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Piano lessons for a 4 yr old. Where do I start?

(39 Posts)
StarlightMcKenzie Mon 21-Feb-11 10:41:50

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StarlightMcKenzie Mon 21-Feb-11 11:04:49

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emy72 Mon 21-Feb-11 11:45:25

The reason most people will not consider teaching a 4 year old are that they might not be great at taking instruction or reading. Small children might like spending time at the keyboard but when it come to actually learning the notes they find it boring and switch off!

Having said that, we had a teacher coming for my 6 year old and we managed to persuade her to have 15 minutes with our 4 year old. He seems to be ok, although he's not making as much progress as my 6 year old, so I can see their point....which is that they might as well start a bit later as they then make much quicker progress.

But if you really want to you just need to persuade someone to give your son a go. Sorry I can't help as I am not familiar whereabouts in the country that postcode is.

exexpat Mon 21-Feb-11 12:19:26

He sounds like the perfect age to start learning piano by the Suzuki method (listening and learning by repetition, essentially) - they prefer children to start before the age of six or seven.

You can search for teachers by region on the Suzuki Institute website, or try googling your postcode/area name with suzuki and piano.

Hope you find someone.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 21-Feb-11 12:36:47

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grovel Mon 21-Feb-11 13:09:31

A teenager with Grade 6+ piano can teach a 4 year old from a starter book. They'll be cheap and cheerful. Ask at a local school or ask a piano teacher to recommend one of their students.

IndigoBell Mon 21-Feb-11 13:30:00

Or could you teach him from a book? Even from the suzuki book?

I think with the suzuki method the parent is meant to learn alongside the student.....

The great thing about the piano is you don't have to learn how to make the note. You just have to learn which order to play them in IYSWIM ( compared to say the violin where it's not obvious how to make an 'A' and you have problems with being out of tune....)

UptoapointLordCopper Mon 21-Feb-11 13:40:24

I started teaching DS2 when he was 4.2, using a mixture of books and suzuki-style. He is an early reader and likes reading notes, but it's the learning-by-ear that is really effective (compared to his brother who is two years older). Get the suzuki book and CD (I got them from Amazon) and you are away!

janinlondon Mon 21-Feb-11 13:50:59

One thing you may have to watch is handspan. If the child has insufficient handspan size they will not be able to use correct fingering, (which is why a lot of teachers will not take on a 4yo).

OffToNarnia Mon 21-Feb-11 14:03:59

If hands too small/ too young - recorder? Actually may be too young for that? My 5 year old ds just started recorder as seems a simple intro to music. Still finger over holes co ordination issues though. Enjoying it with very short practices 3 -4 times a week.

bruffin Mon 21-Feb-11 20:52:22

There is the UKPiano school in Southbury Road Enfield which isn't far from EN8, not sure what age they start at. Its a few minutes walk from Enfield Town station or the bus from waltham cross passes the door.

Also have you contacted East Herts Music Services at Bishops College Churchgate in Cheshunt. They supply all the instrument teachers for schools in the area and may be able to give you advice.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 21-Feb-11 23:06:16

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silverfrog Mon 21-Feb-11 23:12:16

Star - snap! grin

we started piano lessons a few weeks back.

dd1 has been doing some keyboard stuff at school, and is very musical (sings all the time, can pick up tunes from one hearing, etc)

we have someone come to us, and teach all of us, on a Saturday morning. she spends about 40 mins with the girls, and then 20 mins with dh & me.

dd1 is having a few issues with taking instruction form a stranger etc, but is getting along well with it.

dd2 is just flying ahead. really loving it, and coming on in leaps and bounds (she is just 4)

I found someone via a website - hang on will see if I can find it.

silverfrog Mon 21-Feb-11 23:17:33

I used this site to find someone.

she is ok. not brilliant, but knows her stuff. struggles a little with dd1 not ocncentrating etc, but the ficus is on fun, not grades grin

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 21-Feb-11 23:28:22

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UptoapointLordCopper Tue 22-Feb-11 07:57:23

Re small hands: I let DS2 start with playing the suzuki tunes with one finger (the handbook says you can do that smile - the focus is on producing a nice sound) but a couple of months later he's playing with proper fingering.

I used to spend hours playing the piano. Loved it. Still love it now. Good luck!

silverfrog Tue 22-Feb-11 09:59:15

yes, the dds' teacher is happy for one finger playing - the emphasis is on making music.

she also uses colour coded post it notes to stick on the keys, with a keyboard picture (with same colours for notes, obv) propped up at the back f the keyboard, so dd1 can follow where she is supposed ot be going.

dd1 knows the note names form school, so we have written them on the post-its too.

dd2 can now play twinkle twinkle and mary had a little lamb after 4 lessons.

also, big emphasis on rhythm so clapping out the tune etc.

activate Tue 22-Feb-11 10:00:38

4 is too young they don't have the handspan

get a teacher to teach him a different instrument that is more appropriate and start him learning musical notation and how to read / understand music.

then move on to piano when his hand is big enough

wordsmithsforever Tue 22-Feb-11 17:14:08

I used this free site with my DD when she was about 4 - see

Fiddledee Tue 22-Feb-11 17:36:24

from the website that silverfrog gave I've found a teacher for my 4.5 year old. She takes them from 3.5 years.

roisin Tue 22-Feb-11 17:58:50

When ds2 was very little and wanted to learn, but wasn't really big enough for proper lessonshe really enjoyed these books

They have lots of stickers and fun stuff, and it enabled him to learn the names of the notes on the piano, and learn to "read music", before he was really playing.

That meant that once he did start playing properly he really zipped along very fast.

Me and my piano is my favourite course for littlies just starting out.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 22-Feb-11 18:41:10

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silverfrog Tue 22-Feb-11 19:24:44

Star, from compltely unscientific research (within my own family grin), I would say that messing around on a piano in a structured way (ie lessons, but happy to play using one finger; identifying the groups of black keys (in 2s and 3s); being shown how to play some simple tunes, and either completing the tune (in true ABA back-chaining style grin) or copying it - enjoying sharing the music etc) is in no way detrimental to anyone who is musical.

if musical enough, then what you are doing will provide a nice base - learning the note names/places, hearing pitch relativity etc.

if not and a passing phase, well - as you say, better than spinning wheels.

<I learnt bits and bobs on the piano, as did my brothers, from mum. she was good, and always fiddled about on request. by 5 I was playing the recorder and teaching myself to read music. by 7 I was about grade 3 standard. I learnt the oboe from age 9, eventually getting to grade 7. I am now, finally learnign the piano, along with the dds.>

yes, your ds' hands are probably too small. dd2's certainly are, and dd1's are a bit too (and she has true pianists fingers, if ever I saw any!). but they are having fun, in a semi-lesson kind of way. and htis is not about making either of them a concert pianist, it is about letting them enjoy making music.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 23-Feb-11 09:01:23

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ZZZenAgain Wed 23-Feb-11 09:08:59

could you advertise in a local paper? There may be someone who no longer teaches full-time but would be willing to take on your dc - someone who is retired perhaps

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