Why is it important for my 4 – 5 year old to begin piano?
The potential to achieve in music is called music aptitude. Music aptitude is developmental until age nine when it stabilizes. A rich and appropriate musical environment for young children that includes purposeful singing, chanting, body movement, and rhythm and tonal pattern acculturation influences a child’s potential to learn music. Guided improvisation and creativity activities affect music aptitude.
~Music Moves for Piano
Patterning is the shared language of music and math. To understand
either discipline is contingent on one’s ability to understand patterning. In music, recognizing, constructing, and predicting patterns are the fundamental skills necessary for understanding melody and rhythm… the basis of music. If math is the “science of patterns”, then music is the “art of patterns.”
~WunderKeys for Preschoolers
- Build rhythmic awareness
- Engage in body movement activities
- Realize large-motor arm movement and freedom in the joints
- Improve fine motor control in little fingers
- Learn how to approach the keyboard physically
- Gain keyboard and aural awareness through exploration
- Recognize, construct, and predict patterns
- Decipher high/low, long/short, same/different
- Build a music vocabulary and develop audiation skills, or the ability to “think” music
- Sing in tune and sing tonal patterns
- Become sensitive to the expressive qualities of music
At this age, the lesson will not feel like a “traditional” piano lesson. Music notation, note names, music staff, finger numbers, and other musical terminology are not essential at this age and can actually distract from students learning how to audiate sounds. The ability to learn a “prepared” piece varies with age and maturation. All of these things will be incorporated into the student’s musical experience in time. Improvisation (spontaneously making music) will be highly encouraged.
The developmental abilities of 3-5 year olds are very different than that of 6 year olds and older…for which most other piano programs are created. There are many different concepts that your preschool student needs to grasp before jumping into a “traditional” piano piece. Therefore, our [WunderKeys] preschool piano lessons are spent exploring the piano in ways in which they are capable. All lessons are geared towards having them understand everything they will need to know before being able to read notated music. It is the perfect way to lead into a mainstream book series…and a life of musical enjoyment.
~Andrea and Trevor Dow, creator, WunderKeys Piano for Preschoolers
Points to note
- There will be a lot of repetition of concepts and activities
- Students will spend more time away from the keyboard than at the keyboard
- Standing is permitted as well as walking from one end of the keyboard to the other to explore
- Students will be taught “how a piece goes” along with its playing “location” rather than music notation and reading
- “Perfect performance” is a long-term goal
- Know that sometimes children often are unresponsive in class and participate more freely at home between classes – this is normal
- Do not force them child to participate, they will participate when they are ready
- Do not compare your child’s accomplishments with another’s; children develop at different rates
- Help the student do their weekly “At Home” page in the WunderKeys book
- Avoid the word “practice” – tell your student it’s time to “play” at the piano
- View this time as bonding on the bench with your child, sharing in the fun of music
…keeps [the student] coming back for more
I love that you’re able to get a 5/6 year old little boy to pay attention throughout his entire lesson by the many different activities you have him do and the types of music you have him learn keeps him coming back for more. So happy that we have you as his teacher.
-C. Hughes, Bluffton