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#26659 - 05/29/01 08:45 PM Music for Little Mozarts (new thread)
bethann Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 359
Loc: Nebraska
OK, I think someone has gone over this in an earlier post. In fact, I may have even asked this question before. What does everybody think of Music for Little Mozarts? I am starting a five year old next week

(I know, I said I didn't take them younger than six, but I have her brother in lessons and the mom is vigilant about practicing with him, so I am making an exception!)

I have no experience with MFLM. I have used Bastien's Piano Party and hated it! The three note chords drove me crazy and the cluttered look of the pages did too!

MFLM costs more than Piano Party, but I am willing to invest in the whole enchillata if it is worth it. I have also used Alfred's Prep Course, but it seems too mature for a five or six year old. Frankly, I hated that series too!

Any feedback would be helpful! Thank You!

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#26660 - 05/30/01 06:44 AM Re: Music for Little Mozarts (new thread)
Jalapeņo Offline
Star Member

Registered: 11/04/00
Posts: 5712
I used MFLM last year with a 4-yr.-old girl. She seemed to like it a lot, except that she didn't go in for the Beethoven Bear & Mozart Mouse characters. I didn't have her long enough to know whether the method works well or not. Her mother pulled her & her older brother (who was in PA Primer & also doing well) out of lessons.

I personally don't think the MFLM method is all that great. I don't particularly care for the Bastien Piano Party books, either. I'm hoping that the Fabers will release their PA pre-primer books soon, before I enroll any more 4- & 5-year-old beginners.

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#26661 - 05/30/01 07:39 AM Re: Music for Little Mozarts (new thread)
Eric Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/04/00
Posts: 2325
Loc: New York, NY
MFLM has many components that warrant consideration, though in the final analysis I find it lacking. I purchased the "whole enchilada" for my nephew Cubby. It includes a workbook, which is really more of a coloring book, a lesson book, and an activities book, a cd, a magnetic board with a keyboard on one side and a staff on the other, Beethoven Bear, Mozart Mouse, and a handy-dandy carrying case for everything. Pretty snazzy, pretty expensive, pretty boring.

All new concepts are introduced within the story that runs through the lesson book with Beethoven Bear and Mozart Mouse. Cubby, 5, had no interest in this. Maybe he's exceptional or something, but I find I can just say "Piano means SOFT" and he understands. The MFLM series seems to presume that the only way to make that concept clear is through a very long boring explanation in the context of a ridiculous story: "One day Beethoven saw music on the old upright piano that had a P on it. He asked Mozart Mouse what the P was for. Mozart Mouse told Beethoven Bear that the P was for Piano and that Piano means to play softly." S N O R E.

If you have had any bad experiences with children equating a finger number to a note, I'd recommend stayin away from MFLM.....a series in which Thumb = Middle C is reinforced over and over again.

I don't care for the illustrations, which match the saccharine sweetness of the voice on the cd.

Cubby is now in PA Primer and progressing with ease.

[ May 30, 2001: Message edited by: Eric Rockwell ]

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#26662 - 05/30/01 08:57 AM Re: Music for Little Mozarts (new thread)
Jalapeņo Offline
Star Member

Registered: 11/04/00
Posts: 5712
The little girl that I was teaching didn't go for the bear/mouse story, either. As a matter of fact, at one of her lessons she boldly told me, "You know that Beethoven Bear & Mozart Mouse aren't real!" So forget the story line. Today's sophisticated kids don't fall for it. I find that they respond much better when they're treated like "big" people.

My 3-year-old daughter loves the song about the finger #'s, though. It took her a while to learn the song, but now she knows all of her finger #'s really well: one less thing to have to teach her later on. I get such a kick out of her whenever I wash her hands or clip her fingernails, because she always holds out her thumb first & says, "Mommy, do finger #1." Then she proceeds to hold out pointer (finger #2), then tall man (finger #3), then ring man (finger #4), then pinky (finger #5). \:\)

[ May 30, 2001: Message edited by: Jalapeno ]

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#26663 - 05/30/01 01:11 PM Re: Music for Little Mozarts (new thread)
John Offline
Star Member

Registered: 03/29/01
Posts: 2454
Loc: Bellingham, WA
RE: Mouse & bear crap.... You'll get better results if you dramatize the music, the gestures, and the rhythm, (etc.) while capturing the child's imagination and interest. The MFLM series could have used the piano to tell a musical story, where piano sounds puctuated the action and mood, and concepts like soft were experienced in an exciting dramatic context instead of overloading the student with babble.

(Do I sound a tad critical? Moi?)

There is still room for improvement in many published materials, esp. for this age group. With today's software it is becoming easier to create our own materials (if I .... "MR. TOTAL DOOFUS" can do it, anyone can!)

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#26664 - 05/30/01 01:59 PM Re: Music for Little Mozarts (new thread)
Rhapsody Offline
Star Member

Registered: 11/19/00
Posts: 2329
 Quote:
Originally posted by John Bisceglia:
With today's software it is becoming easier to create our own materials (if I .... "MR. TOTAL DOOFUS" can do it, anyone can!)



Request for "MR. TOTAL DOOFUS" \:\) for Cubby: arrange some Copland material at the Primer Level and Level One, possibly "Bought Me a Cat" or "Fanfare for the Common Man" (since "Simple Gifts" arrangement are readily available at this early level). Copland is one of Cubby's favorites.

And while you're arranging and creating, how about an approximate Level 2 arrangement of Jethro Tull's "Aqualung" or "Locomotive Breath" or "Cross-Eyed Mary" for my Brahms's upcoming birthday? And your teaching guidelines for using the materials in "an exciting dramatic context" would be appreciated as well. Brahms birthday is June 15th so you'd better do those first. \:D

Eagerly awaitin' and anticipatin', Rhapsody

P.S. I still think Beethoven Bear is cute!!!
_________________________
There is no cure for boring.

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#26665 - 05/30/01 02:22 PM Re: Music for Little Mozarts (new thread)
John Offline
Star Member

Registered: 03/29/01
Posts: 2454
Loc: Bellingham, WA
I'll send you my brochure. \:D

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#26666 - 05/30/01 03:33 PM Re: Music for Little Mozarts (new thread)
tomuch2do Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 04/27/01
Posts: 97
Loc: WI
I use the MFLM series with great success. While I use Beethoven Bear and Mozart Mouse sparingly (along with the story line) the kids love the singing and dancing, the workbook (and yes it is more like a coloring book if you only go 10 pages in, try looking at finding the E's etc on the keyboard).

I have 12 students under the age 5 and all are going through the MFLM series.

I know I'm in the minority here liking this series, but I'm having a blast and all my kids are learning.

I haven't found anything I love to teach more for the younger kids and all my parents are happy, many of their kids are playing songs with two hands and they are only about 20 weeks in.

As far as C position being used exclusively, that is not true. The D song, the E song, etc. use other fingers. And if I'm not mistaken don't all the Faber Primer books stay in C position as well.

Everyone needs to start somewhere, but the teacher needs to be creative from there.

I've said my peace, now I'm ready to get blasted!!! Bring it on!!!!!!!!

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#26667 - 05/30/01 03:39 PM Re: Music for Little Mozarts (new thread)
Josh Allen Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 06/15/00
Posts: 534
Loc: East Texas, USA
No blasting here...it's what I'm using with my preschool student. I fill in and take out what I want (for example, I don't teach the first lesson that introduces forte/piano...At this age, no kid can play with enough difference to emulate loud and soft so we just discuss "louds" and "softs" when we do listening activities--When we complete book one, we're going on to PA primer which will introduce better these concepts). Anyway--I can't wait for the PA preschool series (are they really creating one?) but, until then, MFLM is the best material I can find.

Josh, did I just qualify everything I said?, Allen :rolleyes: :p

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#26668 - 05/30/01 04:30 PM Re: Music for Little Mozarts (new thread)
Eric Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/04/00
Posts: 2325
Loc: New York, NY
I really shouldn't be so down on MFLM....the real problem is with MOIself. I just don't "click" with this age group. As you can tell from the thread about my own re-training, I'm not one for u l t r a - s l o w progress, so the idea of hands together not occuring until 20 weeks into lessons is enough to send me over the edge. I think I'm better suited to kids in second or third grade who don't need stuffed animals to keep them amused. Cubby, of course, is an exception!

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