Early music education can have huge benefits in more areas than we think. If you are the parent of a child with an ear for music then you can try the free miniMAL piano app which uses symbols instead of notes.
Children age three or a bit younger shouldn’t be exposed to electronics for prolonged periods of time and we suggest that you subtract the time you spend composing from the time which is used to play games or watch videos.
miniMAL is a simple-looking app but underneath the skin is a seven-key piano which represents the notes B, C, D, E, F, G and A. The moment you load it, you will realize that the animal names have been specifically chosen to represent those note names but there is much much more under the hood.
CAREFUL! Some children refer to the alligator as crocodile. Please correct that right away and call the last note alligator. This way, the child will understand the letter A later on when she/he moves up to the next level.
How to teach a young child
Although one can hardly go wrong when it comes to music, there are a few things to keep in mind. Young children mimic what you do. If you like something then the child will most likely like what you like. If you like composing, the child will try as well.
Ideally, the “lesson” which isn’t a real lesson, would be a combination of talking about the animals which we’ll cover some more in a bit and playing and composing.
Asking questions is key to teaching
Children are sponges when it comes to learning but learning once is not enough. As a matter of fact, one of the best kept secrets professionals have is that they mastered the art of repetition. To the “outsider” this is not obvious and therefore one might think that some people are simply just good at what they do. Yes, some people are naturally talented but talent is not enough to acquire a skill. Talent helps but in the end, 80% is practice.
Just to be clear. Practicing means repeating. Someone who repeats something a lot usually gets very very good at it.
This is where you, the mentor, comes in. If you grab that iPad of smartphone or what ever device you have every day and spend a few minutes composing then there is a good chance that the child gets drawn into making music at an early age.
Just by playing the sounds, a child begins to build a reference to the tone and the animals which act as play pads make playing memorable and fun. This method was born a long time ago and countless students have started their first piano lessons by playing from drawings which the teacher made. Please give it a try. Read the miniMAL app info page which has all the information you need to get the most out of this incredible learning tool.
If you have questions then feel free to respond. You don’t need an account to post and we check the blog on a daily basis. Thank you for reading and good luck on your musical journey. May your memories be golden.
Suggested reading: miniMAL app help