After I arrived in USA in 1993, I unexpectedly received a unique opportunity to teach very young pre-school children in their natural environment, at a Montessori kindergarten. I was looking after them, even changing their diapers. At that stage I could only dream about a career as a music teacher, as I needed to learn English. My poor knowledge of English turned out to be my lucky ticket in making progress with my research. I decided that learning English from two year old children was the way to go. I have never doubted that the choice I made was the right one.
We found ourselves helping each other. The little ones helped me to put English words into simple sentences. I helped them learn basic skills for playing piano. I can't say I achieved perfection in expressing my thoughts in English, however, overall the way we assisted each other was extremely productive.
Before I was immersed in this world of toddlers, I thought that I knew everything about them, as my daughter, at that time, was already eight years old, and I had survived her going through the terrible twos. It seems to me that it was just yesterday when she had been two, and that I knew everything, having already been there, done that. But when I became a part of that bunch of preschoolers, I understood that I had hardly learned anything in the past about the capabilities of children of that age. As it turned out, I had not really experienced that phase of my child's development, I had just skimmed the surface and missed out on the most important things, and now conceitedly and over confidently I considered myself to be an expert.
To be honest I was blown away, you could have knocked me down with a feather, when I came to fully understood this stage of children's development. On the surface it seemed like these were ordinary kids, running, jumping and going down slides. However, when I got really to know them, when I became an 'insider,' was learning English with them, I realised there was a lot more to them than meets the eye: at the speed of light, little 'Einsteins' were developing. They had an unquenchable thirst to learn new things, to exercise their brains and to improve their own intellectual development.
Something that really amazed me was the fact that the driving force behind the development of the attention span of children of this age is their own hands, especially their fingers. I remember being transfixed by them, when we sang The Spider Song[Its Bitsy spider], which includes finger play(Russian speaking people may know this as 'Soroka-Soroka').
Those youngsters, while playing, could, get totally absorbed in watching their own fingers or when trying diligently to put a plastic ring on a rod or when rotating small objects in their hands. The toys they liked the best were the ones where they had to press buttons or levers to produce different sounds.
So when the kids saw how they could use their fingers to make noises, they would fall into a state that is uncharacteristic for their age. Making sounds using their fingers, had a magical affect on them, it turned them into little focused investigators.
It was then that I had the idea to try to teach these little ones to play on a keyboard instrument, so I brought a synthesiser to the kindergarten. I thought, as they already really liked pushing different buttons, why not try and replace the buttons with the keys of the piano? If they like playing games using their fingers so much, why not teach them to play exercises and scales?
I can't say, that the first child who volunteered to became my student, immediately sat down and played Hanon's exercises for virtuoso pianists. Of course it was much harder than that and it required a lot of effort to get them to understand what I wanted from them and how to get my knowledge across to them.
However the results exceeded my wildest expectations! It turned out that by the time they are two, every healthy child already has the ability to control his fingers and can use all of them to play on a keyboard. When the child learns an exercise with one hand, the other hand can remember the sequence and also do the same thing, just repeating the movements of the first one.
The most amazing thing is that children of that age just love playing the synthesiser and as soon as they learn something, they want to show off what they can do to anyone.
Something that stands out in my mind is a story one of the mothers told me. She went to a music shop to buy a piano for her eldest child. While she was talking to the shop assistant, her younger child found a grand piano, and stretching out his hands, starting from left to right, like a hard-working man ploughing a field, started playing a chromatic scale, slowly moving his hands from the bass to the upper registers.
Amazed shoppers crowded around the young performer, but he did not let anyone distract him and continued till he had completed his task, concentrating on his goal. After reaching the last of the tremble keys, the child let out a big sigh and ignoring the applause of his admirers, ran to his mother.
Usually children who started playing on the synthesiser with my help, learned to control all of their fingers and use them properly. When we started to do this, the children acquired both musical skills and the ability to concentrate better. One did not develop without the other.
When I finally got things going properly, alternating our lessons with learning to sing notes, I could not help but notice how the children's speaking ability quickly improved. And besides that, many of the children learned to sing first and only after that began putting complex sentences together in their native language English.
It was only then that I understood more deeply the words of the philosopher Plato, that music should be the foundation for teaching children other sciences. I could see for myself: that great ancient scholar was absolutely right. A child's ability to make music with his own hands changes him radically: it transforms him into a thinker.
Does this means that playing a keyboard instrument is a vital element in every child's development, that will improve his intellect to a meaningfully higher level? This hypothesis made me think seriously. It means that a child's fingers wait for 'their time,' to become independent, accurate and capable. There is nothing better than keys, to make lead them in that direction.
I came to understand why many nations of the earth created 'finger games,' why pediatricians recommend that a child's fine motor skills be developed before they go to school. 'A child's mind is located on the ends of his fingers,' wrote the famous teacher V.A. Sukhomlinsky. However, even he could not have known to what extent that is true for two year old children.
I was also amazed that all children, that I had the opportunity to work with, could learn to play on a synthesiser, not just 'the especially gifted ones.' It was then that I started to think about the question, 'Why does the striving to develop fine motor skills become so important from the age of two, but not before?'
I did not receive a conclusive answer to that question until many years later, when new three dimensional, monitoring equipment was created that shed light on children's development while still in their mother's womb. It was found that the intellectual abilities of children before they go to school and the potential abilities of their fine motor skills have been seriously underestimated and need to be re-evaluated!
Your First Contact With a Toddler
How can you make an impression?
Toddlers–this group of children is at a special age. If they have the full attention of an adult, this makes them want to take off. Having learned to walk and run and opened up for themselves a whole world that needs to be explored, the little ones wants to rush headlong into it, running to wherever their eyes take them and touch everything their hands reach out for.
Every mother knows, that if she hasn't seen or heard their child, for even a couple of minutes, trouble is likely to be brewing in the house.
So, its not worth chasing after a toddler, to explain about music lessons to him. There's no point squatting down and look him in the eye.
In his short life the toddler has already managed to catch on to one important rule: if an adult wants something from you, they will look you in the eye and come down to your level. What an adult needs is always something you don't want: to go to bed, to give you boiled carrots or nasty medicine.
So, if you want to make a successful start to your lessons with toddlers, you need to remember the most important rule: if you want him to be drawn to you, you need to ignore him.
Do you see that the toddler has been brought to the lesson, holding his mother's hand? Talk to the mother! About the weather, about music, about Beethoven. Talk to the mother–and don't look at the child directly, only out the corner of your eye. A toddler is used to feeling comfortable if he is following an adult, holding on to his mother's skirt and asking for something from time to time. So while you are having your conversation, he will quite quickly revert to to his usual toddler mode and pull at his mother's hand. He was promised some mysterious fun called 'music lessons,' but instead of that, again, he has to be present for a long and boring adult discussion.
In this context you immediately become part of the usual world of the toddler, when no-one is running after him, so he seeks the attention of adults, who are always busy with something else.
This is your moment. You must not miss it on any account! You can briefly glance at the child and speak into the air: 'Oh, I completely forgot to show you my kingdom–my realm. Here is Grandfather Grand Piano. Here is Grandchild Synthesizer. Here is my money, that I pay to people who work. And here is a treasure, that can be bought after the lesson.
This has to be done quite confidently, quickly and enthusiastically. Don't draw it out, or the toddler will have time to get bored and shift his focus to another direction.
It is not necessary to ask the toddler about the weather. You don't even have to ask him, if he wants to play with the cards or sing a song. While the toddler is thinking about, what he really wants or doesn't want, you are having a lesson. You need to suggest he does something and start doing it enthusiastically yourself(!). If the toddler is carefully watching what you are doing, but he doesn't get involved with the game, get the mother to join in with the you. Do worry about the child, he is watching everything, is hearing everything and is taking it all in and if not at the first lesson, then at the second, he will quietly start getting involved with the task.
When working with little ones, it is very important to master the art of immediately noticing and rewarding, every positive movement he makes, with 'musical money.' You also need to be able to quickly and clearly say, exactly what the child has done correctly and why he is getting a butterfly or a flag.
Don't be afraid to include in this list of achievements even small actions like: 'He wasn't swinging his legs for a few seconds,' 'He took his finger out of his mouth, 'He tried to sing the note do in the first octave.' Even if the child simply nodded and didn't even think about it, count that as a credit to him. In this way the toddler starts to understand, that we are really working with him and also what is expected of him so as to become a good student. He will certainly not want you to be disappointed in him and will want to come again and again!
Time management: One Minute Is a Long Time For a Child
If you say to an adult: 'Just a minute!'–for them, its just like a instant in time. A minute for a child–is forever. We perceive time in proportion to how long we have lived. The longer we have lived, the shorter one minute is in our perception.
The 'nutritional value' of one minute for a child and an adult is also different: a child absorbs information by means of all his sensory organs and afterwards his whole nervous system and intellectual processes build on this foundation. Usually, adults, use a minute to attempt to logically make sense of information or remember it.
Therefore the results of teaching children and adults are different.
The impact of each minute that a child actively spends at the piano cannot be overestimated.
For beginners, children between the ages of two and five, it is necessary to create an environment with the help of the Soft Music program, in the classroom, with the teacher and at home, so that music lessons become, not an individual lesson once a week, but daily practice.
The objective of the teacher is to work as a team with the parents of the child. Learning at home should be a continuation of the lessons in class. Ideally, the whole family should take part in the musical development of the tiny tot, learning different pieces and sharing in their success at family celebrations and academic concerts.
With the Soft Mozart program, it is absolutely necessary to participate in Academic concerts. There, the little ones are able to see how other young ones perform and understand that everyone likes studying music and playing the piano!
This helps the teacher, more effectively to develop the creative and musical potential of the child during the class lessons.
When teaching a child, the best results are achieved, when he does what his parents and those around him can do and love doing. If playing the piano becomes the favorite activity of his mother and father, older brothers and sisters, then the child will also definitely be drawn to the instrument.
Our Method helps those around the child also learn music well. This is not a case of lessons, in which one learns and the others observe passively.
What is needed is that the parents make it a goal to organize the time for the whole family in such a way that playing the piano and musical games are included in family leisure time. Therefore when enrolling a child of preschool age in your class, help the parents understand that they will be actively learning music, together with their child.
The parents can also follow the child's lessons and work with the same material, but it is better when they are involved in a course for adults and so keep ahead of their children.
The Best Instrument for Lessons
The best instrument for first music lessons, with small preschool children, is a 61 key synthesizer, that does not have weighted keys. This should be the most simple instrument, without back lighting or optional features: they distract the child from the task at hand.
If the child's family already has a acoustic Piano, its a good idea to convince them to get a synthesizer. You must have a digital instrument to be able to use the Program at home.
Without noticeable progress the desire to learn music quickly disappears in the child and his parents.
If the family already has a digital instrument with weighted keys, you have to carefully monitor during the child's first lessons. Often children between 24-36 months are unable to control their strength when pressing the keys down. They cannot manage, the construction of coordination tasks and pressing down the keys properly simultaneously. It is necessary to have an instrument that has keys which respond to a light touch, i.e.: the most simple synthesizer.
In history of piano keys, those that are stiffer, responsible for the dynamics of sound, were made considerably later than keyboards with a light touch. There is not one case in history, when musicians were not able to adjust to playing without dynamics on the piano.
Developing Attention Starting From Zero
We are often asked, “Is it worth starting lessons, if the child is not able to pay attention?' With our new approach in teaching we do not need to wait until the child is able to concentrate. You can start lessons with the help of the Method.
What many perceive as inattentiveness in a child, his inability to focus, is in fact The Chaotic Search Stage. Where should I look? What should I do? Where should I run? Maybe the keys can be chewed? Maybe I should smell the notes? Imagine, that the child has a bunch of keys in his hands and he is randomly trying to open one of those locks of new knowledge.
Even before a child is born, his hearing, sense of smell, taste buds, motor skills and tactile sensations are developing. It is those skills he will attempt to use when he is first introduced to the instrument.
When a child tries to make a noise using his fists(sometimes even his heels!), when he tries to taste the instrument and ignores what you are showing him, don't be in a hurry to get upset. This is natural behaviour. When learning something new, every individual attempts spontaneously to use skills he has already developed well.
The ability to visually distinguish objects and color develops in the child after birth and is a new skill. The ability to focus only arises from use. Because of this the child will look in different directions and not focus on an object, until he becomes interested in it. Since vision prompts movement, the child will move around a room following their beautiful young eyes.
This is a perfectly normal reaction!
There are simple ordinary ways to attract the attention of the child and his development. Historically, they developed spontaneously. Bending over the cradle, we begin talking to the child, and he, in response to the tone of our voice, studies the features of our face. For very little tots, rattles are the most popular thing in a toy store. When attracting a baby's attention to the sound of toys, we are helping his vision to focus on it. When moving a toy, we are training the baby's eyes to follow the action. So, with the help of an already established and working channel of perception (hearing), we shift the child's attention to develop another ability(to focus).
According to this principle, the child develops, combining different channels of information into one and bringing together billions of neurons in 'paths,' 'tracks, 'corridors' and 'junctions.' The new skills of the child are—'the paths' that branch off from already existing roads. It is very important for the teacher to know and understand the strengths of the child, his fundamental 'highways.' This is not as difficult as it seems!
From speech—to a picture
Speech memory is one of the most developed skills in a child. Children learn to imitate the intonation of adults from birth, because their hearing is already developing while they are in the womb of their mother. Many videos exist, where two month old children already imitate the intonation of their parents and even sometimes can exactly repeat a few words after them.
The pictures of a Door, Rain, Mirror etc, can get the attention of a child, when they are accompanied by both by the word and the action and the musical sound.
- We teach the child to find a picture that we have select from a group of illustrations. From spontaneous dispersion of focus, we direct the attention of the child to a specific focus. To start with, we give the picture its complete name–(door) and then shorten it to the name of the note(do).
- We listen, dance and sing/say the words of the song with the toddler, in which the names of the pictures are arranged in specific 'verses.' Dancing to the music and repeating the words of 'the verses,' the child remembers spontaneously the sequence of the syllables.
- With the help of the learned 'verses,' we teach the child to arrange the sequence of the
- We complicate the intellectual task and 'hide' some of the pictures from the group and ask the child to find the one that is 'hiding,' with the help of his speech memory.
From the pictures we go to the keys and the notes. Visual development–motor coordination
When we have the keys and the notes, the picture becomes a 'guide' to the development of hand-eye coordination. The child learns to match the pictures and with their help, quite quickly transfers his focus to the keys on the screen.
The visual motivation prompts the child to press down the key, not only for the sound, but 'the familiar' key, the name of which is known and spoken. The eyes find the same picture in the musical notes.
It often happens that it is difficult for a child to focus on the picture, the note, the key, even with our program, because there is too much visual information before his eyes. So he begins to literally get lost on the keyboard, and is unable to select one key from all the others. We should temporarily cover 'the interfering' part of the screen and the keyboard, so as to be able to help him concentrate primarily on the motor skills.
Pressing down the key brings the animation up on the screen. So gradually the child begins to develop his the hand-eye coordination. He matches the pictures, presses down the key and see the results of the action on the screen.
As a child's most developed and independent finger is the index finger, he is most likely to start pressing down the keys with that finger. You don't have to persuade him to do this. It doesn't even matter if he wants to play the notes with his nose: he needs to learn to look at the notes and find the corresponding keys without looking. He is not yet ready for new dilemmas.
Gradually memorizing the sequence of the pictures, helps the child to perceive the visual information and his own fingers, not separately, but together. This really helps him to learn the location of the notes and the keys and also to understand how better to use his fingers together.
The Spiders and Butterflies Investigation Stage
Often many teachers and parents are upset, that the child, after coming to understand how the program works, does not immediately carefully follow the pictures and just press down the keys corresponding to them. The reverse is true, the child might fall in love with different spiders and butterflies, and hold down the 'wrong' key for ages and watch the spider. Sometimes a few keys and spiders are produced together using the palm.
Why does this happen?
In each child lives an 'investigator.' An adult's goal is to play the pieces without mistakes. We grasp the logic immediately: press the wrong key–a spider appears. Hold one down too long–we see a butterfly. When don't hold one down for long enough–Mister Whoops.
The child, however, does not have the skill for quick, logical deduction. To start with he gathers sensory and interaction experiences. He not only sees a spider or a butterfly, he is trying to get a feel for them, play with them, using his imagination. You don't have to interfere! By observing, you can just guide the child's actions with the help of positive comments and also 'musical money.'
From speech to singing.
When the hand-eye coordination of the child becomes a basic skill(this will be become evident during the first five presentations, which will get closer to zero) You can encourage him to the sing notes of the melody.
This stage is very important for the development of the child's pitch. Listening to how high the sound is and humming/singing it's solfeggio, his perception is heightened–from speech to singing. This establishes a special program in his consciousness, which will help him to easily convert sounds into notes and vice versa in the future. Many children who learn, using the Soft Mozart system, develop perfect pitch. With this pitch they can play music by ear, transpose, and even compose their own pieces.
Under no circumstances should you push the child or force him to sing. You can only invite him to play a game, in which you sing for him, and he pays you for your 'service' with his 'savings'–his musical money. After suffering the first loss, most children are willing to save their money and sing themselves.
Thanks to these lessons, many children starting from scratch, develop both a singing voice and pitch, because they are firmly interconnected.
The piano, fine motor skills and the child's brain.
It is from two to five years of age, learning music and the active cooperation of all fingers of both hands on the keys, produces a tremendous amount of neural connections in both cerebral hemispheres and creates faster communication between the two hemispheres.
This is essential for the development of a healthy, intelligent and balanced child. A balanced child is one who knows how to take in information with both sides of his brain simultaneously.
From the age of two, every child needs to begin, as early as possible, to learn to play with both hands. The corpus callosum, connecting the cerebral hemispheres, develops more intensively especially with the help of piano lessons. The simultaneous operation of both hands and the fingers of both hands causes the neurons to connect to the largest number of 'pathways,' so that the corpus callosum turns into a powerful conductor, a multi-laned highway.
These 'highways' will help the child to avoid 'traffic jams,' not only in learning, but also in critical situations in life.
The development of the 'сorpus callosum' is a real treasure for the child. There is not a better gift, that you could give the child in his whole life. Combining both hemispheres, responsible for abstract and logical thinking (left) and feeling, space, time, intuition (right), we contribute to the development of an "unsinkable" catamaran–a mind, that will be creative and think outside the box and deal with any problems that come his way in the future.
It is no coincidence, that pediatricians and educators around the world talk a lot about the need to develop fine motor skills of the child when he is between the ages of two and five!
The Heiner Method raises the development of fine motor skills to a new level and gives them a new meaning: we can help a child develop, not only with helping him to do up buttons, untie and tie up his shoelaces, but with helping him to play music pieces, even classical ones.
This type of learning is much much better than any existing methods of development and teaching of children
Stages of Development of the Hands. Something That Both Teachers and Parents Should Be Aware Of.
The development of the awareness of the fingers
As was mentioned earlier, a child's fingers become independent and require further development as early as the age of two. Usually, a child can count his fingers and give them names, but he does this slowly, out loud or repeating the sequence to himself.
For a more effective development of this skill we need to follow the practice of temporarily connecting the fingers to the names of the notes. So, on the right hand, the fingers from thumb to little finger are called, for example–Do Re Mi Fa and So.
At school and at home, teachers and parents should conduct regular exercises in regard to the awareness of each finger.
You can buy plasticine and make holes in it–a little 'house' for each finger. Put the child's fingers in them and ask one or another of the fingers, 'to come out of it's house.' You can draw an outline of the child's hand on green and brown sheets of paper and cut and stick the name of each finger to them.
This will help your child to lay the foundation for playing the piano with five fingers at once.
Playing, using the Gentle Piano program, requires first and foremost from the child, the formation of hand-eye coordination. Only after that, the child will be able to focus on the next task: fingering or controlling his fine motor skills.
When toddlers are just starting to learn, any fingering is correct.
Our first objective is to establish, in the child, simultaneous operation of his vision, hearing, motor skills and voice, so that he can easily find the note and the corresponding key, to hear the sound and to sing the notes correctly.
As long as the child plays from note to note, and the time he is searching exceeds the number of notes played, we must understand that the hand-eye coordination of the child is still in the development stage.
Moreover, it is better to give the child the opportunity to listen to the whole piece, but work on a small fragment. For children, with serious difficultieswith developing coordination, one to three notes can be chosen to work on.
The main rule here is–reasonable gradualism. You do not give your child breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same time, once a day, do you?
Teaching fingering notation to younger preschool age children, at the beginning of working on a piece, is a task that is not only difficult to achieve, but it is also completely useless. As was mentioned earlier, the selection of comfortable sequence of fingering should be the conscious action of the little one himself.
We are preparing in advance for the child to be able to correctly choose which fingers to use, with the help of working on the awareness of the names of the fingers, games exercises and the pieces of Gentle Piano. As soon as the child develops fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, he easily finds the 'right' fingers himself, or is willingly to listen to our advice, about which fingering to use.
It is necessary to overcome 'the traditional music teacher syndrome' and allow the child to use whichever key he feels comfortable with. Patience and tact are required to wait till the toddler wants to change something and to include all the remaining fingers in his playing.
Special Features for Learning Pieces With the Help of Soft Piano
It is best to start learning to play the piano with the Introductory Songs, in which there are melody and harmony. These pieces seem complicated, because they demand, from the toddler, that he plays three notes simultaneously.
However, it is not as complicated as it seems. If you start working on the right and left hands separately, and when you play harmony at the beginning use the two index fingers of both hands, the child quickly learns to play two notes at the same time and a little later he is able to confidently play the interval with one hand.
First and foremost, the purpose of learning to play a song is the development of the basic integrated skills and as soon as a child has mastered them, he is ready for music perception. Singing along with the Solfeggio notes, he is adjusting the tune more correctly, and is trying to deal with the challenges of coordination.
In some cases, the toddlers quickly work through the coordination period and are ready for solving more difficult tasks.
Here is a list of tasks, that a child can learn to negotiate with the Soft Mozart Program.
- The coordination of both hands. One must learn to continue to hold down the keys for longer notes in one hand and with the other play a different melody.
- The gradual decrease in time and the number of
- Playing by memory separately and with both hands.
- *Very rarely, but possible*—synchronously playing with a teaching song
Features of Working With Other Modules
As was mentioned earlier, the use of software modules should be introduced gradually. How many minutes are needed with each module, should be decided, depending on the child's concentration level.
We need to press F1 and stop playing at the first sign of tiredness or loss of concentration in the child. Remember: it is not the amount of minutes that is important, but the comfort and the interest of the child. So don't ask the question: 'How many minutes should the child play?' Put the question another way: 'How much time does the little one need so as to work comfortably?'
Even if it's only a few seconds of attention, those seconds should be used to help with the task. All modules of the program are based on such an algorithm, that takes into account, every movement of the student and slows down to a complete stop, when there is a large number of mistakes. If the child makes fast and correct decisions, the program takes him to more challenging levels.
Therefore you don't have to help the child. This will only disrupt the algorithm program.
No need to give the toddler more than five minutes of playing time, even if his interest has been aroused. The algorithm has been created so as not to exhaust the child, but to stimulate his progress in the field of concentration, not in the field of endurance.
Nurturing Healthy Self Esteem in Toddlers
The little person wants to learn and to do it well. Our task is to help him with this, but in such a way that the child relies primarily on his own resources. It is not by chance, when a child is learning to walk and talk, he often says, 'I want to do it myself!'
Your task is to strengthen the healthy self esteem of the child, teach him to realistically evaluate the results of his work and not to look for support or praise from others. You should teach the child to put achievable objectives before himself, compare the result with what he has done before and always strive for advancement.
Below are some guidelines, which should be remembered when working with toddlers:
- You don't need to use a high pitched voice and talk to the child like a baby.
- You shouldn't praise the child because he is 'cute' or 'funny' or even 'clever.' These words are generalities.
- Praise him for specific actions and achievements.
- The best form of encouragement is the musical money. It is neutral and does not carry the danger of appearing biased or inattentive. Despite their young age, toddlers are easily able to discern the mood of those around them.
- The toddler's pride in their achievements can develop only on the basis of respect for your opinion. Respect grows, when a child sees that you pay careful attention to his results and that you don't overstate his accomplishments.
- It is especially important not to feed the toddler with exaggerated enthusiasm: since you can inflate the self-esteem of the child and disturb his balanced self monitoring.
- Ask him to play the piece with his left hand, right hand or both hands at least twice. Before the second time, you should always say: 'Let's do that again and we will see if you win or you lose.' Be sure to compare the numbers obtained out loud and encourage the child for each improvement. Explain why he has won. The child learns very quickly to compare the figures.
- When working with the modules, always write down the result and explain to the toddler how much he has improved or worsened. Do not give an emotional evaluation if the result is not so good. Simply state the facts and suggest that next time he tries it again, he should try to win. If the youngster wants to do it again, agree to it!
- Do not force the toddler to accept your help, do not show him 'how it should be done,' do not sing for him until he did gives his consent. You could simply ask him: 'Do you want me to show you how to do it?' If the child says 'No', you shouldn't force him. Our task is to develop his internal skills and to strengthen his desire to win, without the support of others around him.
- Never criticize a child's performance of a piece of music. He does not have to be another "Mozart!" Praise him only for what he has achieved. Even if the feat is playing one note with his index finger. This is his own personal accomplishment. It is this that will become the reference point for his successful learning. A journey of thousand miles begins with a single step./Success comes with tenacity./The road becomes better for having been walked on.