After 40 years, I have a million different techniques to get children to learn. I really end up doing something totally different with all of them. The big plan is if they like it. Then they will want to play and maybe practice. So first we have to find out the child’s favorite song or kind of music. You can get anything at any level now. (Frozen II, Star Wars) so I always from day one let the student work on something they pick out.
One time, at the last recital, I had 3 students play background music from their favorite games. But they still all have their lesson books because we are going to learn to read music. So good for thinking and reasoning. I am also going to have everyone play some Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven along the way because it will make them use a lot of thinking skill and do a lot for their self esteem when someone hears them even working on it.
Sometimes I have to sneak it in because …oh look this rock song is just like this Beethoven! One of my students, doesn’t want to take home a book so we have to learn cool pieces from memory every week. One played Christmas songs for Boy Scouts to sing. Those are the ones that “hate” it. Do you think so?
Some kids play by ear. I don’t. But I still will still encourage them to do that. It’s a gift. Some people are good at reading music but they can still try to memorize. It’s all good. We all just have different ways of learning.