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#63930 - 09/30/13 07:08 PM Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old
T-G Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 09/27/13
Posts: 17
Loc: Scotland
I took keyboard lessons in my 20's but never really progressed, so my playing is very basic, and most of the time the keyboard sits neglected collecting dust.

However I have a 2.5 year old who I would like to get interested in music / piano, to my mind it isn't going to happen unless he sees the keyboard being used, preferably with stuff that interests him. Obviously he is far to young for formal lessons but I would like somebody point me in the directon of some simple things that I can play for him partly to improve my playing and partly show him to try and foster some interest rather than him just banging or driving cars along the keys.

He does do a music class at Nursery where they do age appropriate stuff.

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#63936 - 10/01/13 09:12 PM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: T-G]
SharonAdelle Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 234
Loc: Central Valley, CA
When my youngest daughter was a toddler I would play the piano with her sitting on my lap. Yes, my technique wasn't very good--but I just played whatever and let her gently play with me--I was kind of just teaching her not to bang at that point.
I have a book of all Disney music that I liked to play and I would pull that out a lot. I would play and sing the songs she knew--and some others. She got so she loved a song from Dumbo (that is actually not really in the movie) called When I see an Elephant Fly. At 2 1/2 years old we played and sang it so many times that she knew when to turn the page for me.

At that young of an age I believe they mostly just need exposure to all types of music. Lots of singing, dancing, clapping, rhythm instruments, whatever. Play music and dance in your living room--don't be afraid to be silly! Just have fun!

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#63940 - 10/02/13 11:38 AM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: SharonAdelle]
T-G Offline
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Registered: 09/27/13
Posts: 17
Loc: Scotland
I'm not sure what my level would be within the PA series of books as I learned keyboard on Organ books and got to about book 4 of the series I was following, so left hand is all chords.

Where would be a good place for me to start within PA books? Baring in mind I would like to try and generate intrest in my son too.

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#63943 - 10/02/13 12:49 PM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: T-G]
pianojazzgirl Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/26/03
Posts: 847
Loc: Montreal
I have what might be a little bit of a silly idea, but maybe would work, considering your goal. What if you picked up a copy of the MFPA (My First Piano Adventures) books, which are the "youngest" of the PA books (geared to 5yo and up). They come with a CD. You could play along with the CD, show your son the great colourful graphics, etc. In terms of sparking *his* enthusiasm that could be a good way to go.

In terms of sparking *your* enthusiasm, perhaps a trip to the local music shop is in order. You could browse through their books and see which have the most appeal.

Also, give some consideration to finding a teacher and taking a few lessons yourself. It could be a great way of getting on the right path, even if you decide to discontinue lessons and continue on just enjoying various books and pieces in a self-taught manner.

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#63945 - 10/02/13 03:34 PM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: pianojazzgirl]
ndmr Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 03/18/10
Posts: 341
The best you can do for children that age IMO is
1. set an example,play the piano yourself while they are around and enjoy it smile
2. Sing with your child-sing together as much as possible, this is the best basis for musical education later on.

Good luck!

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#63946 - 10/02/13 03:48 PM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: pianojazzgirl]
T-G Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 09/27/13
Posts: 17
Loc: Scotland
I was considering that as an idea but I wondered if there would be enough tunes / songs in it that he'd recognize.

I bought the Hal Leonard Adult book at the weekend, the shop didn't have either the Accelerated or Adult PA books, but just about every song on the book has Teacher Accompanys. I would like to take lessons but time is a struggle for me at the moment so it will be 10 mins here or there while I can grab it. And maybe a little time once he is in bed.

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#63947 - 10/02/13 04:06 PM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: T-G]
pianojazzgirl Offline
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Registered: 07/26/03
Posts: 847
Loc: Montreal
T-G - the thing about MFPA is not just that it has some familiar tunes (which it does - Twinkle Twinkle, Old MacDonald, Mary Had a Little Lamb, etc, etc), but also that it has this really catchy CD that has kids singing along after no time. Part of the great success that I've had using it is that kids listen to the whole CD from day 1 and quickly become familiar with all the pieces, so that when we come to actually learn how to play each piece they are enthusiastic and it comes easier (since they have the melody/rhythm in their head already).

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#63950 - 10/02/13 06:53 PM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: pianojazzgirl]
T-G Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 09/27/13
Posts: 17
Loc: Scotland
Thank you very much for replying. Think I'll try it, good to know their is stuff he'll know too.

Eventually I would like him to have proper lessons but it has to be his decision to want to learn. I can only try to make the keyboard / piano seem exciting enough for him to want to learn. Does that make sense?

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#63953 - 10/03/13 06:33 AM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: T-G]
T-G Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 09/27/13
Posts: 17
Loc: Scotland
Another idea that I was thinking was for me to try following the Accelerated programme while he's in bed and using the Kids songs Pre-time books etc for extra practice while he is awake.

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#63955 - 10/03/13 10:15 PM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: T-G]
DonnaH Offline
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Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 121
Loc: Canada
"Eventually I would like him to have proper lessons but it has to be his decision to want to learn."

Will it be his decision to decide if he wants to go to school to learn? Or brush his teeth if he wants? I have recently put up a poster in my studio that reads,

"I've never known a musician who regretted being one. Virgil Thomson" (Thank you Andrea and Trevor Dow!)

My kids were never given the choice - it was just something they did...like school, soccer, Church, visiting relatives, etc. They never questioned it. My one son ended up teaching until he went away to university and my other son taught part time while being in a band up until he started working full time (although he is still in a band). I don't think either one of them regretted being a musician but they probably would not have wanted to do it if given the choice...(just my opinion).

Donna


Edited by DonnaH (10/03/13 10:16 PM)

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#63959 - 10/04/13 05:29 AM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: DonnaH]
T-G Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 09/27/13
Posts: 17
Loc: Scotland
Learning music isn't the same as learning to read or brush your teeth. Those are life skills you need to survive in this world.

I learned to read as a child however its at least 6 years since I last picked a book up for my own enjoyment. But I need to be able to read to earn a living.
You are fortunate that both your children have taken to music however I'm certain there are loads of people who were forced to learn instruments as children but who couldn't tell you when they last played it.

Hence my current aim is to improve my playing to try and spark passion in him and make him want to learn!

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#63961 - 10/04/13 09:35 AM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: T-G]
DonnaH Offline
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Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 121
Loc: Canada
You can choose to look at it that way...especially since it wasn't part of your childhood. I'm just going by my childhood and in turn my childrens' childhood to know that if it's just part of their day, there is no choosing to play or not choosing to play so that when the going gets tough, maybe I'll just quit because I'm no longer passionate about it. There were many a day in school that I remember watching the clock and wondering when it would be over...but quitting was never an option. And yes, we are forced into going to school but as adults, I don't think anyone regrets having gone to school...much the same as learning music. But then again, I was brought up with it...

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#63962 - 10/04/13 11:01 AM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: DonnaH]
pianojazzgirl Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/26/03
Posts: 847
Loc: Montreal
Donna and T-G I agree with you both to a certain degree.

As a teacher I try to do what T-G is trying to do for her son, especially when we're talking about the youngest students. I think it's incredibly valuable to instill a love of music - to try to lead each student to find their enjoyment of music. We all know that most of our students aren't going to go on to be concert pianists, but I don't think that's the point. There is great value in learning an instrument, and simply in gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation of music.

That said, I think it is also ok, and good, to give one's child music lessons (instrumental, music for young children groups, etc) even if the child hasn't expressly asked for it. I am forever grateful that my parents put my in piano lessons when I was 7 years old. I didn't ask for it, but also I didn't even think of questioning it - like Donna it was just expected. My husband and I have done the same with our 2 children. They both take violin lessons, and they both attend an arts-focus school (meaning 4 music classes a week, and by grade 4 they start learning a band instrument). This is just what we do in our family. There have been plenty of days of balking at practicing, but I don't think quitting is even on their radar.

T-G I think you are on the right path and I commend you for putting the effort into instilling a love of music in your child. (I also hope you end up kindling a passion for playing in yourself!). Even if your son doesn't end up asking for instrument lessons I encourage you to consider signing him up when he is older. Before giving it a try he might not see how fulfilling it can be (most young children can't!).

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#63966 - 10/04/13 12:40 PM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: pianojazzgirl]
SharonAdelle Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 234
Loc: Central Valley, CA
I think just the example of the parent playing the piano and enjoying music is what is needed at this young age. Kids see adults reading for enjoyment and they see that reading is important--adults don't only read children's books--you can play music that YOU enjoy and you are modeling behavior for your child.

Music was just part of our house when I was growing up. My oldest brother remembers my mom playing classical music on the stereo when it was bedtime--that's what he fell asleep to. We would listen to all kind of music on car trips. I can't remember a time when I didn't have piano lessons--I started at 5. My parents both sang in the church choir--my dad played the guitar for things and when I played the piano, sometimes my dad would come over and sing with me.

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#63973 - 10/05/13 07:39 PM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: SharonAdelle]
T-G Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 09/27/13
Posts: 17
Loc: Scotland
I guess it is one of those things you can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink. At this stage I can only try to get him interested but if he has no interest why force it as that could put him off for life.

If when he gets bigger his passion is elsewhere then I'd but stupid to force it, it would make more sense to help him follow sport or whatever is grabbing him.

My mum and sister are both avid readers but it's just not something that I really do. We have all hear tails of people being forced into lessons they didn't enjoy and never touch the instrument since, which just seems like a waste of effort and energy to me. I also recall the tail of a football manager to dragged his boys to matches week after week for years. One loved it, the other had no interest and would opt to sit in the stand with a book.

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#63974 - 10/05/13 08:33 PM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: T-G]
pianojazzgirl Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/26/03
Posts: 847
Loc: Montreal
T-G I do absolutely agree with you. The only thing I'd add is that I wouldn't necessarily just wait to see where his interests go. What I mean is that he might not come up with the idea of music lessons on his own, but that doesn't make it a bad idea for you to enroll him, if you know what I mean. I think music, sport, art, etc should all fall under the general education umbrella as much as reading, writing, etc. At a certain age everyone starts to "specialize" to one degree or another, but young children can be exposed to all of these things at an age before they even conceive of "doing well" or "doing poorly" or have any self-consciousness about it, and I think we can do our kids a real service to give them as broad an education as we can.

Anyway, I'm just rambling with a terrible head cold... not sure if what I'm trying to say is coming off correctly! Hope you get the gist. smile

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#63990 - 10/06/13 11:03 PM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: pianojazzgirl]
DonnaH Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 121
Loc: Canada
My Mom just gave me the photo album of baby pictures she had made for me over the years and while I was scanning the pictures into the computer yesterday, I noticed that for Christmas when I was 2 1/2 years old, I got one of those little toy pianos. I know we got the real piano when I was 6. Not sure if that toy had anything to do with my interest in the piano or not...

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#63991 - 10/07/13 06:32 AM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: DonnaH]
T-G Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 09/27/13
Posts: 17
Loc: Scotland
I understand what you are trying to say pianogirl, let him try lots of things before he really decides what he does / doesn't enjoy.

Donna I was considering a toy piano or mini casio keyboard for his Santa list but couldn't decide if it is a good idea or not.

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#63993 - 10/07/13 10:27 AM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: T-G]
merrytunes Offline
New Member

Registered: 04/15/12
Posts: 3
Toy piano-yes. Try Schoenhutt (sp?) brand for a nice-sounding instrument.

Exploration and improvisation are really valuable for such a young child, and even though the sounds may not be musical to your ear, your child is learning by just fooling around at a keyboard.

Mini keyboard-ugh. Personal opinion...We have too much yucky-sounding digital "music" in our lives.

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#64012 - 10/08/13 02:36 PM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: merrytunes]
SharonAdelle Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 234
Loc: Central Valley, CA
I agree about the toy piano as opposed to the mini keyboard. Also about young kids just needing to explore and improvise. It hurts when you hear an adult tell a young child not to play on a piano because it's making "noise". My mother remembers a Great Aunt she had that lived in a big beautiful house and she had a nice grand piano. She remembers being allowed to play that big beautiful piano at 3 years old--I'm sure that sparked her interest in piano.

On the other side--my Father-in-Law was a concert pianist. He was an only child of immigrant parents--I'm sure he did not have a choice to start playing, but by his teens he still had no choice. Was not allowed to play any sports because he may hurt his hands. He told me stories of a girl he knew that intentionally poured acid all over her hands to burn them so she would not have to play any more. He was pushed. So.....he let his 3 children choose for themselves if they wanted to play or not, with the result of none of his kids can even play a note! My husband has a hard time even keeping a beat! My husband did grow up playing football-probably because it was outlawed for my FIL crazy

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#64013 - 10/09/13 12:29 AM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: SharonAdelle]
DonnaH Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 121
Loc: Canada
Being forced to be a "concert" pianist might be different than just learning to play...

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#64016 - 10/09/13 07:29 AM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: DonnaH]
T-G Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 09/27/13
Posts: 17
Loc: Scotland
I don't believe it is right for any parent to force a child into any career. I know somebody who felt forced into Engineering but it wasn't his passion, he got his Engineering qualifications then left his job to join a band, and then trained as an English teacher.

I just want my son to enjoy music and yes I may sign him up for lessons when the time is right. But if he doesn't enjoy it or want to pursue it then I'd be wrong to force it.

So any further ideas on how I spark passion in him?
Is MFPA a good book to have about?
Any other books that I could play from to spark passion in him?

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#64022 - 10/09/13 12:57 PM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: T-G]
pianojazzgirl Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/26/03
Posts: 847
Loc: Montreal
I think you've got some good ideas to help spark the interest in your son.

1. Enroll him in music for young children classes (which I believe you said he's already doing?)

2. Show him *your* interest in piano and music in general in a few ways: find pieces that you enjoy playing; put on music in the background, or to dance to, while you're hanging out at home; look at youtube videos of performances (my kids love this!); go to live music performances if possible.

3. Cater to his age and development by listening to and playing music geared to young children, and perhaps looking at the pictures, and trying a few basic activities, in piano methods for children such as MFPA. There are others too - Music for Young Mozarts is one I used to use ages ago before MFPA came out. You can browse books at your local shop, or even online. One site (sheetmusicplus.com) allows you "sneak peeks" inside most of the books they sell.

All of these things are great ways of turning him on to music.

In terms of more specific advice from us (re. books), if you tell us more about your musical interests (what styles, etc you like), and some books you've liked and why (and why you haven't liked other books) then we could make more specific suggestions.

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#64031 - 10/09/13 10:40 PM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: T-G]
John Offline
Star Member

Registered: 03/29/01
Posts: 2454
Loc: Bellingham, WA
I highly recommend Gari Stein's "Sing With Me" CDs. Most of the CDs contain a single voice singing and chanting, which provide a great model for parents & caregivers (who should be singing & chanting "live in person" more than playing the CD anyway!).

The accompanying booklets offer a wealth of information for nurturing a young child's development on all levels...not just musical. Her website is also a great resource; check out the "Research Tells Us" section.

For teachers who like to do their own thing and not necessarily join any of the well-known EC music organizations, this series is a nice alternative.

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#64065 - 10/13/13 10:14 PM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: John]
xstitch4me Offline
Star Member

Registered: 08/15/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Idaho
I think your worry is a waste of time right now.....your child is only 2 1/2! Let him/her just be a child in their glorious world of adventure and exploring. Why are you worried about finding their passion already? I would never spend money on music classes for one so young. Just let him see/hear you play without any expectations. Play nice classical music and anything else you like in your home. He may or may not want lessons in the future but I really feel lessons for those so young is just another way for teachers to make money. Just enjoy your child and relax!

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#64069 - 10/14/13 12:46 AM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: xstitch4me]
DonnaH Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 121
Loc: Canada
I took an early childhood education course that was very interesting. The course talked about synapses - making brain connections. Building the best possible brain is all about preparation. True, a child canít learn algebra until the brain is ready. But how well the child picks up that new skill can be altered by early experiences that prime those neurons and their connections for action. This link has an interesting article on the subject but bottom line is T-G is definitely NOT wasting her time and it is not just another way for teachers to make money.

http://thevivacious7.wordpress.com/2007/...d-their-brains/

..."These first years are the period when the brain has the greatest hope for growth and construction. The synapses are strengthened by exposure to experiences. Experience provides stimulation that kick starts development of the synapses. Expanding from that base then develops more complex connections. Research tells us that synapses that are not stimulated are eliminated. They are pruned. They die. They wither. They are no longer there for use by the child."...

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#64070 - 10/14/13 01:46 AM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: DonnaH]
unreal Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 06/23/03
Posts: 945
Loc: CA
I'm with Xstitch. Small children have a wonderful world to explore, and music is one part of it. Listen to music (in different languages), sing, clap, dance, and play music on the piano and on the computer... I think someone already mentioned this, but I think a small keyboard including songs and recording capability is the best toy ever for kids. Then they have "their very own piano." I didn't want my 2 1/2 year olds playing my nice several-thousand dollar piano, but I would play with them on my lap. When I was a kid I had a toy with a tiny keyboard that you blew into to play, it's hard to explain because it was a weird little thing and I've never seen one since the '60's, but I loved it. My kids each had their own little portable keyboard and a toy microphone thing that they could sing into. They loved those toys. Lessons can come later.

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#64071 - 10/14/13 09:42 AM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: unreal]
pianojazzgirl Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/26/03
Posts: 847
Loc: Montreal
unreal - that's a melodica! You can still get them. I have a jazz piano player friend who plays one on his gigs sometimes!

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#64075 - 10/14/13 07:03 PM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: pianojazzgirl]
T-G Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 09/27/13
Posts: 17
Loc: Scotland
Thank-you very much for the ideas.
John I'll have a look for that CD sounds good.

Xstitch4me I'm just trying to get him interested, he does his music class at nursery but if I was a stay at home mum I would want to find a music group or class for him. As Donna has rightly said at this stage it is a bit if you don't use it you loose it. If I can get him interested in little snippets then fantastic.

Unreal I was considering a little keyboard for him. Santa is just around the corner. I also looked at the little pianos somebody mentioned a page or so back but the price of them put me off.

Pianojazzgirl as a child I remember a couple of friends having melodicas - can't believe you can still buy them either. I don't remember them being that easy to play, and as a lefty to me they were the "wrong way round".

I'm going to get MFPA ordered and have a look for Johns CD.
Thanks again for your help in my mission.

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#64077 - 10/15/13 01:14 AM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: T-G]
Madzia Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 01/02/13
Posts: 17
1. Sing, dance, jump, clap go crazy - to music on CDs - show him how much fun music is.
2. MFPA - just as everybody suggested - when he is older - 4-6 years old. I can tell you my 4 years old still is not quite ready to get beyond first few pages.
3. Get a song book and play for him songs he likes. I have a Great Family Songbook. It is easy and has a kids section. I play This Old Man, Wheels on the bus, Spider

And mostly enjoy it all and relax...

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#64079 - 10/15/13 02:40 PM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: Madzia]
unreal Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 06/23/03
Posts: 945
Loc: CA
Cool! Thanks pianojazzgirl! Mine was just a little toy one for small children. Sort of like this one, I think (if the photo still shows up):

http://i.ebayimg.com/t/Retro-avril-bontempi-Yellow-melodica-mouth-reed-organ-keyboard-20-keys-toy-/00/s/NzIwWDk2MA==/z/n98AAMXQHDlRfRXm/$T2eC16RHJIkE9qU3kWfbBRfR(m2KvQ~~60_35.JPG

I seem to remember liking xylophones too....

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#64080 - 10/15/13 06:16 PM Re: Trying to generate interest in a 2 1/2 year old [Re: unreal]
SharonAdelle Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 234
Loc: Central Valley, CA
I got a glockenspiel for my 2 year old nephew--kind of like a toy xylophone. I am a great aunt a few times over and I like looking for books as presents and musical things.

I totally remember those keyboard things like your picture unreal. I am a child of the 70's grin

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