Can you think of a time when you were in a long meeting, or sitting in traffic? How long did it take before you started fidgeting? Was it a relief at the end to be able to stand up and move around?
Children learn fastest by moving because the brain develops through movement! For more on this, please see Smart Moves, Why Learning is Not All in Your Head (Carla Hanneford, 2005).
Many, if not most, children absorb more information while they are moving than while they are forcing their bodies to be still. Stillness takes a lot of energy, especially after a child has already spent a full day in school, as most do before the most common piano lesson times.
Fortunately, I have a professional background in brain-friendly movement, which I use for mini breaks in my piano lessons. The piano keyboard and written music can both be visually overwhelming and can make students feel tired after long periods of focus. With gentle, brain-friendly movement breaks, my students are able to maximize our time together at the piano, and feel good about themselves while learning.
Another way I keep students engaged is to give them brief standing breaks during lessons, sometimes playing musical copycat or note search games all over the piano keyboard.
For more on brain-friendly movement and my gentle approach to accelerated learning, click below to read my first book. Or check out the Brain Highways video channel.
Elisabeth C. Swim
Playful Mindful Music Guide