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Need help with 5 year old (Read 2414 times)

Offline green

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Need help with 5 year old
« on: June 04, 2013, 06:56:24 AM »
I have a 5 year old just finished book 1 Little Mozarts book. She is not very interested in learning piano, that maybe is the biggest problem. She is introvert, in her own world. The thing that has helped the most is having her choose a stuffed animal(s) to help us through the lesson - we animate them and they become mediaries between everything we do. We have them ask questions and listen etc.

Lot of trouble connecting concepts from the book/coloring with the piano. Notes - we just put sticker note names on the keyboard, that helps. Fingering, she just uses what ever fingering she wants, can't get her to use whats on the page. We sing the songs, dont need to clap usually, she can feel the music easily enough from listening - sense of pulse is good. The story in the books sort of helps create continuity, she latches on to the characters and we talk about what they are doing, there names etc - narrative stuff the connects her world to music.

It feels though like we waste a lot of time, and her mother expressed concern that maybe we should stop for a while until she is ready to come back. My advice was to persevere (until the end of level 2, green books), and the it is harder to start again if you stop when things were not entirely positive for her.

Have another student same age same book who has no problem with these things so trying to figure out strategies to work with her learning style.

She can sit and play random notes on the piano while she 'speaks' a story, she makes it up on the moment, and she can go on and on and on. Its quite odd, but interesting.

The stuffed animal thing has helped the most, and that is because I am entering her world on her terms (in a sense), that seems to be key here, there is a lot of resistance to anything new.  Any other ideas?

Offline bronnestam

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Re: Need help with 5 year old
«Reply #1 on: June 04, 2013, 08:54:37 AM »
Stop with the lessons. She is not ready for this, and my best recommendation is that you finish this in a positive way, so that she can leave in a positive mood, not believing she has "failed".

Most problems arise when we try to force the children to be something they are not, hence not allowing them to develop in their own way, because we want everyone to be the same and think that DIFFERENT = WRONG.


Offline asiantraveller101

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Re: Need help with 5 year old
«Reply #2 on: June 04, 2013, 03:05:17 PM »
I think she is just not ready yet.There is little benefit for you to push her and yourself. Please allow her to stop. As Bronnestam says, let her have a positive outcome, in the event that she may want to resume later.

Offline bernadette60614

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Re: Need help with 5 year old
«Reply #3 on: June 05, 2013, 04:51:37 PM »
As a parent, my observation is that kids learn at their own pace and their own way and you really can't predict what part of the information you are teaching "reaches" them immediately.

I think I'd drop the expectations and work with encouraging a love of music.

Our son, e.g., was not an eager young recorder player, but I just made a deal with him:  10 minutes of recorder practice a day (we set a timer) and he could chose where we went to dinner on Friday night after I picked him up from school.  I think you as a teacher can be as creative as Da Vinci, but unless there is a daily practice routine at home (and perhaps a little reward each week), it will be uphill.

A few years later, and the kid who was so resistant to music loves going to the symphony and is doing his own choreography for The Nutcracker.

 

Offline green

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Re: Need help with 5 year old
«Reply #4 on: June 05, 2013, 09:59:28 PM »
I am for what ever reason inclined to agree with bernadette, what ever love I can help to bring to her life for music will end if I simply say 'she's not ready'. While that may be so, she has exhibited intelligent and interesting musical behavior which I have never seen before. She has a lot of resistance, but yes the angle I took with the parents is that we have to drop the expectations and try to be aware that we have no idea what is reaching her, and that lets just watch and see what happens. She has an older sister, 7, who is the opposite, extroverted and making quite good progress.

I would like to conjure up a few more 'fun' activities if anyone has ideas. Games that get her playing in what ever small way.

Offline michaelpianist

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Re: Need help with 5 year old
«Reply #5 on: June 11, 2013, 12:00:20 PM »
I have a 5 year old just finished book 1 Little Mozarts book. She is not very interested in learning piano, that maybe is the biggest problem. She is introvert, in her own world. The thing that has helped the most is having her choose a stuffed animal(s) to help us through the lesson - we animate them and they become mediaries between everything we do. We have them ask questions and listen etc.

Lot of trouble connecting concepts from the book/coloring with the piano. Notes - we just put sticker note names on the keyboard, that helps. Fingering, she just uses what ever fingering she wants, can't get her to use whats on the page. We sing the songs, dont need to clap usually, she can feel the music easily enough from listening - sense of pulse is good. The story in the books sort of helps create continuity, she latches on to the characters and we talk about what they are doing, there names etc - narrative stuff the connects her world to music.

It feels though like we waste a lot of time, and her mother expressed concern that maybe we should stop for a while until she is ready to come back. My advice was to persevere (until the end of level 2, green books), and the it is harder to start again if you stop when things were not entirely positive for her.

Have another student same age same book who has no problem with these things so trying to figure out strategies to work with her learning style.

She can sit and play random notes on the piano while she 'speaks' a story, she makes it up on the moment, and she can go on and on and on. Its quite odd, but interesting.

The stuffed animal thing has helped the most, and that is because I am entering her world on her terms (in a sense), that seems to be key here, there is a lot of resistance to anything new.  Any other ideas?

I think the fact that she likes to make "random notes" on the piano means that she has interest in music. I think that what you mean by "she's not interested in learning piano" is that she doesn't enjoy (or is impatient with) learning the piano's basic foundation rules. In my opinion, this is normal with every piano student when they begin their studies, me included, so don't push her too hard. Let her take it slowly & relax and enjoy the fun process of learning the piano. Just my opinion :)

Michael

Offline elizasays

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Re: Need help with 5 year old
«Reply #6 on: December 28, 2013, 06:10:19 PM »
I had a 5 & 1/2 year old who came to me because his mother was keen on him learning the piano, but he had lost interest in playing the piano, after learning for sometime in a group piano class. He came to me saying that he did not want to play the piano, so i asked him if he was willing to sing, dance and play musical games with me and he said he was. His mother was ok with this, as long as it kept him in touch with music.

We played musical games, where he would look at the note C for example in a book, and then run to the piano and find all the C's, we sang, we clapped.

We played many different kinds of musical games, all of which involved him running to the piano from a distance, finding the keys I asked him to and running back. When he did well he got a point, and when he played wrong I got a point - we would check who won at the end of class.

I gradually started introducing piano playing into the class.

Today, he comes into class wanting to play the piano and tells me he loves playing the piano. He practises regularly and is very attentive and interested in class.

I would recommend continuing class, with musical games, until the child develops and interest in the piano
Anitaelise

Offline love_that_tune

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Re: Need help with 5 year old
«Reply #7 on: January 27, 2014, 11:55:54 PM »
I tell parents that the first few months of piano lessons may look very much like we are just "playing" and having fun.  THE most important thing is the experience of making sounds falls upon the mind of the student like gentle rain.  One "game" little kids love is to make up a piece about heir day, or a thunder storm or whatever they choose.  Low rumbling notes for trouble.  I make up silly lyrics about them. 

I have this little trick I use when I teach them the simplest things.  I ask them to close their eyes and rub them and erase everything I just told them.  Then I facetiously ask them to show me that it worked, that they "forgot".  Works every time.  It erases a lot of fear.

Usually when a child resists, it is some part of the parent' anxiety or expectations that has gotten in the way.

FYI, I ask the parents when first introduced whose idea it was to have lessons.  Coercing music is pretty much a waste of time.




Offline loydb

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Re: Need help with 5 year old
«Reply #8 on: January 28, 2014, 01:40:10 PM »
It sounds like they like music, and are creative, so make it about music/songwriting, not piano.

e.g. Today you're going to make up a song using only the black keys! Next week, pick two chords for them to learn, and make up a song about the stuffed animal using those two chords. Etc.