Yamaha Kids Music Education {Our October Update}

yamaha piano classes #yamahakids

Our 4-year-old son has been attending weekly piano classes at the local Yamaha Music Canada School. We are now almost two months into the ten month program and we have continued to make a slow but steady progression into the curriculum. The concepts he is learning are basic, especially to an adult, but they are fundamentally important to understanding music theory and need to be solidly understood before moving on to more complex ideas.

The course continues to reenforce the lessons by employing several different in-class teaching strategies. A typical class would include the following activities:

-Singing along to songs using sol-fa and lyrics
-Slapping along to the rhythms of songs (or holding and swinging hands)
-Playing basic three to four note melodies using their right (high) hand on different octaves
-Performing songs in divided groups where each group plays a different part
-Picking out musical notation patterns in their workbooks using stamps
-Making basic musical notation on small magnetic boards with staff and note magnets

In addition to these in-class activities the students are given a list of tasks to try and practice at home during the week. These are usually quite reasonable and include listening to some songs, watching the DVD or practicing some of the simple pieces we play in class. We personally try to practice about two times a week for 30 minutes each session. I want to make sure it is not a chore and that we are not pushing him too much. It is definitely giving us a chance to try and work on some of the parts he either really enjoys or really needs some extra practice in.

I am finding that one of the biggest challenges for my son is the motor control. Since he is still quite young and his hands are very small it is very difficult for him to spread his fingers and play three or more full sized piano keys easily. There has been improvement since we first started but it is also clear that there are some things we simply can’t shortcut and we will have to wait for him to get bigger.

Our teacher so far has been consistently positive and enthusiastic in the classroom. She does a good job of helping maintain focus and trying to wrangle in the kids who are getting a little out of control. I do think that a one hour class is pushing the attention span of kids these ages but there is quite a bit of interaction and change in activities to keep them interested.

In a group situation one can easily see that there is a wide range of abilities between the kids and so it is a bit tricky to design the pace of the class to fit everyone. As a parent I am curious to see how far everyone will progress over the course of this program and I am learning more about my own son and how he learns.

Here a little video we recorded as we waiting for our class to start:

Disclosure – I am participating in the Yamaha Music Canada Brand Ambassador program on behalf with Mom Central Canada. I received compensation as a thank you for participating and for sharing my honest opinion. The opinions on this blog are my own.

The following two tabs change content below.

Angela V

Founder and Writer at One Smiley Monkey blog
Hi, my name is Angela van Tijn and I live in Vancouver, Canada with my wonderful husband, our two boys and our puppy. I am the founder and primary contributor behind One Smiley Monkey. Welcome to my blog!
    Pin It

12 responses to “Yamaha Kids Music Education {Our October Update}”

  1. Laurie P — October 27, 2014 @ 6:50 am (#)

    Great to hear how the music classes are going!

    Reply

  2. DARLENE+W — October 27, 2014 @ 8:59 am (#)

    Music, tames the unruly beast, keep up the good work

    Reply

  3. Jac — October 27, 2014 @ 10:57 am (#)

    I love the idea of a group music lesson, because it accomplishes the learning side, but also helps with social interaction and skills at the same time. How much practicing is required for a four-year-old?

    Reply

    • Angela V — October 27th, 2014 @ 12:20 pm

      There is no set practice time required but I would say about 3 times during the week in between classes as a minimum?

      Reply

  4. Jeannie — October 27, 2014 @ 9:22 pm (#)

    This sounds like quite an amazing class. I love that they make music fun and it’s not something they “have” to do or practice.

    Reply

  5. Melinda — October 31, 2014 @ 8:15 am (#)

    Great to hear that he’s making steady progress. Music is so much fun, great to nurture at any age

    Reply

  6. Bonnie Way — October 31, 2014 @ 3:11 pm (#)

    Ooooh, this is great! My daughter just started violin lessons but I’d like for them to take piano too (someday when we have space for a piano). I did music lessons as a teen and have always wished I started sooner. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  7. DARLENE+WISSENZ — November 2, 2014 @ 5:27 pm (#)

    Your son seems to be enjoying the piano

    Reply

  8. Elva Roberts — November 3, 2014 @ 5:47 pm (#)

    We have a Music for Young Children program for children from ages 4 and up. The children do similar things like your son does. Several of our grandchildren went through this program and loved it. Later on, after several years, the children move to another music teacher for more advanced classes. I used to attend their concerts and enjoyed them hugely. Nothing is cuter than twenty or more young boys and girls showing off their skills in solos suited to their age group and, of course, group ensembles.

    Reply

  9. Elizabeth+Matthiesen — November 4, 2014 @ 6:02 pm (#)

    It seems to me that your son is enjoying himself. I must admit I think that an hour sat at the piano is way too long for a child of that age. At that stage you just can’t hold their attention span for that long. Maybe it would work better if they could get up and run around at half time, shaking their hands and feet to get them ready again?

    Reply

  10. kathy+downey — November 14, 2014 @ 4:21 am (#)

    Its great hes enjoying himself

    Reply

  11. kathy downey — November 20, 2015 @ 2:01 pm (#)

    I love that he is enjoying his self and doing so well

    Reply

Leave a Comment