My question is related to the pre-piano camps: Do you have the parents attend with their child? I have a lot of interest in my area and have been planning to start some classes soon but I’m a little nervous about the number of children, their age, and leaving mommy/daddy. I also know that their attention span is going to be from 3 to 5 minutes per activity so they will need a lot of activities in a 60 minute time frame.
I offered a pre-piano camp for the first time last summer just to test out the idea. Since I only had the kiddos for one-hour each morning it seemed to work fine for them to leave their parents. The way I designed the program, we had a lot of available material so that I could quickly move from one thing to the next. But there was also flexibility so that if the students were really enjoying a particular activity, we could spend more time on it. You’ll be amazed at how quickly the 60 minutes goes by!
One of the things that I emphasized with this pre-piano camp program was that the purpose wasn’t mastery, but an introduction to music and piano. My hope was that the students would love their time at the camp and gain an appreciation for music. That is exactly what happened! I only had two little girls and one of them learned much more quickly than the other, but they both really enjoyed their first “official” musical experiences. One of them is taking lessons now and the other one is on my waiting list!
Since there wasn’t any required homework, it worked just fine to have the students attend the pre-piano camp by themselves. If they wanted to, their parents could look at the workbook at home to see what they were learning and ask them questions. However, when I start young ones in regular piano lessons, that’s a whole different story! In that case, I require a parent to attend with them so that they can ensure a daily practice routine and help them practice effectively at home.
A lot of my friends have little ones now that are the perfect age for a pre-piano camp, so I’m even thinking about offering a 6-week class during an upcoming semester for an hour on a weekday morning. It’s so fun working with this age group and such a great way to launch them into a lifetime enjoyment of music!
Remember, if you have a question you’d like to contribute to next week’s Monday Mailbag, leave it in the comments below or send me an e-mail sometime this week with Monday Mailbag in the subject line!