Often, first time parents what to know about the curriculum that we use for our littlest pianists (ages 4-5). We often get questions like: “What will my child be learning?” or “Will it be too difficult for them?” Watch the video below to get all answers to all of these questions and more!
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So much of American popular music comes from or has been influenced by African-American culture. Ragtime is a fun one to get to know with your children. Ragtime brings together the polyrhythms (two rhythms played at the same time) of African music and the march beats made popular by John Philip Sousa. It enjoyed its peak popularity between 1895 and 1918. It gets its name from its syncopated or “ragged” rhythm.
Here are a few ragtime favorites that you should get to know.
Piano lessons as a gift? Well, the short answer is – yes, of course! And here’s why.
If you’re like me you might feel tempted to want to give a gift that gets you instant excitement when they open it. Yet, I also have quite a few photos that show my kids playing with the box it came in rather than the gift itself. That instant excitement when a gift is opened can be a fairly fleeting moment.
Thinking back to when I was little, the memories that I have are more of things that I did rather than things that I received. These years with them, in the long run, are so few. We want them to remember them fondly. That’s why experience gifts are becoming more popular. And giving them an experience gift will have a longer “shelf life”.
But I know, you want to give them something that will make them super excited and instantly happy. So how does giving piano lessons make them happy when they might not even know they want to play the piano? Well here are three reasons why it’s better to give piano lessons rather than the latest hot toy as a gift.
1. Piano lessons changes kids’ brains for the better
It can be rather hard to find toys that are both fun and good for your child. Piano lessons, however, can be both. Research shows that playing the piano develops the brain to work in a more complex, yet efficient way. Both sides of their brain can work together. Plus their language and math skills are being developed.
Additionally, they’re building executive function skills that help with school and life.
2. Piano lessons are a unique gift (i.e. your kids will be happier)
Piano lessons are an unexpected, surprise gift. Unless they’ve been asking for them for a while. Experience gifts are hard to compare with a gift someone else got. And it’s hard for your child to compare their piano lessons to another sibling’s or friend’s lessons, especially if they started at different times. The experience is unique to each person. And research has shown that the uniqueness of the gift and the experience makes people happier. We tend to look back at experiences with rose-tinted glasses. Even if they had a bad day, overall they’ll look back and remember the overall good feeling of their lessons. So they are certain to have happy or rewarding memories attached to an experience present like piano lessons.
3. Piano lessons last a lifetime
The hot toy of this year will be forgotten next year. When they’re so little their wants are fleeting and change so often. We all know that physical gifts can make you happy for only so long. But it’s also backed up by research into happiness. Ultimately you need to get more stuff to keep that happy feeling going.
But when you give experiences, like piano lessons, the feeling the gift gives will live longer. And the positive changes that piano lessons make to their brains and the skills that they develop will never be lost. Plus the memories of the fun they had will forever be a part of them and they’ll consider being a piano player as part of their identity.
How to wrap it?
For smaller children, it might help them to understand what they’re getting if you give them a little something to go along with their piano lessons gift. There are so many wonderful picture books out there that have a piano in them or are about a composer. Here are a few special ones that I’ve found:
Most little kids can start to take piano as soon as they firmly know their ABC’s and can count to 10. Check out this article if you’re wondering, “Is my child ready for piano lessons?”
If you’d like to gift the gift of piano lessons to your child aged 4 to 9 years old, please contact My Little Conservatory directly, and we’ll work with you to schedule lessons.
Written by Amelia Vitarelli, owner and educator of My Little Conservatory in San Jose, CA. Amelia has been enriching the lives of children in Silicon Valley for over 20 years.
I frequently get asked “How do I know if my child is ready to take piano lessons?” While some children can start reading at 3, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have the emotional/social development necessary to start classes. I know some piano teachers wait until children are reading fluently, but our teachers at My Little Conservatory can start lessons with children as young as 4 years old. That’s because we are specialize in early childhood music and have developed tricks and techniques that are age appropriate, educational and fun. But there are a few things we want to see your child be able to do so they can have a successful start. Here are the some questions to ask yourself about your child to see if they’re ready for piano lessons: Read more
If your young child is currently taking piano lessons at My Little Conservatory or you’re thinking about signing them up, you may be wondering why small plush toys come with the lesson books. And how do they help teach music? While they may seem cute and cuddly to the kids, each stuffie is sneaking in some valuable lessons and helping to make the music come alive.
The first stuffies that your child will receive are Beethoven Bear and Mozart Mouse. They’re based on the composers Ludwig von Beethoven and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The stories of these two stuffies/composers are woven through each level of the course, and your teacher will use them during lessons to help bring their stories to life. As your child progresses through the course, Beethoven Bear and Mozart Mouse will meet friends from various genres of music who help your child learn different parts of the staff, notes and musical concepts. Read more
Practice makes perfect. But with young kids, it’s easier said than done. At My Little Conservatory we want our students to enjoy both their lessons and at home piano practice. Playing the piano should feel like they are doing just that – playing. It’s how kids learn best and why we have play activities during piano lessons. The last thing we want is tears over having to practice and for it to feel like a real chore.
If practicing piano at home is feeling like a chore for your child, or you just want to avoid that, there are ways you can help them find the fun. And if you’re finding that just getting them to practice leads to an argument, we have some tips for that too. Here’s some ways to help you make piano practice fun and easier to do. Read more
My Little Conservatory
1535 Meridian Ave. Suite 30
San Jose, CA 95125
Call: (669) 234-3383
Text: (408) 634-4087
Ranked in the top 1% of Kindermusik studios worldwide and the top-rated studio in all of California.