Is Your Toddler/Pre-Schooler Ready For Music Lessons?

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My son with his first piano book! He was so proud of it that he insisted on bringing it to Grandpa & Grandma’s house to show them!

This is my son.  Isn’t he cute?  My husband and I are both professional musicians with music degrees so we naturally hoped our kid would be into music and did everything in our means to make music appreciation and learning available to him.  We expose him to everything from Mozart to Little Richard to The Killers.  He’s got a drum kit, a keyboard and a little guitar (these were all gifts from other people, actually).  We let him play our own instruments (violin, mandolin, guitar, etc) with assistance.  Thankfully, he LOVES music.  Big sigh of relief!!!

His favorite song right now is “Roar” by Katy Perry to which he knows most of the words and he expresses his love for the song by krumping (He doesn’t know that it’s is not stylistically fitting and yes, he has seen part of Rize… no regrets there).  If you ask him, he’ll say his favorite instrument is the piano but a few months ago it was the drums, so he’s still deciding.

(This video was taken when he was 1 and drums were still his favorite instrument!)

He’s only 2 but I’ve determined that he’s ready for piano lessons!  I’ve been teaching young children music lessons since 2002 so by now, I know the signs.

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So your child wants to quit music lessons?

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Is every lesson day a struggle?  Not to mention practice… forget that!  If your kid wants to throw in the towel on music lessons here are a few things to consider or try:

1.  Change up the repertoire!

Does your child sing when they think no one is listening? Do they listen to any music regularly on their iPod/iTouch/etc?  What music do they ask you to play on the radio in the car?  Whatever music excites your child, try that first!   If your child doesn’t seem to have a musical preference then check out my list of recommendations in my next post “45 Modern Pop/Rock Songs for Piano” (I’ll do a guitar list soon)!  Ask your child’s teacher to pick a good match and CRANK UP the distortion on the amp or play the piano with gusto!  And remember, you PAY the teacher!  The teacher wants to keep their student base… so don’t be afraid to be truthful with them about your child’s attitude toward lessons (though I’m sure they’ve probably noticed 😉 )!

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PRACTICING 101: PRODUCT REVIEW “SHHHH… Your Piano Teacher Thinks This Is Practice” (PART 3 of 3)

Before I even purchased “SHHHH… Your Piano Teacher Thinks This Is Practice” I knew it was going to be a wonderful resource. I saw the 3 sample pages and thought, “this husband/wife combo is brilliant!”

This book truly makes practicing fun for students! I’ve been testing it out on my students during their lessons and the results are remarkable! THE KIDS LOVE IT! Which means… they’ll practice because they want to (there’s almost nothing better than that for a teacher)!

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PRACTICING 101: LESSON OLYMPICS (PART 2 of 3)

In my last post I showed you the treasure chest that I use with my students for extrinsic motivation.  This time I’m letting you in on an experiment that I’m implementing in September.  After the Summer Olympics and all of the excitement that comes with it, I decided to commence Lesson Olympics.

From September 1 through December 14, my students will be competing for Gold, Silver and Bronze medals (you can buy them at oriental trading.com here – You can even get them personalized!).  The following activities earn the student points: (more…)

PRACTICING 101: TREASURE CHESTS AND PRACTICE CHARTS (PART 1 OF 3)

my treasure chest:

Once upon a time my husband and I were at a garage sale when he saw this thing and exclaimed, “We’ve got to buy this!”

And I said, “No, it’s ugly!”

To which he replied, “We’re going to need this for something someday.  And it’s really cool!”

Well, now it’s the treasure chest that I bring to lessons and  when he says we should buy something dumb, I go along with it because he’s right a lot of the time (don’t tell him I said that ;)). (more…)