Updated: Mar 2
Has a parent ever came to you with a very young student who is very excited to learn? Many teachers face a problem figuring out what they should teach a child as young 3 years old (or 4 or 5). Here are some ideas that you can teach those young kids for their first few months of lessons.
1) Groups of Black Keys
Teach your youngster the groups of two and three black keys. Having them identify this will help them with future music. You can teach this with Black Key Bingo or the Dogs and Gates game by Colourful Keys.
2) High vs Low
Help show your preschooler the difference between high notes and low notes. I like to use the High or Low game from The Playful Piano. You have your student pick out a card that shows something that is high or low. Have your student identify whether it is high or low and play a note that matches the high or low card.
What better way to have your student experiment with the piano than improvisation? Show them how they can improvise with the groups of two and three black keys and that they can use soft and loud sounds. A great improvisation piece you can use is Inspiration because it has the teacher part where the student improvises with.
4) Basic Rhythms
Show your student the different basic rhythms (quarter, half, dotted half, and whole note). You can first teach just the quarter note and have them identify them compared to the other rhythms. You can have them search for quarter notes in the room in a game called Quarter Note Hunt or have them create the rhythms with play dough.
5) Finger Numbers
Teach your students their finger numbers along with the left vs right hand. You can have them trace their hands on construction paper and label their finger numbers.
6) Basic Songs
It can be tricky to find a good method that suits a 3-5 year old child. Once your student feels very comfortable with their finger numbers, introduce them to some basic songs that uses finger numbers. Pre-Reading Made FUN is a great starter book for young students. They show pictures of a group of two or three black keys and a finger number to have the student play.
7) The Music Alphabet
Have your student learn the music alphabet with games, duets, and improvisation. You can use pebbles (from the Dollar Store) or animal erasers (from Amazon or Target) to help the students identify the keys on the piano. Alphabet Party is the perfect resource for students learning the music alphabet. It has practice pieces, improvisation, and worksheets designed for the first few months of lessons. Below is a piece from the book called Bedtime designed for young students to learn how to create a steady beat. Click here to learn more about Alphabet Party.