How to Teach Piano to a 5 year old

 

I recall the first time I took my children to piano music lessons in Brisbane Australia my son daughter were just turning 6 and 5 respectfully. As parents on a Saturday morning it was packed with us young parents who were their support and cheer them on. The lessons were a group session it was way to full with a dozen beginner kids who at best were probably confused with the teacher trying shout over them and percussion instruments rattling in the background.

I recall my early lesson was one on one and I really had a great teacher that help me place my hand on the white keys ever so gently getting me to press each note with my thumb then followed by other fingers on my right hand. The enormity of the piano with my legs dangling over a proper piano stool was overwhelming because we had an old wooden stool at home on our old piano.But later we got a great adjustable piano stool as this becomes really important for your posture

Later on when I started my first music school in Woodridge QLD Australia the majority were Polynesians children and the group lessons were the best times I had teaching them after school. I was able to secure some old computers and purchase some software where they went through some musical theory whilst we had piano and vocal lessons going.

How to teach Piano to 5 year old |The same concept of fun was a Paramount as the students responded lots of games and cards picture board games and even bit of bulrush outside.

Most 5 year old Students experience sound before the symbol or name of the sound is even defined. After students discover what it feels like to play the sound and learning the technique needed to produce the sound, they then learn the symbol and finally the name for the sound. So I approach new concepts with most students (but especially young ones) with a sound-feel-symbol-name sequence.

Frances Clark teaching for early childhood piano are a great resource especially for older students.

Keyboard Musician for the Adult Beginner (Frances Clark Library Supplement)

Here is a complete repertoire and textbook for the older or adult beginner. Starting with material appropriate for the first lesson, it moves rapidly through discoveries, music and activities equivalent to The Music Tree and Levels 1 and 2. On completing the book, the student is ready for Level 3 of the Clark Library. The book provides quantities of music, all of it selected or composed to appeal to the older student — Studies (introducing each of 65 new subjects), Repertoire (155 solos and duets), Accompanying and Transposing (62 melodies to accompany and to transpose to all major and minor keys), Sight Reading (107 one-line pieces that review each of the new discoveries and teach sight reading skills). In addition, the 22 units in 208 pages include: Technical Exercises, Rhythm Exercises, Written Work and Improvising. A Glossary at the end defines all new signs and terms introduced throughout the book.

The Music Tree Activities Book: Time to Begin

Initially assessing their musical ability is the first step in identifying where to start with your students.

  • 2 black keys and 3 black keys can they see the pattern on the piano if not I use easy rote pieces around to help them navigate around the piano, such as those found in the wonderful Piano Safari and Roadtrip! books.
  • Can they hear the pitch
  • Can sing or vocalize what I sing
  • Finger movement

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GAMES

High or Low

Loud or Short

Same or different

Happy or sad

Funny

Sounds like

Tap me a note- Fingers 1 & 2 on the left hand and the right hand

copy me

Having fun and affirming without correcting them at this stage and then we may do abit of singing.

Some may have a perfect pitch others may not have it yet but having them sing along with me is important rather than the piano.

Remember Fun Appropriate and a Beaming Face when they leave is what we want.

Here we explore their first aural assesment and see whether as a teacher we can build our student aural skills.

Can they sing back the note and whether it is high or low .

You can use pitch awareness by asking them do they have a favorite song and if they are brave enough to sing abit for you.Watch there dixterity hand and finger movement at 5 some have a grip of a 7 year old and others are still grasping crayons in a fist shape.

This is why we tap it out. I get them tapping individual fingers on a table or closed piano lid. Call out “finger 2!” and demonstrate tapping this finger independently.

As with everything else here, this needs to be adapted to have a positive experience. Fingers 1 & 2 could be enough for the first day. Or, you might be able to utilise all the fingers, and specify which hand to use.

Hearing the pulse jumping marching and don’t worry about the rhythm but as 5 year olds we just to access there gross motor skills first.

Come back to piano and play game of navigate around

“Let’s play only white keys.”, or “Let’s use only three black key groups this time.” can prompt exploration and understanding of the keyboard geography.

There are definitely more things I’m paying attention to in my first interactions with a child. These are just the key musical abilities that I want to assess. The reason for choosing these particular ones is that they are the most common stumbling blocks for students this age.

Right now, all over the world, piano students are wasting precious practice time. And piano teachers are straining valuable vocal chords telling them to practice more. It’s time to reexamine this setup, and cure the underlying piano practice ailments.

“A must-read for every piano teacher, The Piano Practice Physician’s Handbook is full of practical advice you can start using with your students today! Follow the prescriptions and your studio will be full of musicians with healthy practice habits.”

Hi. Welcome to The Piano Podcast. I’m Mario Ajero.

In this video, I want to show some piano pieces that you could teach to young preschool children as young as age three to prepare them for traditional piano lessons.

I’m hoping this video is useful to both professional piano teachers as well as parents who just want to give their young children a head start on piano lessons.

One of the first activities that you can actually do at the keyboard is to teach your kids that the piano consists of two black keys and three black keys.

Can you play two black keys like this?

Once children can find the two black keys, you can do short rhythmic patterns alternating between the two black keys like this one.

I use braced second fingers like this because most kids around the age of three don’t have the individual finger control yet to use multiple fingers.
So don’t rush that part in these initial learning stages.

After they can repeat after you, make sure they can play in the different octaves of the keyboard.

This introduces them to transposing and establishes a physical and aural connection between the other parts of the keyboard.

After that, move on to the groups of three Black Keys you might want to start with just simple up and down patterns

But hot cross buns is probably the most accessible piece on three Black Keys as it has no it’s going down and groups of repeated notes going up

After they’ve mastered it on three Black Keys challenge them to move it on to other sets of three keys like be b,a,g right next to it

Transposing to other key areas reinforces the intervallic relationships between notes in music

Which is probably more important than learning the individual notes themselves

To other easy key areas are the notes E,D,C groups

and even the be excuse me d sharp C sharp B groups

Oh mary had a little lamb is another familiar tune that’s a little bit more complex to teach because it has more changes in direction than hot cross buns

Teach it in small phrases that the young student can master first and then piece it all together 4:51

Moving students to tunes that spanned more than just the three Black Keys is easy with tunes like the first part of Old MacDonald

From there you can move too familiar tunes that have jumps of like a fifth in it like twinkle twinkle little star

Let the child use both hands so that he or she can more easily find the jump like this

as you can tell i like to play a little confidence along with the young child

This acts as a motivator to have the child feel like he or she is part of a larger and fuller sounding piece of music

Also it helps the child get a stronger sense of pulse and rhythm they can simply be coral a conference that go back and forth between tonic dominant and subdominant harmonies

If the child has an older sibling that place piano then it’s a wonderful opportunity to put them together for duet playing

Such as this rendition of happy birthday performed by Olivia come accompanied by her brother neo

Parents who are interested in introducing these activities for their young children to start playing piano make it a regular part of their your family everyday activities

For example i started all my children with playing the piano a little bit after dinner each time and just became a regular occurrence something that was expected of the children

Try to always be encouraging and positive with your comments towards them and the attitude towards playing the piano

However try to resist the temptation to bribe them with external incentives or rewards anything like that they’re

The music itself should act as the incentive if they actually do well and succeed at it that’s going to be enough motivation for them to continue and excel at the piano playing and in future lessons

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The Piano Practice Physician’s Handbook

 

The Piano Practice Physician’s Handbook takes a fresh look at how piano teachers teach practice skills. These 32 piano student ailments and their cures open up new ways of thinking about piano practice problems.