Review: Learning for Little Fingers

Contest, Lesson resources, Reviews

Have you ever had a parent of a 3 year old ask if you could teach their child piano lessons? I know I have. While I do begin piano lesson with students as young as 4 years old there are a several requirements they need to be able to do before I will accept them as students. The two main things that I have required are 1) They must be able to recognize letters A-G and 2) They must be able to recognize numbers 1-5. This is mainly because of the materials I have used.

Well, now there is material that makes those two requirements unnecessary! Laura Brothers, creator of Learning for Little Fingers has developed a curriculum with those tiny fingers in mind. (3-5 years) Students set the pace in the books they use. It is recommended that they just work on one song a week, though some may be fine with two.

FullSizeRenderThe first book in the series is Tiny Fingers: Under the Sea. One thing that surprised me is all the pieces are on staff! But because the little one’s probably don’t recognize their alphabet and numbers quite yet, the note heads are actually animal heads that represent the notes on the staff. The thing I like best about this is it sets up for a beautiful transition into regular on staff note reading. Students will already be familiar with where the letters/notes belong on the staff when they transition over without the character heads.

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In the first book, students will become familiar with the characters and where they belong on the lines and spaces. The cute character illustrations from the Learning for Little Fingers materials are designed by Claire Stamper. Meet the animals…

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Helpful technic tips are given in this book that apply specifically for these little learners. Rhythm is not touched on quite yet, except to keep a steady beat. Gaps that are seen in the measures can simply represent holds or rests. Teacher duets to help with steady beat and fun are available as well!

The second book is Tiny Fingers: Into the Jungle. Students are now introduced to rhythm but again, assuming they don’t recognize their numbers yet. Rhythm is introduced with syllabic pictures. “Biscuit” represents half notes/minim, “Cake” represents quarter notes/crotchet and “yummy” represents eighth notes/quavers.

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 11.56.01 AMMy Monster Scales is a supplementary exercise book that is designed to be used alongside the Tiny Fingers Curriculum. “The purpose of this book is to help students develop control of individual fingers and can be used to illustrate and help students to recognize the patterns of moving up and down the staff.”

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There are quite a few games on the Learning for Little Fingers website that help reinforce what students are learning in the curriculum. “Rain, Rain Go Away” is a simple and quick matching game where students are adding “sun” over the “rainclouds” by matching the animals to their home on the keyboard.

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IMG_4692You can find all the Learning for Little Fingers curriculum and supplements on their website here. And the Facebook page is great for teacher support!

Now when you are asked, “Can you teach my 3- year old how to play the piano?” The answer can be “YES! I have just the perfect curriculum to use with them!”

Not sure quite yet if this is something you want to try? Well, Laura understands that jumping into a brand new curriculum is a big decision, so she has made a free trial pack available to download. Everything you need to teach your first lesson including games! You can download the trial pack here.

All of the Tiny Fingers books are now available as physical books, as well as unlimited studio licensed digital downloads. The games in the Tiny Fingers curriculum are currently available as digital products but may be available as physical products in the future.

Laura has offered to give a very lucky teacher a digital copy of Under The Sea (the first book in the series) with an unlimited reproduction license! What is the youngest age you have taught in your studio? To enter, answer that question and any other comments you would like to make in the comments below. Deadline to enter is by Saturday, March 28th; 10:00pm MST. GIVEAWAY HAS EXPIRED

43 Comments

  1. Jennifer Hibbard

    Thanks for sharing this! I don’t have a piano studio, but I like how this method mirrors some of the ways we teach our elementary music students the absolute pitches on the staff 🙂

    Reply
  2. Bev Conway

    The earliest age I’ve taught is my 4 year old niece who always wanted her lesson sitting on my lap. In fact, she’d remind me by saying “Auntie? You forgot the lap” She continued to take lessons until she was old enough to advance to a master teacher! And I love her to death!

    Reply
  3. Helena P

    Age 4 w/ MFPA. So great to see curriculum for the younger child!

    Reply
  4. Karin

    Th youngest I have taught is 4. This has been a learning experience for me. I have been following this series for awhile. I appreciate the review and I will be looking into this since I teach in a couple of preschools and this might be just the right way to go!

    Reply
  5. Virginia Jones

    The earliest age I have taught is 3 years old with another program for small children. That child is going on 4 and has now started My First Piano Adventure. I do like the way the staff is introduced so early in the Tiny Fingers curriculum with animal names. I would be very interested in taking a look at this program for sure.
    Virginia Jones

    Reply
  6. Joyce Hein

    I have taught 3 years for piano, but I start from newborn introducing them to infant massage and music, then at toddler age we do toddler music games and singing.

    Reply
  7. Becki Laurent

    The youngest I’ve accepted for private piano was 2! But she was a really really SMART 2! And she still plays at 18!

    Reply
  8. mycgrimsby

    I’ve taught several 3-year-olds in a group piano class.

    Reply
  9. Valerie Evensen

    The youngest I have taught that wasn’t my own child was 4. My own children started playing around the age of 3

    Reply
  10. Whitney Page

    I teach prek music at a church preschool. I’ve been looking for a resource that will work for 2-5 year olds. Sounds like this might be just what we need. Thanks for introducing it to us!

    Reply
  11. Kerry Drombosky

    I’ve taught a few as early as four years of age- and what a range of abilities they can have at that age!! I’ve used Alfred Prep series in the past for children 4 1/2 to 5 with success, but the last one that age wasn’t ready for it, and I was ” flying by the seat of my pants” pulling materials together for her. This looks like exactly what I need!

    Reply
  12. Crystal Cassels

    The youngest I ever taught was a 4 year old many years ago, but my first grandchild turns 3 this summer and I’m eager to try something with him!

    Reply
  13. Lena Purnell

    My three year old grandaughter. Big brother taking lessons and she refused to be left out. Need something different as fingers are to small for most activities.

    Reply
  14. Carla in MT

    Teaching a 5 yr old now. We keep the lessons short and moving quickly, These books look very interesting.

    Reply
  15. Brad Garner

    Wife and I have 3 three year olds now and we use a lot of puppets.

    Reply
  16. Donna

    The youngest I have taught on a one on one basis is 5 years old, but I have been asked to work with a 4 yr old this summer to see if she’s ready for lessons. I would love to give this a try with her!!

    Reply
  17. Margaret

    Youngest was a precocious 4 year old and started my own children at about 3 1/2.

    Reply
  18. Robyn

    I e had several 3yo students and I would LOvE to try this!!?

    Reply
  19. Debbie Wiser

    Four is the youngest I’ve taught. Love their enthusiasm and energy. And they usually say something that keeps me giggling till next week.

    Reply
  20. Marie

    I couldn’t wait to get my daughter started so we used a Bastien course for very young beginners when she was three years old. She now teaches in my studio when she’s home from college and even spent last summer teaching beginning piano to grade school students in Africa–one of the highlights of her life! I’m excited to add Laura’s “Learning for Little Fingers” as a summer course for the young siblings of my current students.

    Reply
  21. Brenda P

    I have taught one 3-year-old sibling of two older students. We use MFPA. This looks appealing for the very young.

    Reply
  22. Annette

    I have taught three year olds. Fun!

    Reply
  23. Barbara G

    I have done several methods with preschool aged students. Most have been a frustration! The biggest part of frustration comes from parents who think their kids should be staff reading and my chosen methods are just not cutting it! This looks like it just may fit the bill of what parents want and what I’m looking for! Thank you for the review on something I want to check out!

    Reply
  24. Suzanne

    I have taught quite a few three-year olds. Someone asked me to teach their two-year old, but we ended up waiting until she was three.

    Reply
  25. Loraine

    The youngest age I have taught was four years old

    Reply
  26. Zoé Iglesias

    In my short career as a piano teacher (only four years), the youngest student I’ve had is 5-years-old, which continues to be my student and nowadays is 9! Back then, I’d no idea which material to use -in Mexico we don’t have yet the My First Piano Adventures curriculum and neither had I discovered the wonderful Piano Pronto. I saw this month the article in The Piano Bench Mag about Little Fingers and loved the animals. I have already downloaded the free sample and would like the complete Under The Sea book!

    Reply
  27. Jeannie M

    I have a couple of 3 year olds but usually start at 4 years old in music ‘theory’ classes

    Reply
  28. Laurie

    I started my youngest student at 3 last year. She is doing great! I would love to try another curriculum for younger students!

    Reply
  29. Orlia

    I have taught a couple of 3-year-olds, but usually don’t start until at least 4. This series could be a game-changer for me, as it looks amazing!

    Reply
  30. Teresa R

    Have started as young as 4 but usually just try to take students at age 6

    Reply
  31. Sue

    The youngest child I have started on piano was 3.5. This looks very interesting!

    Reply
  32. Nancy Casey

    Just a couple of grandsons

    Reply
  33. Carla Faye

    Very interesting curriculum. Youngest I have taught is 3

    Reply
  34. Walter

    I teach at church on Wednesday nights so it is a group lessons — usually have 4-6 preschoolers

    Reply
  35. R. Jeannie

    Having trouble getting the ‘order’ to recognize my Zip Code. Keeps telling me to enter a correct ZIP. Is anyone else having this problem?

    Date: Wed, 18 Mar 2015 16:19:38 +0000 To: [email protected]

    Reply
    • foxxpianostudio

      Can you post this problem on the Little Fingers FB page or message her from that page? I’m sure it’s a fixable glitch.

      Reply
      • Walter

        Laura answered me and I got it fixed. THANKS!

  36. Sue Worachek

    The youngest that I have taught is 4 years old. It worked, but his dad worked with him a lot.

    Reply
  37. Ann Allott

    The youngest student I have started at 5 years old. He had already been to his older brother’s lessons when Mum came so he was very keen to learn too. I have found parents who are prepared to spend time with younger students at home can make a big difference.

    Reply
  38. Janice

    The youngest age I have taught is 4. Thank you for reviewing this curriculum.

    Reply
  39. Janet

    The youngest student I have taught was 3 when she started. I currently have a group of 4 year olds that may really benefit from a program like this one 🙂

    Reply
  40. Lasanthie

    The earliest I’ve taught is 4 years. I found that was a very difficult experience mainly due to no availability of proper material. I feel this method gives us more confidence to teach younger ones.

    Reply

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