Update: This contest is now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated! And congratulations to Taleah, winner of volumes 1 and 2 of The Shape of Music!
I started taking piano lessons in the second grade and – with the exception of one year in between teachers – I continued until I graduated from high school. I haven’t played much in several years, but every once in a while I sit down and remember.
I remember the challenge, the release, the achievement, the frustration, the beauty. But, inevitably, before I can get too philosophical about my rusty fingers playing out-of-tune keys, Annalyn runs in the room.
“Can I play, too, Mommy?”
Whenever we have time – and if Mark isn’t trying to sleep – I don’t mind letting her plink and plunk the keys. I want her to love music like I do, and I know exposure is a big part of that. We already sing and listen to lots of genres of music, but I think there’s something to be said about letting her make music herself.
Until several months ago, I thought plinking and plunking on our piano was doing pretty well for now. I didn’t see any need to put Annalyn in formal lessons until elementary school. After all, it worked for me.
But then my friend, Jenni, wrote a book and I started wondering if we could do more.
Jenni, a good friend from my college days and my former choir director, has written The Shape of Music, a piano curriculum for small children. Jenni has done a lot of research, both academically and practically (she has four young children herself), and she believes that children as young as Annalyn can begin learning about music in general and to play the piano in particular.
And here’s the kicker: Parents, whether they have music experience or not, can teach these little kiddos!
Amazon Product Description
“The Shape of Music” is an early music education series created specifically for children between the ages of 2 and 6, along with their parents-no music experience required! The simple lessons prepare the parent or teacher to be the child’s guide through a gradual, incremental addition of new concepts. The numerous learning concepts incorporated in “The Shape of Music” include early math skills, color & shape recognition, early literacy development, eye-hand coordination, fine-motor skills, an appreciation for classical music, rhythm, pitch matching, visual recognition of the musical scale, and a great repertoire of children’s songs.
About the Author
Jenni Fansler credits her life-long love of music to her parents, as well as a long string of church volunteers, who ensured that her childhood was filled with song. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Music at Southwest Baptist University, after which she spent a year in graduate study at Truman State University and 3 1/2 years as a Baptist Minister of Music. Today she resides in the beautiful Ozarks with her husband, Judah, and their four children, whom she educates at home.
I’ve read (and, in full disclosure, helped edit) The Shape of Music, and I think it’s fantastic. One of my parenting goals for this year (in addition to night-time potty training and finally getting Annalyn’s hair cut for the first time) is to begin teaching her about music using this curriculum. I think it might be a good project for this summer – you know, when preschool is over and I’m left to my own devices for educating and entertaining my child?
I’ll keep you posted on how well The Shape of Music works for our family. (Yes, I will tell you if I have a piano prodigy on my hands. You can count on that!) But I don’t want to keep these fun books to myself! Jenni is giving away a copy of The Shape of Music and The Shape of Music, volume 2.
To enter the giveaway: Leave a comment telling me what instrument you play. Or, if you don’t play one, what instrument you’d like to play! This giveaway will be closed at midnight (CST) on Friday, March 4.