All kids are lively, but some are livelier than others. Some kids are so full of energy and the urge to move that they become a burden to themselves and their surroundings. At school, where they are expected to sit for hours and concentrate, they often get branded as problematic disturbances. Some are given medication, other parents and kids prefer not to do this.
Kids who are so very full of uncontrolled energy find it difficult to function in an environment that is loud, colorful and potentially distracting. They find it hard to focus and concentrate and feel lost and overwhelmed, which tends to lead them down the road to self doubt and low self-esteem.
Could piano lessons be of any help to Hyper Active kids?
If the child is beyond a certain point they will need professional help. A piano teacher, even one with the best intentions, isn’t a music therapist. However, there are many cases where a piano teacher can structure the lessons in a way that will help the child to relax, concentrate, and feel successful.
One on One lessons
One on one lessons enable an individual approach to the child that is not possible in a group. Questions and ideas that come up suddenly can be addressed without being considered a disturbance.
I once had a very jumpy 8 year old student who came to the lesson wanting to play the Harry Potter movie theme. He didn’t tell me he wanted to play it, but kept trying to figure it out on his own and I recognized the tune. I had prepared a different piece I wanted him to learn for that lesson. We ended up taking turns and alternating between the two. By the end of the lesson he could play both tunes. If I had insisted on doing only the piece I planned on, he probably would have finished the lessons playing neither. Because it was an individual lesson I could be that much more flexible.
Playing the piano activates multiple arias of the Brain
This link is to an article about the positive effects that playing music has on the brain.
By learning to play the piano the brain is formed and developed in a way that can help in other areas too, such as language skills and math. It improves the memory and concentration as well as the motor skills. Hyper active kids can benefit a great deal from this.
Learning the piano helps focus
I find it very important that students connect with the music they are going to practice at home. If they like the music, they will have the motivation to stick with it until they can play it fluently. They will practice not only the piece, they will practice focusing and sticking to the task as well. Again, super energetic kids will benefit from this process.
When the kid is too energetic to sit quietly during piano class
Sometimes kids come in through the door so laden with bottled up energy that there is no point in attempting at getting them to sit down again. In a case like this we do some rhythm games, involving clapping, jumping and sometimes even running.
Another way to help the kids calm down is to give them a guided listening assignment, while I play soothing music to them. They will have to tell me what the time signature was, or whether it was in major or minor, etc. Meanwhile they are exposed to beautiful music that helps them wind down.
Energetic kids are fun to teach!
On a personal note, I must say that these very active kids are often a lot of fun to teach. They tend to have interesting, out of the box ideas, are curious and easily connect to the element of music. With the help of the parents at home, we can achieve results that will make a difference to their lives.
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