Monday, October 3, 2011

Learning To Play Piano Book for the Very Young Review: A MUST for Teaching A Preschooler!

There are a lot of changes going on around here! From moving to a new state, starting a new school, moving into a new house, and getting a new piano! The kids were so excited when we "inherited" an antique piano from a friend that dates back to 1900.  Well, we got it all cleaned up, tuned, and the kids were ready to go...but we didn't know where to start.  Sure, I had taken years of piano lessons back when I was a kid, but I do not remember much now, let alone how to teach a 3 and 4 year old!

The Learning To Play Piano Book for the Very Young came to me at precisely the right time.  This fantastic book written by Debbie Cavalier (of Debbie and Friends) is the perfect tool for teaching a 3, 4, or 5 year old how to play the piano, and why shouldn't it be given Cavalier's background as the Dean at Berklee College of Music and one of the top children's music artists in the nation.

The 24-page book is a steal at $9.95 and comes with a pull-out Keyboard Tent that you place on your piano (or keyboard) that fits right over the black keys!  It is constructed of thicker gauge paper, which I liked, and it did stand up to a beating from LaLa (3 years old) who as it turns out was too hyper to follow the lessons.

LoLo (age 4.5) did an amazing job with these lessons, and below is a list of the features that got him from zero knowledge of the piano (except that it was fun to bang on), to playing songs within 15 minutes! Seriously!
  • The Keyboard Tent idea is fantastic.  It lines up correctly with C and goes up from there.
  • The notes (A, B, C, D, E, F, G) are correlated to a picture which starts with the letter (ex: A for apple).  This concept really helped LoLo learn the notes.
  • The lessons began by teaching the types of notes and rhythms, as well as correct finger numbers.  I really appreciated that it kept it all at a very basic preschooler-friendly level. *One change I would have made was to make the area to "draw your hand and label your fingers" actually the size of a kid's hand so that we could trace it!
  • The book taught the notes C, D and E first then had a song following with only those notes.  This made him feel really successful that he could "play a song" so quickly.
Learning To Play Piano Book for the Very Young is the perfect starter book to introduce your child (6 and under) to reading music and playing a few basic songs.  We are planning on having LoLo take lessons in the very near future, and this book gave him just enough confidence that he is excited about what he can learn next!


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