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Welcome to Walden Pond Press Kids Piano Books

Start piano at home with your child

Start with numbers, then read music

Books for Younger Kids______ Books for Older Kids______Books for Adults

 

MOZART'S FAVORITE MOVIE AND BEETHOVEN'S BICYCLE

MOZART'S FAVORITE MOVIE

This is a ridiculous piano game that I play with kids when they need relief from the awful tedium of learning to read sheet music.

I pose a question, unexpectedly, putting them off guard.

"What was Mozart’s favorite movie?" If the child guesses "Batman" I say, "Yes, that’s it!" Any movie they’ve seen will do.

If the student cleverly answers, "There were no movies in Mozart’s day," I reward them for their historical acumen. Perhaps then we’ll talk about Mozart, or how it was to live in a world without computers and digital pencil sharpeners.

I guarantee the child will be amused at this point. The questions are pointedly ludicrous.

I ask, "What was Mozart’s favorite flavor of Jell-O?" and the kids retort, "There was no Jell-O way back then."

Play a piece of Mozart and try to make it Jello-ey. It’s supposed to be ridiculous.

But now the kids are interested in this Mozart guy. Batman? Jello? Who is this Mozart guy?

Soon they are refreshed by the humor, and the mood of tedium is broken. Now we can go back to work.

Parents say I’m like a shepherd, always letting the kids roam, but getting them back in line when it counts.

It’s important for kids to see a sense of humor in a teacher. It tells them that they will be allowed to be themselves and laugh as well as study.

It’s far easier to teach the piano to a child who is amused and smiling

A child giggling at the piano is ready for a bit more work.

BEETHOVEN'S BICYCLE

Here's another entirely silly game that I play with young piano students when all is not going well. If all goes well, I won't waste their time with jokes, but sometimes a child just needs a break. 

Then we take a minute or two and play a game such as this, and return refreshed to our work.

Let me say in advance that the reason such games are needed is usually the child's fatigue, almost always caused by reading music.

So when the going gets tough, I get out Beethoven's Bicycle.

I ask, "What color was Beethoven's Bicycle?" If the child guesses "Blue," I say, "Correct." Any color will do.

If the child says, "There were no bicycles in Beethoven's day," I applaud them for their acute scholarship. This may lead to a discussion of Beethoven, or what it was like to live in Beethoven's time with no television or cars.

But you'll notice by now that the child is smiling. Who couldn't help smiling at such absurd questions?

I ask, "What color was Beethoven's car?" and of course the answer comes back, "They didn't have cars back then, you silly!" Perhaps a quick performance of some particularly motoric Beethoven piano piece will lead to a further discussion of the qualities of musical sound.

It usually takes only two or three questions for them to be delighted, and as soon as they are delighted, I go right back to where we were in the lesson, or embark on some new, fun project.

In that sense, I am like a sheep dog, letting, my "sheep" get out of line occasionally, only to nudge them back towards the center if they stray too far.

Part of what delights the child is that the teacher, usually serious, allows humor and relaxation into the lesson. This, for most children, is always unexpected and refreshing. 

You'd be surprised how much easier it is to teach piano to a laughing child.

Good mood equals good work, in all cases, especially at the piano.

By John Aschenbrenner Copyright 2008 Walden Pond Press All Rights Reserved

PIANO IS EASY includes a 107 page song book with 44 songs. It is identical to the print version.

PIANO IS EASY DOWNLOAD wcs018DL $9.95 Includes download of printable 120 page illustrated song book with 50 songs in Adobe PDF format plus printable stickers. Identical to the printed version

Click to purchase Piano Is Easy Download

BOOKS

See also: PRESCHOOL PIANO PACKAGE: A selection of books for the youngest kids

See also: CHILDREN'S MULTI BOOK PACKAGE: Includes books for older AND younger children

See also: ADULT PIANO PACKAGE: A selection of books for adult beginners

REFERENCES

See also TEACHING GUIDE DOGS IS JUST LIKE TEACHING KIDS PIANO

See also LIVES OF THE GREAT COMPOSERS FOR KIDS

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Here's what your piano will look like with the piano key stickers applied.

Kids love piano chords. Try all the types here.

 

Click here for fun interactive kids piano games.

The Piano Is Easy Book Package offers a discount for buying several books at once.

PIANO IS EASY BOOK PACKAGE INCLUDES:

PIANO IS EASY (ISBN # 0-9718936-1-6) Sturdily bound, durable, colorful 120 page illustrated song book with 50 songs such as Jingle Bells and London Bridge, Play Along Audio CD and removable numbered stickers. 

Every book package order of PIANO IS EASY includes a copy of I CAN READ MUSIC. This fun, easy-to-understand music activity book is the best way to start children reading music. Click here for sample pages.

Every book package order of PIANO IS EASY includes a FREE copy of the 56 minute DVD video from TEACH YOURSELF PIANO. This video will have you playing chords (three piano keys played with the left hand) and fun, familiar songs with both hands right away. That's a $16.95 value free!

2 BOOKS,  PLAY ALONG AUDIO CD and DVD 

Click here for a list of songs.    Click here for sample pages.

PIANO IS EASY BOOK PACKAGE $39.95   

 PIANO IS EASY book package includes a 120 page song book with 50 songs and removable stickers, plus a Play Along Audio CD, free DVD and copy of the book  I CAN READ MUSIC.

You can also purchase individual books with CD $24.95

Play Along Audio CDs help the child enjoy making music.

Teaching children the piano involves much more than just reading the notes.

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