teaching 3 year olds the piano

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I have a 3 year old student who has been learning quite well for the last year. I have taught him to read the notes, althogh they are not completely ingrained, to play hands separately, to write notes and how to count rythum. I feel that I need some new ideas in how to get him to begin playing hands together. He does not seem to want to play hands together yet. I am also interested to know what types of games that you would suggest for a 3 year old.

Thank you Maya Thaman

-- Maya Thaman (mct38807@yahoo.com), June 26, 2001



You and your son are doing quite well if he knows how to read the notes and can play hands separately. I wouldn't push him to play hands together. Instead just have a great time and have him play for everyone all the time if he enjoys performing. Be sure to reward his performances with clapping, and you play with him to give him a feeling of how big the sound can be. Let him play all the fun little children's songs.

I assume you have already exposed him to all the cute children's songs and great classics on CD. But just keep that up. Also you should get some rhythm instruments like sticks, maracas, tambourine, etc. and march around the room to give him a good sense of rhythm.

You are to be commended for being such an excellent teacher, but if he is resisting, it is time to back off a little. Just take it easy with him. He has plenty of time to play with both hands. When children resist, there is a reason. He is way ahead of his peers already, so you should cut him all the slack he asks for. If he is that musical he will be playing with both hands before long.

Good luck, and feel free to write me directly at flo@pianimals.com with any questions. I specialize in the little ones and can tell you how to ease him into hands together when the time is right.

Flo Arnold

-- Flo Arnold (flo@pianimals.com), June 29, 2001.

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