ADHD Piano Lessons
Do you or someone you know have students with ADHD? Piano lessons are actually excellent for children with ADHD. Contrary to a classroom there are limited outside disruptions, no judgment or critique from classmates, and the child receives all of the attention. There are some things that music teachers can do to positively guide students during their lessons, and even help them learn how to cope in their daily lives.
Repeat the information the student needs to know in multiple ways. If they need to learn the letter names of the keys on the piano, have them play each note and say it out loud, find different games to play with them, or you can draw a lifelike keyboard on white paper and have them color each note name in a different color. If you’re teaching rhythm you can make some flashcards, have them repeat rhythms back to you, or make a rhythm clock (these can easily be found on Youtube). The point is to find multiple creative ways to teach one concept. You can use this technique for all of your students.
Keep it Positive
Really utilize the on-on-one time you’re having with the child. If he/she makes mistakes, positively reinforce them. For example you can say, “Good job repeating that rhythm back to me. Most of my other students have a hard time with that. Next time, try doing it this way”, or “You can play that loud very well! How about we try it soft now?” When they know they are doing a good job they will feel better about themselves. Having a private piano lesson should be different than the classroom experience where they may be constantly reprimanded.
Keep it Short
Try breaking down their learning into short, small segments. This will help children stay focused and motivated during the lesson. Divide lessons into a few minutes at a time if needed. You can have a game segment, ear training segment, playing segment, and then a rhythm segment. The point is to make all of the segments related, especially if you are trying to teach a particular concept that day. Also, use small achievable goals so students are not overloaded with too much information at a time. These goals can be using the correct fingering in a piece, using the right dynamics, or making sure the wrists always stay lifted and relaxed.
Most importantly, remember to keep the lessons fun! If you think you’ve tried everything to help your students with ADHD piano lessons, don’t stop there. There is so much you can do to ensure they have a fun, meaningful lesson.