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A new generation of little children is getting ready for piano lessons this fall and many look forward to learning how to play an instrument.
Preparing for and getting ready for piano lessons
The new term 2015 / 2016 is about 10 weeks away and your child can’t wait to start piano lessons. Excitement is a good thing and this article outlines a few things you, the parent, can do to make the excitement last. Before we tackle the number one reason why children fall behind and stop enjoying their piano lessons, we’ll quickly outline a few things which are good to know and prepare for.
Make a schedule to get your child there on time
Every music teacher knows that being late for a piano lesson is bad because 30 minutes go by fast and squeezing the reminder of a lesson into a 20 minute time frame means that something else has to be cut. Please make a schedule and allow for adequate traveling time to the music studio or school. This way, you give your music teacher a much better chance to provide a relaxed learning experience which benefits your child and reduces the stress of practising.
Organize the tasks your child does now and free up time to practise
Time goes by faster than we think and in just a few weeks, your little one will be back in school and a week later, music lessons start which means that life will be busy for everyone. Unfortunately, learning to play the piano well is a skill that takes years to master which is why those kids who are serious about music practice almost every day. Not only will the music teacher recommend practising as much as possible, you child should also want to practice because much depends on the time spent with the piano.
One of the biggest reasons why new piano students quit
Music notation is more complex than we think. As a matter of fact, reading music and becoming a fluent sight reader takes effort, time and practise. There is a reason why they say that practise makes perfect. At first, the piano teacher will assign a few note names to learn and memorize and most students have no problems remembering the C, D, E, F and G. After that, things change and there are many reasons for that. A long time ago, I was a young music teacher and when I noticed that many students fail to prepare I felt that I needed to investigate what causes the distraction. Now remember, I said that this was a long time ago and before the internet but even back then, there was this thing called TV. Do you remember Knight Rider? Well, most boys in my music class decided that a talking car was much cooler to spend time with than learning note names which, at the age of six or seven, made them experts on speeding and computers that could talk but not on reading music.
Please watch your child once the music lessons begin and make sure that you clear some of the more obvious distractions. What ever is on Facebook now will be there later but the next music lesson will not wait which is why children need to learn and understand the importance of prioritizing.
Most of all, don’t leave it up to them to deal with music notation on their own. If they express little interest in learning note names maybe buy and app or talk to the music teacher and find out what she/he recommends because otherwise, you run the risk of your child quitting early.
Practice makes perfect
It AMAZES me that many children don’t know about the importance of repetition. The reason why it amazes me is because these days, children watch a lot of sport and see athletes perform amazing flips and twists and turns on bikes or skies and many other things. How do they do that and how did they get so good at it?
The answer is simpler than you might guess. They design a routine and then practice practice practise. My first music teacher told me that it takes 25% talent and 75% effort to learn to play the piano well.
Next time you watch a basketball or other game with your children please take a minute and point out to them that there is much more than we see on TV. Professionals spend a lot of time in the GYM, eat a special diet and definitely stay away from alcohol and drugs. Yes, there are a few exceptions to every rule and the media will make a big deal out of those who go agains what I just said but all in all, only the disciplined ones make it to the top.
Please praise and encourage your child. When you do that, you support your music teacher and your child will enjoy practising and putting in much more effort which in turn does miracles when it comes to learning.
Prepare and take your time getting ready for piano lessons and above all, watch the progress carefully. Every week is different but if you get your part right, then you will be very proud on the day of the year-end concert and many more.
Apps running on powerful smartphones and tablets have revolutionized the way we live and provide a different way to learn about music.
We need a different way to learn about music
Why? Simple. Every child is different.
Traditional music lessons have been the same for centuries. Parents bring their child to a music teacher and practice lessons from music books. Every child gets to play and learn from basically the same books and many get bored and quit. That cycle repeats every year and the blame is usually on the student. Some parents try a different teacher which is a good idea and sometimes even produces the results they expect.
But what does it really mean if a child quits music lessons? Well, it could mean a lot. In my experience, the students don’t find classical training exciting enough to spend two or more hours every day playing the piano. And who can blame them? After all, they won’t grow up to play Mozart or Bach for a living and only a small fraction finishes the program and do I dare to say it, become music teachers. And so the cycle repeats. Music teachers teaching what they learned to a new generation of children who rather play games than practice every day.
Quitting music lessons can be a good thing
It never failed to amaze me when new piano students started their lessons with me based on some recommendation from someone who wanted to be helpful and pointed towards an alternative.
Teaching music is easy because every child is already musical. Every child has music built in and it is the job of the music teacher to find what is there and begin to build it.
Little Composers has been a long time in the making and it is only now that electronic devices that connect to the internet make it possible to learn what we want to learn.
Think about it. The internet is there 24/7 and you chose what you want to see. Do you want to kill time or do you want to satisfy your curiosity and actually learn something?
Online learning mostly provides different ways to learn about music
I love online learning and admire the young generation because they have some much in front of them.
The song “What a Wonderful World” says it best:
I hear babies cry,
I watch them grow.
They’ll learn much more,
Than I’ll ever know.
2015 and beyond is the age of learning but not just learning as we “had to” learn. No, this time, it is learning what we want to learn.
If you have a child which is creative and love music then visit Little Composers and experience a radically different way to learn about music
Gone are the days of printed music books. Little Composers starts even young children by letting them compose their own music right from day one.
It’s hard to describe what happens when a young brilliant mind begins their musical journey with PRE PiANO, an app especially made for children who are not yet at the reading stage and moms who never had any music lessons.
Little Composers just updated the apps page which provides an overview of all of our piano apps for beginners.
PRE PiANO LESSONS
The first of three beginner piano apps for young children is called PRE PiANO LESSONS.
The name is perfect because this app actually teaches music lessons to anyone who wants to begin piano lessons, especially to young children of age three and up.
Because little children have a hard time with identifying music notes, the PRE PiANO LESSONS app starts off with six symbols which are instantly recognizable.
The symbols are animal pictures which have been chosen because of their names. The camel represents the C key and the dolphin represents the D key. Visit the PRE PiANO LESSONS page to find out about the names of the other animals we used and to give the app a quick try.
Registered members have access to all of our apps
If your child is interested in learning and making music then register so that you can access the advanced features of the PRE PiANO LESSONS app right away. Besides the composition module which allows for making changes to the melody, the app features three special buttons.
The most powerful button is the octopus button because it can compose hundreds of different melodies for you. Every time you touch the button, you create a new composition which can be changed or played just as is.
How to play a composition?
Looking at a new composition and wondering how it sounds is no fun. Therefore, Little Composers included a special playback feature which plays what ever the composition modules displays. This way, learning is a lot more fun and for those who need to listen a bit more carefully, a special “turtle” button was added which, compared to the “rabbit” button, plays the songs slowly.
Visit LittleComposers.com and check out out little story which tells you how the PRE PiANO series of free beginner apps for young children came to be. On the top right corner of our homepage you will find a support link as well as a way to register and log in.
We look forward to welcome your child as a new little composer and hope that you both enjoy the musical journey.
This article teaches beginners how to learn note names by studying only three lessons. Each lesson covers small steps that are easy to remember and the Little Composers website published an interactive note chart for some extra practice. Both versions, bass and treble clef are available.
image for the LEARN NOTE NAMES TREBLE CLEF APP by Little Composers
Before You Learn Note Names
This article assumes no prior knowledge about music notation. In case you have tried to learn the note names before but stopped because learning got too hard then this article is for you as well.
Look at the picture on top of this article and get a good look at everything you see. Don’t memorize any note names just yet but look at the shapes instead. Before we can learn note names, we must remove them from the picture so that our mind can start empty. Now picture a white sheet with nothing on it and proceed to lesson one.
Learn Note Names : Lesson 1
This first lessons is not about notes but rather examines all the different lines which hold the notes. Before we do that we need to identify the treble clef. You can find the treble clef at the left side where the lines begin as shown in the picture below.
Now let’s look at the five lines. In the above example, the long lines are sub divided into four spaces which are called measures o bars which is plural for bar. Did you ever hear about the 12 Bar Blues? The number 12 just means that the song is 12 bars long. If you have troubles with imagining measures or bars simple think of them as containers that are lined up side by side.
To complete this lessons, we need to recognize the vertical lines which show us where one bar (or container) ends and where the other one starts.
Learn Note Names : Lesson 2
One bar at the time
To make things easy, let’s focus on the first bar only with another look at those lines in more detail.
To make this really easy, let’s get rid of four lines and only keep the centre line.
The center line is called the B line.
Remember this because from now on, we start out with finding that line.
Look at the image and focus on how the B note is exactly centred on the line. Half of the note is above the line and half of the note is below the line. This is very important to understand because from now on, we differentiate between two kinds of notes. Those who have a line in the center and those who do not (like the A and B).
A B C
Now we are learning the first three notes and you should not go on to the next lesson until you have the A, B and C memorized. Memorizing the A, B and C is easy because music notation has borrowed them from the alphabet. The alphabet starts with A B C D E F G and once you remember those seven names, you know all the note names that I know. The tricky part is that those same seven letters get reused over and over just as the image on top of this page shows. Do you see that the first three notes (top image) have a second note on top of it? And now you know why they share the same name.
Learn Note Names : Lesson 3
Let’s take a little brake from learning the note names and do a bit of math. Don’t worry, it’s really simple. The most common form of time signature is the 4/4 one. What does that mean and why are we learning about them now?
As you already know, each note has a name. The name can only consist of A B C D E F and G.
What we need to understand is the length of a note. You could say that a note is a little like a person. A real person has two names. A first name and last (family) name. For example, my name is Ernst Renner and your name also has two parts or possibly more if you have a middle name. So for now, let’s say that a note has two names. The letter name and then the length name.
How long is a note?
Take a look at the four bars (remember bars from lesson 1?)
The first bar has one note which is just a round hollow shape and there is only one note in that bar.
The second bar has two notes in it. The also have a round hollow shape but each note also has a line attached to it.
The third bar has four notes in it. The round shape is no longer hollow and each note has a line attached as well.
The fourth bar has eight notes in it which look almost like the notes in bar three but they are connected in two groups of four notes.
Study this list a few times:
- Round hollow shapes are called whole notes.
- Round hollow shapes with a line attached are called half notes.
- Solid filled round shapes with a line attached to it are called quarter notes.
- Solid filled round shapes with a lines attached that are connected are called eight notes.
Look at the above image one more time and examine the blue numbers. Each measure or bar has the numbers 1 2 3 4 written which helps us to visualize the note length. The rules are simple. A whole note takes up the full space and is four counts (1 2 3 4) long. The half note, just as the name says, is half of that and each note is two counts long. Therefore, you are allowed to fill a bar with two half notes. The quarter notes each are one count long and it takes four quarter notes to fill a bar of music.
If this made sense to you then you can expand one these rules by mixing up half and quarter notes. For example, if a bar begun with a half note, then you could add another half note or two quarter notes. The order does not matter. The quarter notes could be first followed by the half note or, the half note could even be in between but that is sneaky.
Learn Note Names : Lesson 4
Well, it’s time to leave you.
WHAT??? We just started and I only learned three notes. What about the rest?
Let’s switch back to math. You’ll see in a minute why. As you know, it all begins with 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 and 10. Once you knew those numbers, the teacher introduced the next set of numbers which continued from 10. Just as a refresher, they are 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 and 20.
The word eleven is a new word to remember. Twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen are also new and at first hard to remember. After fifteen the more familiar six(teen), seven(teen) and so forth make more sense which is why we learn those faster.
But wait a moment! What happens after 20?
Good news, counting gets a lot easier. Why does it get easier? Because there are hardly any new words to remember until you reach hundred. Every time you finish a block of ten, only the last one has to be remembered. Like thirty, forty, fifty and so on. Even those become predictable and do you know why that is? The magic word is “pattern”. A pattern is something that kind of repeats and because of that, we can take advantage of patterns. There are many patterns in music and there are many patterns in math.
Now I want you to count to 100 (and don’t cheat! because it is important)!!!
You only have to do this exercise once so, as you count, try and focus on patterns.
Do you notice how often you say one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight and nine? Quite a bit. The reason why I asked you to count ’till hundred and search for patterns is because if you were able to find all or most of the patterns, you will also be able to find all the note names just as easily.
Always start with what you already know.
A quick refresher. You know the center B line and you know that there are seven note names which are exactly the same as the first seven letters of the alphabet. If you string them together, you could say (just like you counted before) A B C D E F G – A B C D E F G – A B C D E F G and on and on and on for ever.
If you were in front of a grand piano right now, you could open the lid, touch the very first key on the left side and do the A B C D E F G – A B C D E F G …. until you end up at the very last key which is the C.
Hint: If you just did that then you touched 52 white keys.
Now I would like you to take a piece of paper and a pencil and draw five long lines from left to right. All the way across the paper. Make them as long as you can and if you have trouble making them kind of straight then use a ruler. Space all five lines the same as seen in the images above. Don’t worry if they are not 100% yet. This is just so that you can begin to draw your memory map. Skip drawing the treble clef for now. It takes a bit of practice to make it perfect so it’s OK to just imagine that it is there plus, you probably need to use the space for notes.
Now start at the very right part of the page and draw the C note. If you need to, take a quick look at lessons 2 (A B C).
Make sure that you draw the C note in between the spaces. To the left of the C, draw the B note, again, just as in the image you studied in lesson 2. Now draw the A note. The A note is almost like the C note except that it is one white space lower. Stop drawing for a bit and take a look at your three notes. If the B is centred on the line and the A and C notes are exactly between the lines, than you did it right.
On the bottom of the page, write the note names exactly like this: A B C D E F G A B C
Now you have a little helper sheet to figure out the missing notes. Below the A, you need to draw the … what comes before the A? Take a look at the letters you just wrote. The note before the A is the G. Now draw in the G just like you drew the B. The G note is also centred on the line which means that if you can draw a B, you can also draw a G.
What comes before the G?
Finish all the way down to the A and then take a look and compare your drawing with the picture below.
Do you see what happens when you run out of lines? Simply draw short “helper lines” which are just long enough to hold the note nicely. This is how you extend the five long lines. Pay special attention when you draw the low A because you will need two short helper lines instead of one. Let’s repeat this. The first three notes (low A B C) need short helper lines.
If you do this exercise every day, you will memorize and know the note names and maybe teach other kids who struggle with music notation.
I hope that you have learned how important it is to see patterns. Patterns are a sort of a shortcut and the more patterns you notice, the faster you will learn.
If you need help with something I’d be happy to do answer your questions. Just go to the Little Composers support page and ask your question
After you know your note names, you can use the TREBLE CLEF app for Little Composers to make sure that you don’t forget them.
Register here to comment on any of or articles and let us know which parts need better explanations.
Times are tough and parents are rethinking their finances which is why more and more moms want to know how they can teach their child to play the piano without spending a lot of money on lessons
YOU CAN teach your child how to play the piano and save a lot of money by doing so
We live in a different world where computers and especially the internet empower us to do incredible things which the generation before us could only dream about. 20 years ago, beginning music lessons meant to buy or rent an instrument and find a good teacher that isn’t too far away. Once a parent managed to do that, they then needed to drop of their children every week in time for their piano lessons. Not to forget, there was also the monthly payment of $50.00 or even $80.00 depending on how much the teacher or music school would charge.
PRE PiANO is a new app which turns any mom into a great music teacher
What does it take to teach a child how to play the piano? Well, not as much as you think. Surprisingly, most moms tell us that there is no way that they could teach music. The number one reason is that they never had music lessons and therefore are not able to teach. Little Composers is about to change that belief and with the release of PRE PiANO, any parent or nanny can teach the basics of music to beginners.
Encourage, praise and challenge
Knowing about music is not important when teaching piano to a beginner. Our app handles almost all the teaching for you but there is one thing which we don’t want an app to do and that is giving praise and encouragement. As a parent, this is your job and the better you are at encouraging your child the more it will learn. This sentence is so important that it should be read twice. So let’s all remember that without encouragement and praise little, if anything, happens.
Can you say “well done” or “wow, that was amazing”? If yes, then you have what it takes to introduce your child to playing the piano with the help of PRE PiANO by Little Composers
We offer support and constant updates for all of our apps and if you visit www.LittleComposers.com right now, you can even register for free and get upgraded to a premium membership which lets you access everything we have. If your children love music then teach them how to compose and play their own music.
It is easier than you think.
Our “do it yourself music lessons” are cheap and just as effective as taught by a music teacher. – Ernst Renner, Little Composers founder
Calling all moms!
For many people, lessons of any kind are a big luxury especially now that everything has become so expensive. Little Composers has just developed a new music method which is perfect for moms who want to teach their children music lessons.
Mom, my first music teacher
What? That is the usual reaction when we show parents the Creative Children Compose Music method from Austria. At first, parents are certain that they can not teach their child or children because they never had music lessons, don’t read music and worst of all, have no way of providing an instrument.
Little Composers provides:
- The virtual instrument
- Over 1000 unique lessons
- A user interface which takes seconds to learn
- A built-in virtual music teacher … just in case
- A little bit of time
- A willingness to praise your child
Does this sounds like something you want to know more about?
Let’s look at the Creative Children Compose Music method in more detail.
How do we get the music apps?
Visit www.LittleComposers.com and give them a try right now. Depending on “when” you read this, you might even get a free premium membership or, sign up for a free membership which gets you all the apps you need to start teaching your child.
Depending on your child’s age, you might want to start with PRE PiANO which was custom designed for children of age three and up. Or, if your child is around five years old, then try PRE PiANO KEYS which uses real looking piano keys instead of animals.
Ether way, you can start learning right away and you will be amazed how fast your child will grasp the basics of music. And the best part is that you too will learn something and one day, your learning experience might just be so interesting that others want to hear about it too.
With over 1000 lessons, you and your child will have plenty of material to discover and perhaps, if inspiration strikes, you might even enter the composition contests and become famous.
For a limited time, Little Composers is giving away FREE premium memberships
If your child is interested in music and sounds then go to the Little Composers homepage which has a free demo of the software which teaches children how to compose and play their own music.
FREE Premium Membership
Premium members can access all the latest features of our apps and get access to the latest changes right away. Little Composers is giving away the first 500 memberships for free and those who register now can save US $ 12.00 which means that anyone has access to the advanced modules.
How do memberships work?
Anyone who visits the Little Composers website can open a demo version which we made available so that a parent can test the software functionality on their smartphones, tablets or computers. Once the app runs and the sound works, you can decide if you want to enrol your little one into the “Creative Children Compose Music” method which originates in Austria.
Creative Children Compose Music
Little Composers publishes a very powerful learning system for young children who are not yet at the reading stage. Beginners start with PRE PiANO and once they understand how to compose and play their little melodies, they then move up to PRE PiANO KEYS which is more like a piano.
The best part about joining the Little Composers family is that you get access to much more than the apps. We also publish online music lessons and a special class that teaches note names and music notation.
Learn Note Names
Little Composers offers a complete learning experience and therefore offers a special class which teachers children everything they need to know in order to understand music notation. Any child who studies and takes the lessons serious gets a chance to complete an online quiz and upon passing the quiz, receives a beautiful certificate of completion.
If all of this could benefit your child then simply google “Little Composers” or visit our homepage and begin.
We have awesome apps, YouTube videos and Creative Children Compose Music which is the best ew music method for young children.
There is not much up-to-date teaching material for young children which is why Little Composers started to publish PRE PiANO LESSONS for children. Because so many kids have now access to an iPad or similar tablet computer with a touch screen, the PRE PiANO LESSONS are best experienced on these new devices.
To get the best performance, you should make sure that a recent web browser such as google chrome or Firefox are installed. The apps take advantage of the latest optimizations found in all current web browsers which allow for audio playback at native speeds. This means that the child will hear the sound as soon as the surface it touched.
PRE PiANO LESSONS INFO
PRE PiANO LESSONS are not free and parents who want to enrol are asked to pay a yearly fee of US$ 25.00 which provides access to the premium members area of www.littleComposers.com
Most children should be able to easily finish the three levels within a year which makes the lessons very affordable. If desired, the child can then move up to the Little Composers Academy or just keep composing music for fun. Everything that is learned can be used to master all of the Little Composers music apps which receive constant updates and performance improvements.
If you are interested then reserver your spot now
The PRE PiANO LESSONS will be moved to a dedicated server and set up so that 1000 students can access the lessons anytime. If you are interested in enrolling your child or children then sign up for a free membership by visiting the Little Composers website.
This way, you will receive an announcement when the lessons start and qualify for special support which is provided on a one-on-one basis.
To try out the apps, simply visit the Little Composers website and see how your child likes composing and playing. There is lots more to see and we always welcome feedback and improvement suggestions.
Can Little Children Compose?
Yes. PRE PiANO has a user interface so simple that a three-year-old can understand it within minutes and you, the mentor, instantly. Because PRE PiANO is for children of age three and up, symbols are used instead of piano keys and the same symbols also serve as notes. Easy to use up and down arrow keys can change the image and touching the image produces the right sound.
This simple recipe was first used to teach a little girl who wanted to have piano lessons at age three and since then, countless children have been introduced to music with the help of some elephants, giraffes and alligators.
How are the images related to the sounds?
The animals have a special meaning and teach much more than just composing and playing. But first, I’d like to explain the names of each animal. To the left is the bird and as you probably have already guessed, the bird represents the b key.
The camel the c key and so on. The elephant, fish, giraffe and alligator all are there because of their name.
But there is a little more than just the names.
The seven animals represent three groups. There are the three land animals which live on land and thus, are represented by the camel, elephant and giraffe. They also look to the right of the screen. The second group are the sea animals like the dolphin, fish and alligator. The sea animals look to the left of the screen which is very important later on when children begin to learn about chords.
The bird isn’t part of any group because it mostly lives in the air. Experienced music students refer to the b as the seventh step and the triad which is build on the seventh step is nether major nor minor.
Major and minor triads
Music becomes interesting when children start to experiment with harmony. Harmony, in simple terms, is adding a second or third note to a sound and by doing so, creating a richer listening experience. Music can become quite complex once we add harmony and therefore, PRE PiANO starts out with just the basics BUT, and this is very important to remember, it does lay the foundation for much more to come.
This unique and beautiful looking app was developed by music teachers and is based on many years of research. You will not find a better app to introduce your child to music. Once a child understands PRE PiANO, it is time to move up to CCCM which approaches composition and playing from a different angle but follows the same principals.
Little Composers turns Moms into Music Teachers and Children into Little Composers
Little Composers is a new music teaching and learning concept that is currently free. Mothers can download the apps and introduce their children to the joys of music and composing.
The Little Composers Pre Piano lessons have been designed for children as young as three. While the quality of the musical lessons is high and the programming is superb, the lessons help children understand the meaning of notes by simply substituting animals for note symbols.
A Constructive Activity
Children will be able to quickly identify the notes and the symbols by matching the sounds with the images of elephants and giraffes. This enables mothers who are anxious to introduce music and composing to very young children to do so without having to first teach them the various musical notations.
While mothers are aware that children respond to music and have an innate ability to create and compose music, they are deterred from encouraging their child because of time constraints and lack of knowledge.
Promoting that Creative Spirit
The little Composers Pre Piano lessons bridge this gap and enable mothers to make their children famous composers in their own right. All that the mother has to do is download the app and guide her child to use it. Once the system is set up, the mother has to play the role of chief cheerleader and encourage her child to practice daily for 10 to 20 minutes. By constantly praising and encouraging the child and her endeavors, the mother will be able to make sure that the child soon composes her own music.
The children can try and compose by making small changes to the tunes already available and creating a composition that pleases them.
Mothers can then upload the composition along with a picture of the child onto the Little Composers website and ensure that their child becomes famous immediately.
The Little Composers app can be opened on any web browser and device, enabling mothers to keep their children creatively occupied. While Little Composers recommends the Chrome browser, the app is also tested for Firefox, Safari, and Windows.
Fun Activity for Mother and Child
Little Composers Pre Piano is a fun activity that unleashes the creativity of the child and the child in the mother. The app currently supports about a 1,000 lessons and more complex ones are being developed. As the child progresses in her skills, she should be ready for the advanced lessons that will be made available soon.
The Pre Piano lessons are suitable for all age groups. While children as young as three have benefited and enjoyed the lessons, mothers too can hone their musical skills or learn along with their child.
Little Composers and Pre piano lessons are designed to be taught by the mother at home. All the mother has to do is encourage her little one and ask questions and shower praise. This emotional support will help the child associate positive feelings with music and encourage them to continue practicing and composing, becoming famous in their own right.