Why teach Piano:
Introducing your child to the beautiful world of music early on has many benefits for their growth. Research has shown that children who grow up learning instruments display better discipline, memory, attention, and technical skill than their peers. The Piano is an excellent choice for parents to start kids on due to its popularity and easy availability of lessons. The Piano serves as an excellent basis for all musicians to learn musicality basics such as scales, rhythm, and pitch. Many classical musicians get their start on the Piano, even if they switch to other instruments later. Piano skills can also transfer to other professions apart from being a pianist, such as a composer, vocal coach, or music therapist.
Other benefits of teaching piano include improved cognitive function, memory, coordination, and motor skills. It can also improve social skills as your child learns to bond with other students and their instructor and build self-confidence. With most other extracurricular currently off the table due to the COVID-19 pandemic, now is a great time to look into starting your kid onto an instrument. Whether your child is doing online private high school or just entering kindergarten, here are some great ways to get them started on their musical journey.
Did you know the famed composer Mozart started playing the piano at the age of 3? While not everyone is prodigious, most music teachers recommend starting children in piano lessons in elementary school, usually between 6 and 9. This is advantageous because children at this age are known to develop motor and memory-based skills faster, and a young child can operate a piano with some assistance from a teacher. At this age, your child will typically only learn basics, such as the musical alphabet, proper sitting posture, how to press down on a key, and beginner finger placements. If your child is learning at an older age, this doesn’t mean they lack potential. Older students benefit from larger hand spans, better focus, and grasp certain musical concepts faster.
2-Make It Fun:
The best way to ensure your child sticks with Piano is to make it an enjoyable experience for them to learn. Please encourage your child to play and discover new sounds on their own and offer special perks for every new achievement. Play games such as “Guess the note” or “Rhythm Clap” encourage learning and provide a more fun, interactive way of playing. Piano Marvel, among other online piano games and apps, can help teach your child notes and placements (make sure to practice these on an actual instrument).
3-Get creative with tools:
Buying a grand piano right off the bat when your child starts lessons may not be the best idea or even financially feasible for most families. Instead, get creative with more affordable alternatives that let your child practice at home. As mentioned in the previous point, Piano Marvel’s iPhone app helps your child learn basic piano skills through playing easy songs with their thumbs. PM is also available on iPad, PC, and Mac. The PM Android and Chromebook apps are coming soon! These devices work with a basic keyboard or a digital piano. Soon, microphone assessment will be a new feature of PM, and you will be able to use the assessment feature on acoustic pianos. Additionally, there are piano mats that unroll to support a child practicing finger placement. Electronic keyboard mats can be plugged into a computer and produce sounds similar to a real instrument while practicing. Once your child has learned more, you can look into purchasing an electric keyboard for practice and an adjustable piano bench. Keep an eye out on local swap meets for any full-size pianos that people are maybe donating. Most donated pianos will require some tuning or repair but can still be cheaper than a brand new instrument. You can also see whether your local community center has music rooms that can be booked for practice sessions.
4-Establish a routine:
One of the most complex parts of teaching a child an instrument is keeping them interested. Mastery over any device requires dedication and consistent practice, and this can be hard to instill in a young child once the novelty of learning a new instrument has worn off. The best way to ensure your child keeps up with practice is to establish a routine as soon as they start learning. Start small if your child is under the age of 8, making 15-20 minutes of supervised practice mandatory every day and gradually increasing the amount of time they spend as they get older and more skilled. Try not to force them or be overbearing, as this can make your child dislike the Piano.
5-Find the right mentor:
If you don’t play the Piano or have limited skills, it may be worthwhile to look into finding a teacher for your child. The right mentor can not only help your child grasp the finer physicalities of Piano, such as posture and finger flexibility, but they also serve to keep a learner on track, provide accountability and provide a personalized approach to your child’s lessons. The right mentor can not only instill a love for the Piano in your child but a strong sense of discipline and passion and bring out the best in them. Try out a few different classes to see with which teacher your child connects.