I love teaching preschool piano students, but in order to keep the little ones engaged it is important to keep things moving. Here are 10 activities I use during preschool piano lessons to make things fun and to ensure that learning is taking place, All of these activities are totally free and can be used right away. And the best part is the students can do these “off the bench”.
#1 The Bow
I begin each preschool piano lesson with a bow. I have the student put her feet together and bow as we count to three. Not only is this a respectful greeting it teaches the student focus, balance, and it helps to prepare her for recitals.
#2 Name the Finger
After teaching finger numbers I practice with the student by touching different fingers on his hand and having him call out the finger numbers. I also let the student point to my fingers as I call out the finger numbers. The fun part is to go faster and faster as the game goes along.
#3 Key Finder
I call out note names and have the student find the keys. For example I might say find all of the D’s on the piano. or play two different G’s with your second finger. I always give the students the chance to play teacher and call out keys for me to play. Sometimes I ask the student to catch my mistakes.
#4 Clap Back
Clap rhythmic combinations and have the student clap the combination back to you. The student can also play teacher and clap examples for you to repeat.
#5 Sing Back
Play pitches on the keyboard and have the student sing the pitches back to you. If the student experiences difficulty you can sing along with him.
#6 High, Middle and Low sounds.
Explore high, middle and low sounds on the piano. Have the student sit in a chair facing away from the piano, play high, middle and low sounds for the student to identify.
#7 Copy Cat
Play notes on the piano and have your student repeat what you have just played. (See the “Copy Cat” song in the Petite People’s Primer).
#8 Name That Tune
Play a familiar song or piece from the Petite Primer, see how long it takes for the student to call out the name of the song.
#9 Rhythm Only
Clap the rhythm to a song and have the student identify the song by rhythm only. For my preschool students I play two songs on the piano, I then clap the rhythm to one of them for the student to identify.
I like to start by playing an ostinato pattern and have the student improvise with me. We usually start with the black keys. When improvising on the white keys I suggest notes for the student to play. For example; I will say. “for this song you will use the notes CD and E”.
I use these activities when I see my preschool piano students becoming restless or bored. It helps to make piano lessons interesting and fun.
Do you have any activities you like to use with your preschool students? Leave a post below.
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