on the child. Can the child sit still and concentrate on something for 4-5 minutes? Do they enjoy working with others? Do they listen? Are they working on fine motor skills? These are all questions I ask a parent before we begin talking about preschool piano lessons. For some children, just waiting another 6 months can make all the difference in readiness.

Can a 4 Year Old Learn Piano?

Learning to play the piano requires the ability to think about many things at once. What is the note value – long or short? What is the pitch – low or high? Where is each note located on the piano? How should the note sound – soft or loud? It’s actually pretty amazing when you stop to think about how many thoughts need to happen simultaneously for music to happen. For very young learners this can be a challenge.

Why Don’t Many Teachers Offer Preschool Piano Lessons?

Teach your child preschool piano!  Every parent can play this preschool piano game, even if you never learned to play the piano yourself!

Many 4 year olds are excited to play the piano. If you are fortunate to find a teacher who specializes in teaching preschool piano you are lucky. Many piano teachers are reluctant to teach preschool piano. Teachers desire filling their teaching schedule, but do not enjoy the extra work preschool piano lessons require. Preschoolers need to move, and they need to change activities at least every 4-5 minutes. This means teachers need to prep at least 6-10 activities/lesson to fill a 30 minute lesson. These extra activities, while fun, are not necessary in regular piano teaching to children over the age of 8.

How Do I Teach My 4 Year Old Preschool Piano?

Parents have an advantage in teaching their own child preschool piano. They can provide many creative, musical learning activities for their child which will prepare them for formal lessons when they are older. Children learn extremely well when they play games. There are many games parents can play with their child which will teach the child about the piano and reinforce musical concepts. Capturing moments when a preschool child is eager and ready to play is often the opportunity a formal teacher doesn’t get.

Parents have an advantage in teaching preschool piano

Cherie Norquay

Parents have the opportunity to use a video, pick a game, sing movement songs with instruments, fill a basket with amazing musical instruments for preschoolers, etc. and can gently teach a child a lot in 3-5 minutes without the long lessons teachers require that often wear a child out. When a preschooler is having a good day, he may enjoy piano games and activities for a long length of time. But when a child is not having a great day, no amount of pressure will gain the cooperation that is desired.

One of the reasons I created this blog was to help parents find resources for music making in the home. Teaching preschool piano is kind of like teaching your child to read. No one needs a degree in education to read books to a child. A child learns to read by being read to and reading together with an adult. Music is the same. Parents can build a solid piano foundation that formal instruction can later refine by taking time to make music together, playing games together, and providing musical instruments and activities for preschool children to explore.

Preschool Piano Activities

The first game I play with every piano student is the Piano Race Game. This game explores the geography of the piano. Children learn where the low and high sounds of the piano are. They learn the music alphabet and the groups of 2 black notes and 3 black notes are identified and counted on the piano. Every child LOVES playing this game and they are especially motivated if you have some super cute moving pieces (Lego men, tiny hatchables, or mini erasers are great!) Below there is an offer to get this game for FREE! I hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to begin building a library of games and resources to help you to preschool piano to your child.

Making music and playing the piano should be joyful!

Cherie Norquay

Conclusion

The most important thing to remember is that making music and playing the piano should be joyful. Great piano instruction will break apart all the components of music and help a child learn about each part individually. For the preschool child, this might mean when he learns about loud sounds, he will stomp his feet and then play a stomping sound on the piano, or when he learns about soft sounds he may tiptoe around the room and then make a tip-toe sound at the piano. Moving the body helps a young child learn and will connect music making to things they already know. These simple parts of music making are accessible for every parent to teach. Every child loves music! I hope you will enjoy building your library of musical activities and resources for teaching your child preschool piano.

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