Little Kids on the Keys

Little Kids on the Keys

Imagine having a great time teaching preschoolers. Imagine those lessons are so much fun that you could teach eight three-and-a-half and four-year-olds back to back and feel energized and inspired. Imagine that you are really teaching them music, they love it and their parents are not just happy but thrilled. Imagine you can’t wait to get to work because it’s so much fun and the time flies by.

This isn’t only possible, this is my life. I left my well-established studio of beginning through advanced students behind. I said goodbye to West Palm Beach Florida and came to Cleveland Ohio ready to start teaching. I have a home studio but I also teach three days a week an arts center that is famous for Kindermusik, as a result, I have 25 students (so far) 19 of whom are four years old or younger. I love it and here’s why.

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10 Activities for Preschool Piano Students

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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.

#10 Improvisation

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.

If you would like Paloma Piano’s Primer for free

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