Have you ever had a parent of a 3 year old ask if you could teach their child piano lessons? I know I have. While I do begin piano lesson with students as young as 4 years old there are a several requirements they need to be able to do before I will accept them as students. The two main things that I have required are 1) They must be able to recognize letters A-G and 2) They must be able to recognize numbers 1-5. This is mainly because of the materials I have used.
Well, now there is material that makes those two requirements unnecessary! Laura Brothers, creator of Learning for Little Fingers has developed a curriculum with those tiny fingers in mind. (3-5 years) Students set the pace in the books they use. It is recommended that they just work on one song a week, though some may be fine with two.
The first book in the series is Tiny Fingers: Under the Sea. One thing that surprised me is all the pieces are on staff! But because the little one’s probably don’t recognize their alphabet and numbers quite yet, the note heads are actually animal heads that represent the notes on the staff. The thing I like best about this is it sets up for a beautiful transition into regular on staff note reading. Students will already be familiar with where the letters/notes belong on the staff when they transition over without the character heads.
In the first book, students will become familiar with the characters and where they belong on the lines and spaces. The cute character illustrations from the Learning for Little Fingers materials are designed by Claire Stamper. Meet the animals…
Helpful technic tips are given in this book that apply specifically for these little learners. Rhythm is not touched on quite yet, except to keep a steady beat. Gaps that are seen in the measures can simply represent holds or rests. Teacher duets to help with steady beat and fun are available as well!
The second book is Tiny Fingers: Into the Jungle. Students are now introduced to rhythm but again, assuming they don’t recognize their numbers yet. Rhythm is introduced with syllabic pictures. “Biscuit” represents half notes/minim, “Cake” represents quarter notes/crotchet and “yummy” represents eighth notes/quavers.
My Monster Scales is a supplementary exercise book that is designed to be used alongside the Tiny Fingers Curriculum. “The purpose of this book is to help students develop control of individual fingers and can be used to illustrate and help students to recognize the patterns of moving up and down the staff.”
There are quite a few games on the Learning for Little Fingers website that help reinforce what students are learning in the curriculum. “Rain, Rain Go Away” is a simple and quick matching game where students are adding “sun” over the “rainclouds” by matching the animals to their home on the keyboard.
You can find all the Learning for Little Fingers curriculum and supplements on their website here. And the Facebook page is great for teacher support!
Now when you are asked, “Can you teach my 3- year old how to play the piano?” The answer can be “YES! I have just the perfect curriculum to use with them!”
Not sure quite yet if this is something you want to try? Well, Laura understands that jumping into a brand new curriculum is a big decision, so she has made a free trial pack available to download. Everything you need to teach your first lesson including games! You can download the trial pack here.
All of the Tiny Fingers books are now available as physical books, as well as unlimited studio licensed digital downloads. The games in the Tiny Fingers curriculum are currently available as digital products but may be available as physical products in the future.
Laura has offered to give a very lucky teacher a digital copy of Under The Sea (the first book in the series) with an unlimited reproduction license! What is the youngest age you have taught in your studio? To enter, answer that question and any other comments you would like to make in the comments below. Deadline to enter is by Saturday, March 28th; 10:00pm MST. GIVEAWAY HAS EXPIRED