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#51692 - 02/04/11 12:34 PM Piano for a 4-year-old
keynote88 Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 06/30/03
Posts: 328
Hi, everyone. I've been teaching piano since 2001. My daughter who will be 4 this summer, would like to learn the piano. I've taught young beginners (age 5 & 6) using "My First Piano Adventure" (which I LOVE!), but realize that this would be too difficult for my daughter right now. She's not ready for MFPA yet.

Can anyone suggest a method book to use as preparation for MFPA? Something to give her a little exposure, but that doesn't move too quickly. She can't read or write (letters/numbers) yet, but enjoys singing, can color in the lines, recognizes the alphabet, can count to 10, and has a good memory. Any ideas? I've heard of "Sing & Play", but haven't looked at the books / materials. Any advice would be appreciated! I'm hoping the Fabers produce a preschool method soon!

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#51693 - 02/04/11 01:36 PM Re: Piano for a 4-year-old [Re: keynote88]
Stanny Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 05/26/07
Posts: 712
You might go without method books until she is ready for MFPA. There are some good ideas here http://users.datarealm.com/marbeth/pedagogical_guidelines.html

There is also a Bastien method advertised for the four year old called Piano Party, but I've never used it myself.

I have a friend who teaches Orff music to 3 and 4 year olds. I've had great success with them in piano after they take her classes.
_________________________
~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
MTNA Member
www.summitpiano.com

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#51694 - 02/04/11 02:19 PM Re: Piano for a 4-year-old [Re: Stanny]
MelodyT Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 07/20/08
Posts: 105
Loc: Georgia
My son is 3, so I'm really interested in everyone's response in this thread.

My son loves when we pull this book/CD out: Musical Improvisation for Children by Kanack. The author recorded her own compositions to describe a "thunderstorm," "fairies," or an "elephant at the circus." She suggests that children ages 2-5 listen to the music, dance, draw, and talk about it to prepare. Then they add their own music like a duet with the recording. There are simple instructions to go along with each of the 27 tracks.

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#51696 - 02/04/11 02:30 PM Re: Piano for a 4-year-old [Re: MelodyT]
SillyString Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 08/03/10
Posts: 276
Loc: Washington State
The Pianimals website has a couple of sample pages you can look at to see if it's close to what you're looking for.

Wouldn't group classes be more fun for this age? Something with lots of bouncing, wiggling, dancing and maybe drums, bells and noisy things?

You could always sing and play nursery songs with her and give her things to bang or shake at certain points.

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#51697 - 02/04/11 02:44 PM Re: Piano for a 4-year-old [Re: SillyString]
alidoremi Online   content
Star Member

Registered: 03/11/02
Posts: 2118
Loc: California
I would look for a group music & movement type program for this age. My recommendations would be:

Harmony Road Music Course ( www.harmonyroadmusic.com )
Yamaha ( http://usa.yamaha.com/music_education/ )
Music For Young Children ( www.myc.com )

These programs start at 2 years or so, with singing, playing w/rhythm instruments, finger games, moving (hopping, stomping, marching), quiet songs, etc... The great thing about the programs above is that they also incorporate piano/keyboard activities, so kids are learning about black/white keys, highs/lows, 2 and 3 black key sets, and eventually, the actual notes on the piano (minus piano fingering at this age).

I use the HR program and teach several classes of 3 and 4 year olds. The 4 year old course is called 'Music in Me' and is a piano readiness course that includes the same activities as above, and also a book, workbook, cd. When they complete that course, they move into group piano class at about age 4 1/2-5. I currently have about 18 kids that started last September in group piano classes, having gone through the music/movement courses from about 18m on. They are awesome students and a great age to teach.

Check and see if a location is close to you.

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#51699 - 02/04/11 03:33 PM Re: Piano for a 4-year-old [Re: alidoremi]
Robin Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 41
What about Kinderbach at home? www.kinderbach.com/atHome
It's a video course or looks like you could use it online.

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#51832 - 02/10/11 09:23 PM Re: Piano for a 4-year-old [Re: keynote88]
Lilla Offline
Star Member

Registered: 10/30/00
Posts: 1572
Loc: Chicago
Definitely Sing & Play - take a look at the materials. Activities such as finding magazine pictures with sounds to experiment with, nice easy to use workbook pages to help with alphbet and numbers, very simple songs - it's always my choice for my earliest beginners.

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#52014 - 02/24/11 09:15 PM Re: Piano for a 4-year-old [Re: Stanny]
Joyful Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 02/03/09
Posts: 713
Loc: Southern Ontario, Canada
Stanny - that website you mentioned is great! I'm getting some helpful tips from it - thanks!

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#52015 - 02/24/11 09:36 PM Re: Piano for a 4-year-old [Re: keynote88]
Q88keys Offline
Star Member

Registered: 11/19/05
Posts: 1057
Loc: Minnesota
I bought a couple of copies of this curriculum at the MTNA Convention last year Pianokids . I've used it with a 4 year old before. The interesting thing about this curriculum is that it starts with notes on the staff, no pre-reading. I really like this idea. There is a lot of review in this course. My student was already loving My First PA, so I didn't use it exclusively, but as a supplement.
_________________________
http://maplegrovepianostudio.com

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#52024 - 02/25/11 01:40 PM Re: Piano for a 4-year-old [Re: Q88keys]
keynote88 Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 06/30/03
Posts: 328
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I appreciate it!

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