Piano Lessons For Children/Teens
Trial lessons can begin at 30-mins and will graduate to regular 45-mins as soon as the routine has been established. Lessons are offered in 45-mins or one-hour each week.
We start every lesson by warming up with finger dexterity exercises. For beginners, we focus on the basic concepts of rhythm, consistent tempo, proper physical posture of the body and fingers, as well as technique.
I introduce note-reading using the Suzuki method of learning by rote along-side a theory book. With this joined style of teaching, students get the satisfaction of being able to play music quickly and also learn note-reading. As children being children, they start by being very excited to sit by the piano, only to be bored by the single notes they have to learn to read before they are allowed to play in the traditional way. My mixed method keeps the younger students interested, and it motivates them to practice more often.
I agree with Suzuki that learning to play the piano is like learning a new language. Children do not learn the ABC's before they can talk, nor read before talking. In playing the piano, we introduce the music by rote, the student repeats it. This technique also increases their memory capability, and the more they do it, the easier it will be for them to retain information, which is very beneficial to their further studies in life.
Like any new skill, it will take a while for children to show improvement/results that adults can see in playing the piano (greatly co-related to their practice time, too). I feel disappointed when parents give up the lessons slightly a bit too soon before they could see the result of their child's hardwork. Adults focus a lot on the end result, but young children often revel in the process of it all.
For parents of young children taking piano lessons, I would like you to understand the position your child is in. When playing music, your child has to learn a great deal of coordination. There is the left and right hand which should work together, yet also individually independent, and each of the ten fingers has to be independent as well, with each finger having it's own private "landing spot" on the piano. It is then controlled by the brain to say which fingers go where, but not until the eyes read the music notes on the page. The eyes while reading the music notes, not only have to read what kind of note it is, but also have to read how long to hold the note, and its relation to the notes around it. All this happens before one finger strikes the key. It is not a simple feat!
Perhaps understanding how playing the piano works would increase your appreciation of the effort your child puts into his/her work in the studio. I will definitely be there to guide them through with patience and gentle coaching. If you have a young child, your role and commitment to the music study is very important as well. They will need encouragement and support while practicing what they have learned at the lesson. With this trifecta of the teacher - the parent - and the student working together, the child will undoubtedly have a very positive music-learning experience. TEAMWORK between the parent/guardian - teacher - and student is the key.
I understand that helping a child practice at home might be challenging for parents. Please reach out to me if this is becoming a problem at home before it gets severe. I am reachable through the Student Portal on my website at any time, and will respond with whatever help you may need.
For young children, theory will be taught through games so it will create a deeper impact. Science has shown that children learn best, and retain information better when they are having fun.
Materials used: Suzuki Piano Series and CD, Notespeller Series, A Dozen A Day, Master Theory, Michael Aaron Theory Books, various other song repertoire tailored to student's ability and interest.
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I look forward to beginning this wonderful music journey with you and your family!