As a piano teacher online and in Sutton, I've had my fair share of teaching youngsters. My experiences cover those whom burst into tears at a simplest requests out of shyness, those whom throw a temper tantrum before even crossing the studio door, and those whom sole goal is to bang loudly on the piano keys as possible.
All the above are true experiences nearly all teachers will have. When I first started teaching, I taught children from even the age of 4 years old. However quickly I've come to realise that at that small age, motor skills and verbal communication is very limited at best. Personally, I didn't find this age group to suit my teaching strengths, hence now the youngest I accept is age 6 with a list of minimum requirements that need to meet.
Yet even at age 6, some less experienced or newly graduated teachers will find this age group a struggle. But here at my studio, my 6 years olds and their piano parents love their lessons! They email me between lessons saying how much they love learning and look forward to next week, they rise to challenges and feel pride in their achievements.
So what's my secret? It's having organised fun during lessons!
Children learn through playing, copying and game roleplaying. By creating that energetic, open and welcoming environment in lessons, children are drawn to learning.
I use Vibrant Music Teaching as part of my lesson planning, to create small pockets of focused learning. Don't worry, in the minimum 30min lessons, we still cover scales, pieces, sight-reading, theory and aural. But some are disguised as games to make learning effective and memorable.