STRAIGHT TO THE STEPS.....
TOPICSWHY PIANO LESSONS?
IMPLEMENTING STEP BY STEP PROGRAM
STRAIGHT TO THE STEPS.....
WHY PIANO LESSONS?BRAIN DEVELOPMENT:
Multiple studies have shown that piano lessons begun at a young age dramatically increase brain development, so this is a wonderful gift to give to not only the children in your care, but to their parents.
If you are not at capacity, this is a tremendous marketing tool...."Free piano lessons for EVERY child ages 3 and up!" Just remember to do the program super well to create not only reviews, but excellent reviews!
SHARING WITH FAMILIES:
The Anybody Can Play PIANO app (Cost: $1.99 per month).
To subscribe to the Anybody Can Play PIANO app in Windows 10 click here
A COMPUTER or TABLET utilizing Windows 10; Minimum 4G:
Some schools use only Apple products. This program, however, justifies obtaining a computer used only for these piano lessons. Preferably the "piano computer" should be set up for use all day, every day since this program is also something of interest for those after-schoolers too! Any computer 4G or greater that utilizes Windows 10 works great.
If the computer is touch sensitive there is no need for anything else. It might be easier for the very young children to use a touch sensitive screen, but I have found that they are very anxious to use a "real" piano keyboard. I asked one three year old if she needed a color coded "key strip" to help her find the proper keys on the piano keyboard in order to play a particular song. She looked at me, smiled and said "I don't need it. I can do it." And, she did!
If the computer/tablet is not touch sensitive then a keyboard that can be attached to a computer or keyboard controller is necessary for the Teach Me and Notes part of the app. If using an attached keyboard rather than a controller, just remember to turn off the keyboard's sound because the sound will still be coming through the computer and the two sounds will not mesh perfectly due to the physical distance between them.
You have noticed in photos that most children are indeed using actual piano keyboards or mini sized keyboard controllers. That little 3 year old in the photo may not have the best hand position at this point, but she is actually playing a song using the screen prompts. My recommendation is to use an attached keyboard as soon as possible so those fingers get used to pushing down a key rather than just touching a screen.
LAMINATOR: Many of the activity/game sheets will be used multiple times, so a laminator would be a good investment. Many preschools have big laminators. If it is too difficult to laminate cards, etc. it would probably be a good idea to get a small laminator that laminates up to 5mm. That way laminator pouches that are card sized, page sized, etc. could be easily laminated. Keep in mind that all these activity and game sheets are free. If they were purchased in a form ready to use they would be very expensive!
IMPLEMENTING THE STEP BY STEP PROGRAM
The Anybody Can Play PIANO app can be used independently by a child as young as 3. However, in the preschool setting, it is really nice to have group activities that complement the app and give the children confidence that "I can do this!". For that reason, Anybody Can Play has put together a Step By Step Program to make it easy for preschools to incorporate piano lessons for all. In addition "Gramma's Piano Lessons" are being added - short videos showing a single concept.
The "Steps" in this program are intended for children as young as 3. The 3's may stay on a step longer than the older children. Just remain on a step until the children are comfortable with the concept. There is no hurry.
Preschool educators realize that the "language window" (so called by Dr. Maria Montessori) is wide open at age 3 and that young children are able to internalize concepts in a way not possible at a later age. These 3-year-old piano students become quite amazing by the time they are 5! And, those who start piano lessons at a later age, like 5 - all things being equal - NEVER catch up with them!
Do remember to give each child time on the app. The app completely teaches them how to play a song. In addition they learn to focus and learn things "one step at a time" and realize that they CAN learn anything "one step at a time" which gives them confidence to learn other unrelated skills.
Do let the children "explore" the app. Some really like the Notation part of the app and learn to sight read at a astoundingly young age...many before they learn to read words!
So, have a wonderful time helping children learn how to play the piano.
NOW FOR THE DETAILS!PERSON "IN CHARGE":
The Anybody Can Play PIANO program can be done with ages 3 and up, so there needs to be a staff person who keeps a record of progress for each class and prepares appropriate activity/game sheets as needed for each age group on a daily basis. This person even needs to bring the sheets to each classroom...a reminder for teachers to do the activity.
This "in charge" person also needs to organize and store materials. Stackable, labeled, page-size plastic boxes with lids are great - especially for laminated materials that are used multiple times!
Finished activity sheets should be prominently displayed. Bulletin board displays are great. Peg board displays are really good as well since they also double for storage of imminent activity sheets, games and laminated reminders (like the little colored hands) so the children are visually exposed to things they are to remember.
APP/PIANO SET UP:
If the school only has one app/piano set up for the entire school, this person also needs to make sure someone is moving the "piano station" from room to room at scheduled times throughout the day, or that the teachers are somehow letting children have access to the app during the day.
This photo shows a little piano station used in a preschool for the 3's and 4's so is moved at least once during the day. It is extremely portable - light but stable - fits easily through the doors. There is a video about building this little piano station in the Anybody Can Play PIANO General Info Playlist. To look at that video click here.
NOW TO THE STEPS!Each of these steps includes a General Overview, instructions, PDFs, links to videos...everything you need.
Step 1: Color Coding