Parents often wonder how piano lessons for young beginners go and what they learn. This article details the methods and teaching techniques used to make young piano beginner lessons a success.
Piano Teachers For Young Beginners
As a piano teacher, I love working with young beginners! The lessons are different in flow and are based much more on constant interaction than older beginners—this speaks to the need of younger beginners to have ultimate guidance through each new technique and their note reading development. With curriculums developed for the pre-reading age group, piano lessons can be very successful for 4 and 5 year old’s, and I find it rewarding as an instructor to see the major advancements in fine motor skills and overall reading ability that happen around this age. So what can you expect in piano lessons for your 4 or 5 year old?
Lots of Positive Interaction!
Overall, children around the ages of 3 to 6 are sponges for new knowledge. They are in an absorption phase of mental development, and these are the ages where language and reading ability are advanced the most. In piano lessons, we see younger beginners incorporate musical concepts very fluidly into coordination and reading development, but the process happens a little differently at a pre-reading age.
Interaction is the key in expressing correct technique and note reading ability to a young beginner. In the first lessons, teachers will incorporate a lot of back-and-forth imitation for simple concepts, like demonstrating loud versus soft sounds, and high versus low sounds. Exercises will utilize black key identification to pick up on repeated patterns on the keyboard and progressively bring in new notation concepts where the student can identify patterns that move up and down and change fingers accordingly. All of these concepts establish musical bearings for a young beginner on the piano, as well as development of coordination on the instrument, but they are accomplished through imitation and guidance first before shifting it to an independent experience.
Lots of Repetition!
Reinforcement of new concepts in piano lessons comes from lots of repetition. Once a teacher works with a student on an exercise or their first songs, parents should expect that they will be repeated for a few weeks, even if they are mastered by the student. This repetition and variance between new and old concepts ensures that the dots are connected between early ideas and new ones.
The fun and successful aspect of this practice is that a young student can have several short pieces that he or she can perform at any time. With repetition and having a few simple performance pieces, a young student can feel confident and proficient in sharing their progress on piano with friends and family.
Lots of Positive Reinforcement!
The best teachers for younger beginners are ones that positively reinforce the achievements and advancement of their students. For me and many other teachers, positive reinforcement is not a form of appeasement for young students—it is amazing as an educator to have a young student gain musical understand, and I find myself stunned sometimes at the ability of 4 or 5 year olds to process complex ideas for their age. The overall goal of music lessons is for students to have fun learning an instrument and gain an appreciation of music. This starts with having the student feel good about every new thing they learn in piano lessons and encourage the desire to keep progressing.
Piano lessons for young beginners can be very successful, and if you are not sure what to expect, rest assured that a young beginner curriculum will be age appropriate and modeled to their learning style. Interaction, repetition, and positive reinforcement are ways that teachers make lessons fun and progressive at a pre-reading age. 4 and 5 year old’s are at a great age to begin piano study, and it’s an educational extra-curricular that can lead to a life of music appreciation.