Review: Learning for Little Fingers

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.

FullSizeRenderThe 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.

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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…

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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.

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 11.56.01 AMMy 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.”

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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.

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IMG_4692You 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

43 thoughts on “Review: Learning for Little Fingers

  1. The earliest age I’ve taught is my 4 year old niece who always wanted her lesson sitting on my lap. In fact, she’d remind me by saying “Auntie? You forgot the lap” She continued to take lessons until she was old enough to advance to a master teacher! And I love her to death!

  2. Th youngest I have taught is 4. This has been a learning experience for me. I have been following this series for awhile. I appreciate the review and I will be looking into this since I teach in a couple of preschools and this might be just the right way to go!

  3. The earliest age I have taught is 3 years old with another program for small children. That child is going on 4 and has now started My First Piano Adventure. I do like the way the staff is introduced so early in the Tiny Fingers curriculum with animal names. I would be very interested in taking a look at this program for sure.
    Virginia Jones

  4. I teach prek music at a church preschool. I’ve been looking for a resource that will work for 2-5 year olds. Sounds like this might be just what we need. Thanks for introducing it to us!

  5. I’ve taught a few as early as four years of age- and what a range of abilities they can have at that age!! I’ve used Alfred Prep series in the past for children 4 1/2 to 5 with success, but the last one that age wasn’t ready for it, and I was ” flying by the seat of my pants” pulling materials together for her. This looks like exactly what I need!

  6. The youngest I ever taught was a 4 year old many years ago, but my first grandchild turns 3 this summer and I’m eager to try something with him!

  7. My three year old grandaughter. Big brother taking lessons and she refused to be left out. Need something different as fingers are to small for most activities.

  8. The youngest I have taught on a one on one basis is 5 years old, but I have been asked to work with a 4 yr old this summer to see if she’s ready for lessons. I would love to give this a try with her!!

  9. Four is the youngest I’ve taught. Love their enthusiasm and energy. And they usually say something that keeps me giggling till next week.

  10. I couldn’t wait to get my daughter started so we used a Bastien course for very young beginners when she was three years old. She now teaches in my studio when she’s home from college and even spent last summer teaching beginning piano to grade school students in Africa–one of the highlights of her life! I’m excited to add Laura’s “Learning for Little Fingers” as a summer course for the young siblings of my current students.

  11. I have done several methods with preschool aged students. Most have been a frustration! The biggest part of frustration comes from parents who think their kids should be staff reading and my chosen methods are just not cutting it! This looks like it just may fit the bill of what parents want and what I’m looking for! Thank you for the review on something I want to check out!

  12. I have taught quite a few three-year olds. Someone asked me to teach their two-year old, but we ended up waiting until she was three.

  13. In my short career as a piano teacher (only four years), the youngest student I’ve had is 5-years-old, which continues to be my student and nowadays is 9! Back then, I’d no idea which material to use -in Mexico we don’t have yet the My First Piano Adventures curriculum and neither had I discovered the wonderful Piano Pronto. I saw this month the article in The Piano Bench Mag about Little Fingers and loved the animals. I have already downloaded the free sample and would like the complete Under The Sea book!

  14. I have taught a couple of 3-year-olds, but usually don’t start until at least 4. This series could be a game-changer for me, as it looks amazing!

  15. The youngest student I have started at 5 years old. He had already been to his older brother’s lessons when Mum came so he was very keen to learn too. I have found parents who are prepared to spend time with younger students at home can make a big difference.

  16. The youngest student I have taught was 3 when she started. I currently have a group of 4 year olds that may really benefit from a program like this one 🙂

  17. The earliest I’ve taught is 4 years. I found that was a very difficult experience mainly due to no availability of proper material. I feel this method gives us more confidence to teach younger ones.

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