Age is no barrier to music. Babies and senior citizens and everyone in between can enjoy music and successfully make music, each in their own unique but equally valid ways. We know this because we see it every day.
So when we discovered the WunderKeys method back in 2013 we were thrilled to bring private piano instruction to preschoolers.
But we were amazed at just how well the WunderKeys method works. It’s efficient. It’s effective. It’s thorough. And best of all, it’s infectiously enjoyable! Our teachers love teaching this curriculum as much as the children enjoy learning from it. And most of the children who began WunderKeys with us back in 2013 or 2014 are still playing piano and are some of our most advanced students!
What’s so special about WunderKeys? We’ve whittled it down to these five:
WunderKeys makes young students feel successful from day one, because they are playing songs from day one. Each lesson includes a duet that the student plays with his/her teacher, which quickly builds repertoire, ensemble skills, and that wonderful feeling of “I did it!”
Fine Motor Focus
Fine motor skills like finger isolation and finger strength are a primary focus of the WunderKeys Preschool program. These skills are still developing at this age, and children can easily become frustrated. From the very first lesson, children meet the “Wunderbies” – delightful characters that symbolize each finger – and are presented with developmentally appropriate fine motor activities that progress in difficulty as the child moves through the three-book Preschool series. Rather than becoming frustrated, young children build their fine motor skills through fun, story-based games and songs.
There are so many concepts that are involved in making music, like how long to hold a note for, the pitch of a note, the shape of a melody, and qualities of a note such as how loud or quiet it should be. All of these fundamentals are learned in the very first Preschool book. As a child follows the Wunderbies on their comical adventures, they learn:
- To play high & low pitches on the piano and identify whether pitches they hear are high or low
- To play series of notes that are moving higher and moving lower and identify whether notes they hear are moving higher or lower
- To play and identify long and short sounds
- To play and identify quiet and loud sounds
Early understanding of these concepts prepares a young student for the rest of his or her musical learning.
“Out of Position” Playing
One trap that beginning piano students sometimes come across is getting “stuck” playing in just one part of the piano. WunderKeys ensures that a student plays with all the fingers in all different parts of the piano from day one, ensuring that he or she feels comfortable with the entire instrument.
One of the top things we hear from parents is, “my child keeps asking to learn piano, but I don’t think he/she can sit at a piano for very long.” In WunderKeys, a student never sits at the piano for more than a few minutes! They are up and moving their bodies (the best way to learn new concepts at a young age), engaging in pretend play, telling stories, playing games, and playing on the keys, too.
Ultimately, WunderKeys is the most developmentally appropriate approach for children ages 3-5 to begin piano. It meets students exactly where they are in terms of motor development and cognitive development, and that is why children and parents (and us teachers!) love it!