Recently I have become really interested in early childhood music education. In the past I would always say that students definitely need to be at least five years old to take lessons. And if you're speaking in terms of traditional sit on the bench and learn piano lessons, I still believe that is true. But, as the mother of a bright little two-year-old who loves music, the wheels in my brain have really been turning about this subject. I am excited that we will be discussing this topic a lot this week!
My son loves music. He loves to dance around the room when we play the piano, and particularly when my husband plays fast, exciting pieces like the 3rd movement of Moonlight Sonata or Maple Leaf Rag. I have found that he absolutely loves to learn about music and to have "piano lessons" with me. I have also learned the importance of keeping it fun and exciting - I would never force him to play the piano, 95% of the time it is he who comes to me, wanting to play the piano. In fact, he has learned his first little piece and loves to play it! How cute is that.
I recently found out about a new website all about preschool music, and they have some really wonderful video interviews where they discuss preschool music - check it out! These are so informative, and I particularly enjoyed the video about research showing the benefits of music to preschoolers.
I really do feel that children who have exposure to music at an early age can really learn a lot, and that it will have far-reaching positive effects in their development. In the future I would love to teach preschool music classes. I know of many readers who have wonderful piano blogs who have mentioned "pre-piano camps" for young children - what a great thing!
I have actually started teaching "piano lessons" to a couple of preschool-aged students. I put piano lessons in quotations because it is so different than any piano lessons I have taught in the past! "Lessons" are super short - 15 minutes. We hardly even sit at the piano bench. We sit on the floor and play games, we tell stories, we listen to music, we play and improvise on the piano - and the students have such fun, while learning some great foundational concepts about music and the piano. I will probably be sharing some of the games I have been using, so stay tuned! In the meantime - for those of you readers who teach preschool music of some type, what are some things you have learned about teaching this age group? What are some ways you have found to teach music in a fun way?