Piano is such a great starter instrument, which is why it’s the #1 choice for parents to start exposing their kids to music at Spark. I think it’s so important to give kids the ability to discover and express their creative side through music, but I’ve heard so many horror stories about parents taking their kids to piano lessons. Kids hate going to lessons, dread the instrument, and dislike the idea of playing music in general. The good news is the problem doesn’t typically lie within the instrument, kids, or parents. Unfortunately the problem can be your piano TEACHER.
WHAT?! BUT DON’T YOU TEACH PIANO?
Yes, but the difference is our approach. Kid’s want to learn to play songs on piano that they love, not necessarily play the music of the 1700’s. Piano teachers are spending so much time teaching the stuff they know and love, and not making the focus on the kids. We do believe that it is important to learn about classical music and understand theory, but not at the expense of letting the kids ignite their passion in the music they love. At Spark we try to follow what we call the 10-10-10 method.
So in your standard 30 minute lesson what does this look like?
10 Minutes – This time is spent learning a new piece of theory or technique with the piano. This means we will talk about note length, dynamics, expressions, and so many other ideas. We do this through writing, playing, and other hands-on exercises.
10 Minutes – During this time we play and talk about how we can apply theory and technique. Piano students play songs and listen to examples of how we can use what we know to play the music they love.
10 Minutes – This is the part the kids love! We learn songs on the piano that the student wants to play. These songs can be classical, pop, country, hymns, or any other genre you can think of. It doesn’t matter what song it is, our teachers do their best to create a way to make a happen. Some students learn the melody of the song on the piano, while some actually learn the piano part so they can sing along. This is my favorite part of the lesson too. We get to incorporate everything that the student has worked on, and apply it to their passion.
Following this 10-10-10 idea makes the piano lesson not only educational, but more FUN too! If you feel like your child had a bad experience but want them to try again, I encourage you to come try a lesson with us! Our mission is to ignite a passion in music, and watch them grow as musicians. Piano is meant to be FUN!