If you are looking at introducing Piano to your children I have to share this great company that i came across last fall and my now 4 year old has been taking classes with since the fall. It is called Music for Young Children.
Last year I had downloaded some music for my car and as I am a Twilight fan of course some of the music from the movie Twilight made its way into my car. I know I have read a lot of mixed reviews about people who LOVE certain types of music and find it sad that some people are introduced to music by the movies. Personally I think opening your eyes to new music no matter how you found out about is a beautiful thing. Especially when this one song that was used in the movie from 1890's ended up being a frequent request.
Literally this past spring/summer my daughter (who was still 3) would get into the car and when the music would come on she would ask for the piano music. She also would ask questions like "Mommy, why is no one singing in the song" I would simply just explain that the music sounds pretty on its own that it does not need anyone singing. This continued all summer with her interest in it, so I asked her if she would like to learn to make music like that and she did.
So then I started searching for avenues on where to put her into classes. My husband and I do not play the piano and have taken no formal lessons with it ever. Sure I had a keyboard growing up, but never was interested on learning to play it like a professional. So I was searching for information on a topic I knew nothing about and had tons of questions.
Everything I was finding was saying that she was too young to put into piano and that the lesson structure as it would be one on one would be too difficult for a 3.5 year old to be in. I had music instructors saying if you push it on a child too young, they will loose interest and I was better to wait til she was 5 years old. With all this information it was looking as though we would have to wait 2 years until I could put her into any lessons and hope it would be something she would still be interested in.
Then I ended up getting an email for someone who was a piano teacher, but took the time to explain about how the piano classes are structured and that it likely would not be entertaining for her at this age though there are lessons out there for younger children that use colours and symbols to teach them how to play.
I have to say when I first heard about this I was a little skeptical. Really my daughter knew her letters and numbers and piano notes are letters. So I thought what good would using colours and symbols be?? I went to the website and read about the program called Music for Young Children and was pleasantly pleased. I ended up enrolling her and decided if she doesn't like it we can always take her out.
Our classes run once a week for one hour and the class consists of a music teacher, parent participation and there are other parents and students in the class as well. My daughter knows she has to have 5 happy practices in a week for a total of 15min in a day spread out or all at once. She has homework that is crafts some weeks and I can say she honestly loves doing it! Every Saturday morning she asks if she can go to piano before her dancing as she has so much fun with it. She has an hour of stories, songs and games and through this all is learning how to play the piano.
Music for Young Children started in Canada and is spreading through other countries and has been enriching children lives for 31 years. The teacher my daughter has use to teach music for the schools, but when the school systems started to turn their backs on music for children she retired. She has been teaching for 7 years now with Music for Young Children and even said at first she was skeptical, but its amazing how these young children learn from the program and love it.
If you are thinking of putting you child in some piano lessons I DEFINITELY would recommend checking out Music for Young Children! You will love it (and so will your children)
Images are owned by Music for Young Children and borrowed from their site to show samples of the characters children will use to learn the notes.