What kind of music should a 6 yr old be able to play?

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My daughter just started piano lessons this month.

TYPICALLY, what kind of songs should she be able to play in 1 month? 2 months? etc (assuming she picks up in fairly good 'normal' pace)

Do they normally start out just with kids' songs? if so, how long before they add some 'classical' music? Or should she be learning both kids' and classical music together?

-- b pat (ec111@hotmail.com), October 27, 2003


Dear b pat, Have you asked your daughter's teacher's these questions? Each teacher takes his/her own approach, and there is definitely no "set in stone" agenda for what a student will do at these time periods you ask about. Obviously the student's ability, and even more importantly, the practice time the student puts in, determines rate of progress. But regarding one month, two months, etc, my philosophy is "slow and steady wins the race." (remember Aesop's fable?) There are SO many foundational concepts that must be laid!! All the piano key names, all the rhythm values of different notes, proper hand and finger shape, high and low pitches, learning all the lines and spaces on treble as well as bass staff, a zillion music symbols and terms, etc etc. If these are rushed through, in an effort to get to impressive songs quickly, it may well backfire. So, "do they normally start out just with kids' songs?" you ask. In my teaching, what they start out with, for the most part, aren't recognizable songs at all, but rather different exercises and such that may use only 2 or 3 different notes. Gradually as their note reading increases to include more notes, then yes, some "real songs" are included, and even level-appropriate (simplified) classics, ie "Ode to Joy" (Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee) which can be played using only 5 notes. (seems like every beginner piano book includes this one!) Be very patient, trust your teacher's judgement, require your daughter to practice the way and the amount of time her teacher instructs, and you will see progress. But it will likely seem like slow-going the first few months. Annie

-- annie (no_name_poster@yahoo.com), October 28, 2003.

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