Q: Can I really teach my
child if I don't play the piano well?
A: Yes! Of course it helps if you
know something about piano or reading music. A good ear for
music is very important. Just as many parents homeschool their
children with a good curriculum, you can use PHONICS 4 PIANO to teach
your child. It is user-friendly because only one concept is
introduced at a time. We are piano teachers ourselves and do
recommend that you find a piano teacher if your child shows
an interest in continuing piano lessons.
Q: Is there a teaching manual or
instructions to help me teach my child?
A: In each book there
is a letter to parents and teachers with general guidelines
that particular book. This will help you know where the hard
spots might be and encourage you to celebrate accomplishments.
We have tried to write down all the important things we tell
our students when teaching each concept or song--right there
on each page. Just read or explain everything on each
page to your child. Each concept is taught one-at-a-time
so it should make sense to you. The good news is music is logical.
Q: My three-year-old just loves music
and is pushing down keys on the piano. Should he start PHONICS 4 PIANO
A: No, buy him some sticks, a tambourine,
or maracas and march around the room with him to teach rhythm;
take him to Kindermusic or children's choir; play CDs of classical
music and children's songs to enhance his love for music and
make him familiar with the songs in PHONICS 4 PIANO when he does
start. Bookmark our site and check back with us in a year or
Q: We don't have a piano. Is a keyboard
all right for my child to start?
A: Yes, especially if your child
is very young. Keyboards can be really fun. Just be sure you
purchase one that has full-sized keys, has touch response and
can add a pedal. You will need these features! You should be
able to get such a keyboard for about $150. You should know
that almost all pianists prefer the feel of an acoustic (real)
piano. So whenever your child's playing deserves one-for an
older child, probably a maximum of one year-you will want to
purchase an acoustic piano. A used piano can be quite reasonable
and if properly maintained will offer years of enjoyment. You
may be surprised at the boost it will give your child's playing.
Keep the keyboard, however. It will be great to take to grandma's
or the beach, use in the van with batteries, practice with
earphones when someone's sleeping or both children want to
practice at the same time, or play in the park for a wedding.
Q: Should I sit with my child when
he is practicing?
A: Most children
will enjoy your attention to their music. Of course, you must
with your presence. No one wants to be annoyed, so your correction
should be done with good voice inflection and preceded by praise
for something done well. ("I just love the way you held that
half note 2 beats!") Our experience is that children whose
parents participate in their practice do better. It will be
essential for small children, but even older children need
for you to assist in the instruction and then be listening
from other room for correct rhythm and notes. You need to watch
for correct fingering and keeping eyes on the page rather than
hands also. A keyboard stuck off in a child's room for practice
whenever he decides is likely to be used less often and finally
not at all. A piano in the family room to play for everyone
who comes over can result in encouragement from many sources
and some great music fun.
Q: Are there any theory pages in
PHONICS 4 PIANO?
A: Yes, the theory is mixed right
in with the songs. The advantage is that you don't have to
flip back and forth between books to coordinate the theory.
The student gets a new book more often and feels good about
his progress. For siblings, get a piece of plastic to place
over the theory page for the older child to write on with a
marker so the younger child can write in the book.
Q: How long does the average student
take to complete the PHONICS 4 PIANO series?
A: Every child is different, of course,
but the average would be about 2 years. Older, very musical
children may complete the series in a year or less. Very young
children may take as long as three years.
Q: My child is taking piano lessons
but is kind of bogged down. She doesn't like to practice. Will
PHONICS 4 PIANO make a difference?
A: We can't promise that our series
will make her practice, but if she loves music, you should
try. If she can read the lines and spaces, the problem may
be that she has been introduced to too much too quickly and
not been given the opportunity to enjoy songs she loves. You
will have to be the judge of where she is in her progress.
Test her to see if she knows the alphabet names of the piano
keys, then the names of the notes on lines and spaces. If so,
consider purchasing FUN, PALS, and ONE ACCORD. Her reaction
to these books will help you determine whether she wants to
play the piano. (Remember: As a general rule, we enjoy what
we do well. We are frustrated when we try to do something over
and over and it is too difficult.)
Q: What will my child do after he
completes PHONICS 4 PIANO?
A: A child who has completed the
series will be ready for Level 2.
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