🎶 Pre-K Piano Tips 🎶
"Practice makes perfect," right? Wrong! Practice makes permanent. Here are some of my favorite practices to make "permanent!"
- To focus their mind, focus their body; Instruct their arms, hands, and fingers. Then, when something doesn't work, you can blame the finger instead of the person.
- Teach with your gestures and inflection. As an experiment, you could teach a whole session in "Meow" without words at all. (Say "meow" for anything you might normally say! Kids LOVE it!)
- Use student's names as often and as musically as possible. Sing their name in the "How Are You?" intro, sing it in the "Copying Game" warm-up, and sing it to the rhythm whenever you call on students to volunteer! Put Name tags on students unless names are known from memory!
- When each student has their own keyboard, keep keyboard volumes low so its sound is heard mostly by its player. When it's their turn to volunteer, they can make it LOUD for all to hear!
- Arrange students youngest to oldest by birth-month. Teach your youngest students first. If they are successful, all others will follow.
- Preschoolers are still learning labels for things like "left and right hand," "finger," letters "ABCDEFG," and numbers "12345." Assume they still need to learn each of these labels, and help them feel good about what they DO already know by verbally and physically recognizing each success!
- "High Fives" are great physical recognition. If the success was using 1, 2, or 3 fingers in a song, try "high 1's, 2's, or 3's!"
- Plan 3-minutes at a time: 3 minutes for Chit-Chat, 3 minutes for Copying Game as a group, 3 minutes for Copying Game volunteers, 3 minutes per chunk of a song, and 3 minutes to end class. By moving in 3-minute chunks, you'll keep and grow their attention span! 4 minutes without a substantial change is the danger zone!
- Expect 15-20 minutes of focus the first 4-6 sessions, then gradually increase to 22, 25, 30-minute sessions, etc. (20 minutes to 22 minutes is a 10% increase!)
- Be "Playful!" Have fun, and they'll have fun, too! Music, done right, is a full-body and full-mind experience! Take them to the land of music! There's nowhere else like it!