Teaching piano to very young children can be a challenge. However, I actually enjoy it because it keeps me on my toes and I like the variety. I, myself started piano lessons at a very young age, 4 years old, and this encouraged my lifelong pursuit of the arts. Keeping this in mind, I want to provide this same opportunity for others. With little ones, I try to make the lessons fun and interactive. My approach includes, games, manipulatives, and using lots of visuals. Here is a list of some of what I do when I'm teaching piano to very young children:
1. Keep it moving! I like to change activities every few minutes to help keep their interest.
2. Smiling. This is so simple but I think that reassurance helps with everyone, especially young children.
3. Repetition, doing a task a few times, but not to the point where it gets annoying and boring for them.
4. I give them one-step directions. For example, I would say, "Hold your hand up." Then I would wait until they held their hand up, then give them the next direction, such as, "Point to your second finger." As opposed to, "Hold your hand up, point to your second finger," and not waiting until they did the first direction.
5. Since I'm currently teaching only online at this moment, I have had to adapt my music games so they are computer-friendly. Meaning they are large and visible.
6. It is also helpful when their parents sit with them during the lesson.
7. Going over familiar routines that we did before the online lessons, such as exercises, scales, etc.
8. Encouraging statements like, "Way to go!" "You did it!" "You can do it, try it again."
9. Never underestimate the power of a sticker! I can't explain it, but little kids love stickers!