Early Childhood Music, Group Classes, Printables

Freebie: Signs for Beginner Piano

Over the last few months, I’ve created a collection of signs to use with my Piano Readiness and Homeschool Music classes:

I use them during class when I am teaching or reviewing concepts.  They can be useful for games too.  For example, I like to have students hold up or point to the correct symbol while I improvise high/low or loud/soft music on the piano.  I printed them on cardstock and laminated them to make them more durable.

There are other ways to use these signs:  They can be printed for beginner private students to keep as a reference.  Or, they can be hung up in on the wall in your studio.

You can download the pdf by visiting the Printables > Other Resources page and scrolling down to the S’s for “Signs for Beginner Piano.”  I hope you can find some way to use these with your students!

Early Childhood Music, improving as a teacher, Professional Development, Teaching Piano

9 Tips for Teaching Piano To Young Ages

As piano teachers, we wear many hats.  School teachers often teach only one age group, or a few age groups.  Piano teachers are usually expected to be able to teach from age 5 to 95!  But as we all know, teaching a 5-year-old is much different from teaching a 15-year-old, or a 55-year-old.  :)

In recently thinking about this challenge of being able to effectively teach various age levels and maturities, I decided to make a list of some of the things I’ve learned over the past few years about teaching young ages — I’m thinking, ages 6 and under.  I learned some of these things from an Early Childhood Music course I took during grad school and various piano pedagogy courses — but I learned many of these things purely from experience.  Here goes:

  1. Don’t ask questions that you don’t really want answers to.  Examples: “Did you like that?” or “Do you want to try it on your own now?”  Sometimes if given the option to opt out of something, children will say “no” simply because you’ve given them a choice.  :)  It’s better to make statements.
  2. Give them time to think.  When you ask a question, wait for them to process and compose a response.  Sometimes we ask questions and then blow right on without getting an answer.  Young children need this think time.  If you don’t really want to wait for an answer, then don’t ask the question in the first place.  Continue reading “9 Tips for Teaching Piano To Young Ages”
Conferences, Early Childhood Music, Group Classes, Music Camps, Resources

MiniMusic Kit for Early Childhood Music Classes

In my last post, I mentioned the MiniMusic kit by Paula Manwaring (Kjos Publishing) that I purchased while I was at the NCKP conference.  The photos and description of this curriculum on the Kjos Publishing website do not do it justice!  So I decided to show you some photos I took myself.  I think many of the materials included in the kit are great resources for group lessons and games with students of ANY age.

Here’s a list of what is included:  Continue reading “MiniMusic Kit for Early Childhood Music Classes”

Early Childhood Music, Games, Group Classes

A-G Animals for Young Beginners

Happy 4th of July!  Today, America celebrates Independence Day.  My parents have come over to visit us and see our new place, and we have a fun day of activities planned.  :)

My husband and I are still exploring our new town and figuring out where things are.  It’s kind of fun!!  :)  Last week, I visited the local Goodwill store and found a bunch of Beanie Babies in really good condition for just 50 cents each.  I’m such a sucker for thrift stores and consignment shops!  I managed to find an animal for each letter of the musical alphabet except for “F”…I guess I need to find a frog, perhaps?!  :)

You’ll notice I have more than one beanie animal for “C”.  I simply couldn’t make up my mind.

Once I find that elusive frog for “F”, then I just need to get a floor staff!  I have a few ideas for making a floor staff myself.  We’ll see what happens during the upcoming weeks/months.  I can’t wait to plan some games for my young beginner students using these furry friends.  :)