Dear fellow parents,
My name is Andrew Ingkavet and I’ve been teaching music to kids for years. I created this system of instant piano learning online so that I can reach many more people than in my private lessons. For years I’ve been using these exact methods with great results. My teaching schedule has been so full and my waiting list too, so here’s your chance. Try it out for free by entering your email in the box on the right. You’ll get direct access to a free first lesson chock full of information with videos, an ebook download and even rewarding animations. If you have an iPad, you can download a free iPad version too.
Why Music Education?
Music is a powerful teaching tool that stimulates young minds in ways we are still beginning to understand. There are so many research studies and articles that have proven the link between developing brains and music. A recent NY Times article stated:
Researchers at Northwestern University recorded the auditory brainstem responses of college students — that is to say, their electrical brain waves — in response to complex sounds. The group of students who reported musical training in childhood had more robust responses — their brains were better able to pick out essential elements, like pitch, in the complex sounds when they were tested. And this was true even if the lessons had ended years ago.
“To learn to read, you need to have good working memory, the ability to disambiguate speech sounds, make sound-to-meaning connections,” said Professor Nina Kraus, director of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University. “Each one of these things really seems to be strengthened with active engagement in playing a musical instrument.”
Many of the researchers in this area are themselves musicians interested in the plasticity of the brain and the effects of musical education on brain waves, which mirror the stimulus sounds. “This is a response that actually reflects the acoustic elements of sound that we know carry meaning,” Professor Kraus said.
I teach private lessons for students in person in my home teaching studio in Brooklyn, NY. One of the things parents have asked me over the years is, “Which instrument should my study first?” I always say “piano.” Piano (including electronic keyboards) is such a great basic instrument that is laid out logically, doesn’t require extraordinary strength or breathing, and enables one to learn all the basics of music quickly and easily. From there, making the leap to any other instrument is much quicker and fun.
My Approach to Piano
Fun. It has to be fun for kids, otherwise there’s no point. In my iPad book and video lessons, I start the same way I do as in person. In fact, the video lessons are just like my in-person lessons beginning fun, easy songs that you can play within 2 minutes!
What Age To Start Learning/Teaching Piano to Kids?
I’ve been teaching kids for years and found that most 4 years are ready and able to focus long enough to learn a simple song. If your child knows their ABC’s and can sequence the first 7 letters of the alphabet correctly, then let the adventure begin!
How To Practice Piano
Practicing any music instrument requires some discipline, but can be turned into wonderfully warm quality bonding time between you and your child. One of the most important things I tell my parents is to place the piano/keyboard in the main living space of your home, whether that be the living room, den, family room or even kitchen! It makes your child want to play and show you what they can do. It also alleviates the feeling of banishment and isolation when the piano/keyboard is in a far corner of the house. It feels like punishment!
Practicing should be done everyday, yes that is every day. But, it doesn’t have to be long. Even a daily 5 minute routine, ideally at the same time/place, can be a rewarding and create exponential growth in your child’s abilities, confidence and interest! Music is fun!
Buying Your First Piano or Keyboard
If you don’t want to spend too much to see if your child is really interested, you can pick up an inexpensive electronic keyboard with full size keys at most music stores for less than $75. Once you know your child is interested, I recommend either an acoustic piano or a digital 88 key piano with weighted keys. The weighted keys make it feel like a real piano. Best brands are Yamaha, Kawai, Casio, Roland and of course the famous Steinway and Bosendorfer for those of you whom have unlimited budgets. You can see some specific recommendations for instruments for kids including links at my other website Park Slope Music Lessons.
This site has been under construction for a long time, but I aim to be posting more lessons here. Feel free to email me here.