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Music for Little Learners Review by Charlotte GochnauerNew Song Music
Music is a beautiful gift from the Lord. And teaching your child how to play the piano is a wonderful way to educate them about music. This product from New Song Music, meant for ages 4 and up, is the perfect resource for homeschoolers to use.
The kit comes in a cute little suitcase, complete with a handle and latch. Inside you will find foam musical shapes, line and space cards, and colorful tiles that correspond with the notes. There are also 32 scale cards, piano gloves, and a lesson booklet. Everything you need is provided; the only other item you will need is a metronome, to help understand rhythm. The 35 lessons are simple and meant to only take about 10 minutes per day. They begin with Reading the Staff and continue on with Middle C Notes, Bass and Treble Notes, Note Values, and Scales. For each lesson an objective is listed, plus the materials needed, and step-by-step procedures. This makes it very easy for anyone to teach it, even if you don’t have a musical background.
For the first 14 lessons you don’t even touch the piano, instead the teaching is focused on learning the note names and values. Using foam shapes, tiles, and blank lined cards you slowly introduce your student to the musical concepts. When you begin to learn how to play the piano, your student will wear gloves, which have Velcro letters that can attach to each knuckle on the glove. From this they progress to playing songs, which are printed on cards and include “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, and “This Old Man”. They will learn all the major scales and how to cross over and under. Throughout the lessons there are fun ideas to include if desired; some of these include shaping notes out of play dough, cutting out large notes, or making glitter treble clefs. The cost of the kit is $60, but it is reusable and so can be used with multiple students.
I used this with my two younger children. Right from the beginning I liked this product. When I was first married I taught beginning piano to young children and was sometimes frustrated with how quickly some traditional piano courses can progress. I really liked the pace of the material, and the hands on activities that were suggested. I also liked that not only were the students taught to play songs on the piano, but in some of the lessons they were given notes and told to build the song on the staff using the materials. This really causes their brains to see both sides of music and gives understanding to their playing. After completing the course your child can easily begin to play songs from a beginner piano course. I would recommend this product for those that love hands-on, interactive, teaching material.
Product review by Charlotte Gochnauer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March, 2013