Children have an inborn ability to enjoy and make music – not music as an art form but as an intuitive self-expression. Young children respond to music playfully using the whole body. It is so natural for them to act and move rhythmically, speak, sing and dance and make sounds on anything that surrounds them, including their own body. The joy of being able to express freely what they feel in that moment is very special. It is a spontaneous discharge of their emotional energy and the excitement of being through the whole creative process should be cherished and preserved for later in their piano study. It is the first and most important step into development of love of music, the fuel that would later make regular practicing more enjoyable and artistic competence more achievable.
In the early stages of the piano program, children are gradually introduced to basic music concepts and skills through a variety of enjoyable activities. They learn to understand music by listening and responding to a regular pulse, long-short and high-low sounds, loud-soft and quick-slow songs etc. before they learn music notation and literacy. Some of the activities and techniques are based on Orff and Kodaly approaches to music education like imitation, exploration, improvisation as well as the system of movable Doh and time names, e.g “taa” and “ti”.
Piano comes into the “game” as something magical that needs to be explored both outside and inside. All that has been experienced in the earlier stage of learning, as A. Maslow calls it “experiential knowledge”, can now be easily and playfully implemented in piano playing and further developed not only into music literacy and reading skills but the important skill of inner hearing and musical expressiveness.