I wrote this pre-reading piece a few days ago for my new student who is almost 5. Since he is so young, I was interested in knowing just how much reading he is able to do on his own so far. I wrote this to be a beginning *sight reading* exercise, so to speak. Sight reading is so much more successful if you prepare the rhythm, so we did that by first learning the rhyme, tapping it on our knees, and then the fall board using the correct hands. It worked very well, and he was able to play it with the correct fingers without any prompting from me. Now I know he has learned the basics of pre-reading. He is a very visual learner and I think he’s going to be an excellent music reader one of these days.
Because of my background in Kodaly, I always prepare the student for what is coming up. That is one of the many reasons I like My First Piano Adventures, because this preparation is built into the lessons. At this lesson we continued our preparation of playing on the white keys by identifying the names of the white keys. Last week he learned C D E. This week I made a paper keyboard and he put chips on the correct keyboard names. (I will post that keyboard soon.) Also, he drew lines to the correct keys on a fun worksheet. Finally, we played the “how fast can you run up and play the correct key” game. I was amazed that he knew every one of them! Next week he is going to learn his very first song on the white keys and he is very excited about that.
We also worked on rhythm, steady beat, hand position, singing, and some Kodaly hand signs. I try to do a little bit of everything at his lessons, even if it is just briefly and not spend too much time sitting at the piano. Teaching this age is quite different than starting an average age beginner and the teacher has to really feel comfortable with young children and moving around the room. A lot of teachers had bad experiences with pre-school children because they tried to teach them like a 7 year old.
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