By Dr. Julie Knerr

The following video is an 18-minute condensed video of a 45-minute lesson of this 5-year-old’s very first piano lesson! A bit of background about this student. He just turned 5 in May. His mom is a piano teacher. Dad is also a musician. He has been taking early childhood music classes for a few years. He is homeschooled and is doing Kindergarten/1st Grade work. As you will see, he is very enthusiastic, well-behaved, focused, and he learns quickly. In other words, a dream student!

Everything you see in the video is real-life lesson! Bloopers, mistakes, and triumphs are all included. During the first lesson, I am assessing a student’s concentration, rhythmic sense, pattern recognition, physicality, and ability to follow directions. As you will see, he is above average on nearly everything! The physical coordination is the one thing that will need extra attention.

What you will see in the video is my standard first lesson plan:

  • Alphabet Cards
  • Decorate the Piano
  • Alphabet Boogie Rote Piece
  • Charlie Chipmunk Rote Piece
  • March & Cowboy Improvisation
  • Lion Paw Technique
  • Drum Playbacks
  • Review
  • We had extra time, so there is some bonus footage of learning quarter and eighth notes (crotchets and quavers, for our international friends!) with rhythm cards. We count both syllabically (Ta’s) and using Animal Rhythm Patterns.
  • What is not included in the video is putting his name in his books (Repertoire Book 1, Theory Book 1, Sight Reading Cards 1, Piece Cards 1), and clarifying the assignment using the Piece Cards.