Have you ever had a student hide under the grand piano playing a little hide and seek the second you turned your back? How about a really wiggly student who just couldn’t sit still? Or maybe an adult student who’s lesson time was over and realizing after sharing about their life’s challenges they hadn’t touched the piano at all?
These are just some of the things that I have experienced with students over the years. Did you know that all these scenarios are typical of certain age characteristics?
When it comes to teaching, understanding the different age groups is imperative. What works for a 5 year old for example will not work for a 9 year old and visa versa. Or how you teach a teenager is going to look very different than how you teach a 7 year old. If we understand that an 7-8 year old is usually silly, we might have a little more patience with them when they hide under the piano.
Preschoolers have short attention span and their fine motor skills are still developing. This is important to understand because you will want to plan more than you think you will have time for as activities will need to change often. If you are giving preschoolers some hands on activities that require cutting and pasting, they are going to struggle a bit more. So a great tip would to use activities that use more large motor skills. Or if you have an activity that uses fine motor skills, do some of the prep work (like cutting) ahead of time.
Elementary age kids are active. They are wiggly, giggly and squirmy. They like to have fun and enjoy other kids. They are also curious. This is a great age to include group activities that get them moving allowing them to use their energy. Games, stories and riddles help stimulate their thinking.
Teenagers do not like to be treated as a child but they do like to have fun. You want to be careful with critique and make sure achievements are praised. They want to learn music that are relevant to themselves and their peers.
Adults are with you because they want to learn. They are typically self-motivated but their busy lives can many times take over despite the motivation. Adults tend to be harder on themselves because they assume because they are adults they will learn faster. While in some ways that is true, in other ways it isn’t. Patience and understanding plays a big role in teaching adults.
When we understand the typical age characteristics and how to teach those age groups we are able to engage and teach them better.
This post just barely touched what I share in the new online course, Activate Your Brain: Engaged Learning Strategies that Work! I narrow down specific age characteristics and teaching tips beginning from 18 months all the way up to adults. 4 hours of video modules and over 30 ways to check for understanding and engagement is only a part of what you will find inside. Included as a bonus is a growing bundle of supporting PDF’s that you will be able to use with your students as well! The course does not expire so you can take your time in completing the modules. Join me today! Register below.