Some helpful hints apply to all age groups. Here are a couple of great importance that apply to all our students.
The very first student I ever taught also taught me a very valuable lesson. Children like to understand “why” something is important to learn or why it is important to do something in a particular way. I did not always know the answers; I had just been taught to do it that way and had not questioned my teachers. But Nancy wanted to know, and it was my responsibility to find the answers for her as I was her teacher. I spent a lot of time researching the two years I taught her, and I learned as much, and possibly more than she did. I learned to be honest with my students and explain the whys, even if they were not asked. Nancy went on to in music, and it brings her joy and relaxation in her busy adult world.
One “why” that is so important to explain is playing with the finger tips. Why doesn’t a flat finger work just as well? They might understand they are to use their hands like spiders on the keyboard. But is it really all that important, and it isn’t easy to remember to do so I have my students play as fast as possible with flat fingers, and then on their finger tips. I then explain how using all their finger joints, and all the joints of each finger will provide flexibility and thus quicker and easier movement on the keys. Have them try to move their hand up or down the keyboard by passing the thumb under the hand or the hand over the thumb. They will have to arch their fingers. Help them recognize this fact.
Another important why that needs to be talked about is practicing at least a little 4 or 5 days a week. This is not an easy one to do, but if the child does not hear the difference it makes, they will always be just too busy. If my students do not do it I have them practice one line at the lesson 6 times, then play a line that has not been practiced. They can always here and feel the difference. This usually will take more than one time to get the point across, but I always emphasis why it is so vitally important. A child or parent will quit if progress is not made, and why not, music is not fun if the student does not get better as time passes.
This is only a couple of many chances you will have to explain important elements of music to your students, rather than just telling them to do this or that. You will find them much more cooperative and willing to work with you if you help them figure out the principle you are teaching.
"Glenna, Oh I can't wait to start Your product! (*smile*) I feel a vigorous expectancy that the children and I will enjoy working with the animal notes. With the animal notes we can go at our own pace while we become familiar with the process of learning to play the notes and eventually any instrument; and not become frustrated at the very beginning."