Monday, May 6, 2013 Review

Everyone knows that babies love music.  I believe it is natural and innate in them to be connected to music.  Babies naturally bounce and move to the rhythm of music without needing any encouragement.  Recent research from the University of Kansas finds that adults ages 60 to 83 who had taken music lessons for 10 years or more starting at about age 10 had better cognitive functioning than their non musical counterparts.  Interesting....

OK, so I honestly and truly believe that music is very important, especially for children.  The numerous benefits speak for themselves.  From the very beginning, I have exposed Mason to all genres of music.  We sing and dance, take music classes, play the drums and of course, the play around on the piano.  Now that Mason is almost 3, I am beginning to introduce him to a more formal approach to music.  Of course, Mason is still young for formal lessons, but I have been working on simple concepts like the musical alphabet, how many keys are on the piano and the difference between the black and white keys and patterns on the piano. 

So, I may be throwing out musical terms or concepts that you are not familiar with or maybe you have no musical experience, and that's OK.  With my musical background, it comes naturally to me to begin introducing Mason to music at an early age.   I have years of teaching under my belt and have tried many different approaches when it comes to teaching children.  And, although I have the know how, I have also learned that sometimes children learn better from someone who is not their parent.  And that is OK, too.  The important thing is that there is a musical experience happening.

Here is a brilliant idea that you can use to introduce your children to music and teach your children how to play the piano, even if you don't know anything about music.  In fact, you can learn along side your children! could be just what you are looking for.  Here's how it works:

Pianist, Joseph Hoffman, currently has available almost 50 FREE piano lessons that you can start watching anytime and anywhere from website  No login, user name or payment is required.  Nice!  From the start, this is a great opportunity to see if your children are interested in taking piano lessons, without the hassle of finding a teacher and spending a lot of money.

I have reviewed several of the lessons myself.  I have been impressed with the thoroughness and kid friendly pace of each lesson.  Mr. Hoffman takes the time to explain and show you each musical skill completely.  It is obvious that much though and preparation has been put into presenting each lesson.  He uses fun visual aids, such as colored flash cards and games that children will love to play.  Mr. Hoffman clearly understands how children learn. 

Each lesson is short, about 10 minutes on average.  And while Mr. Hoffman recommends that most children do best with about 2-3 lessons per week or about every other day, you could easily do only one or two lessons a week, depending on how quickly your child progresses.  On the days you don't watch a new lesson, it is also recommended that time is spent at the piano reviewing the previous lesson or concepts that were taught.  This includes reviewing past material and playing songs that have already been mastered. 

In addition to the free piano lessons, there are materials the Mr. Hoffman has designed through "years of  kid testing" that help to develop musical reading skills, music theory, dictation, rhythm, and much, much more.  In short, this is a well rounded music curriculum.  There is a small and very reasonable fee for downloading the additional materials.  These materials are conveniently available for printing at home.  Although the printable materials are not required, it is recommended and will definitely enhance the learning process.

There is also a Piano Listening Album available for download.  Mr. Hoffman assigns this to all of his own students to listen to everyday.  As Mr. Hoffman states, "This album features fun, beautiful, original settings of all the songs students will learn using my lessons.  By listening often to this album, students become thoroughly familiar with the music, enabling the lessons to progress at a faster, more confident pace."

In case you are still not sure if you can successfully provide to your children piano lessons via the Internet, Mr, Hoffman has also provided a Parent's Guide that will provide you with the information you need to make this a successful experience for your child. 

I highly recommend that you check out because, honestly, you have nothing to lose and a great start for a promising musical future to gain!

Thanks to Mr. Hoffman for allowing me access to his website, worksheets and piano listening album to complete this review.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Chasing Tiny Feet

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