Musical Mind Piano
A comprehensive method for learning to play piano when you’re a kid.
Musical Mind Piano is an approach to teaching piano designed especially for young children. Its aim at the beginning is much higher than merely presenting the basic elements. It aims to lay a solid foundation on which a lifetime of music making and piano playing can be built, and it seeks to do this by taking seriously the way children naturally learn. Below is a discussion of these aims and examples from Musical Mind Piano.
Musical Mind Piano grew from the ideas that
- music is a language in which one can become fluent — as great musicians of past and present show,
- any improvement to piano methods has to improve how students begin, and
- the key to such an improvement is in how kids learn language.
When children are learning to speak, they use their eyes, ears, body and mind. They observe sounds they hear, try to imitate them, and explore until they discover how. They build a repertoire of sounds, and eventually words, and play with them. They have fun, and their parents have fun also as they interact with their child in play, encouragement and guidance. It’s all a whole lot of fun! This is how children naturally learn; through observation, imitation, exploration, discovery, play and interaction. The best musicians have often grown up in an environment in which a musical foundation was laid in a comparable way.
I believe that learning music, as learning language, is not merely a matter of acquiring knowledge and skill. For as children learn to speak, they develop a mind for their language; an English Mind, a Spanish Mind, a Chinese Mind, and so on. Similarly, if they are to speak the language of music, they must develop a Musical Mind.
The Goal of Musical Mind Piano
- Music itself, which requires the coordination of rhythm, sound and movement.
- A child’s natural abilities of the eyes, ears, body and mind.
- A child’s natural learning through observation, imitation, exploration, discovery, play and interaction.
Attaining This Goal
I’m seeking with Musical Mind Piano to draw from the linguistic model of child learning, as well as, from the best contributions made by the past 200 years of developing piano teaching methods (and some from medieval Europe, folk traditions and even ancient Africa!). Through breaking the challenges of playing music on the piano down into very small steps — including many and varied activities and materials — and utilizing children’s natural abilities and learning, the problems that students usually encounter in learning to play the piano (stress, struggle, trauma and the development of hard-to-change bad habits) are minimized or eliminated, and in their place is more exploration, discovery and play. Most of all, they begin developing a Musical Mind from the start, lay a solid foundation for future development, and along the way having lots of fun!
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