I minored in piano as a music major in college. I enjoy teaching it. I believe in using methods which teach intervals and chords, thus, I use the Alfred Piano Method written by Morton Manus. Morton Manus designed the Alfred curriculum to sequentially move the student forward by understanding patterns of music intervals within hand positions. They also include chords in this curriculum. I have always felt that knowing piano chords, and seeing melodic patterns is crucial to basic musical understanding.
Pianists are musicians and percussionist. My students practice rhythm cards with drum sticks in most lessons. They use theory books and flash cards to help drill basic music facts which help them become independent music readers and performers.
My piano students prepare multiple songs of different styles in lessons and for the NFMC Junior Festival each March.
Piano is a great instrument, and I love teaching it!
The ideal age to start is when a child can read English and numbers fluently. The child should also be mature enough to practice. If your child is younger than first grade, (Kindergarten), I will need to screen your child for readiness by asking the parent a few important questions. Second graders tend to be the best beginners. The piano is a great instrument for ANY musician. It creates a tremendous foundation of musicianship that helps the player understand all music at a deep level. It can also be played independently throughout a person's lifetime.
Guitar and Ukulele Curriculum:
I taught group guitar classes for eight years when I was at White Lick Elementary School. In addition to guitar methods class in college, I have taken the, "Teaching with Guitar" course through Vander Cook College of Music (2017). I prefer to use the Hal Leonard Guitar books. They come with computer audio accompaniments which can be manipulated for tempo and pitch. My guitar students practice using the audio components with most songs.
Hal Leonard owns the copyrights to many popular songs, and their books have a vast amount of pop and folk songs with great recordings. The students learn about American music culture in every lesson. We play songs written for Elvis, the Beatles, The Beach Boys, Sting, and many other famous artists. Folk songs include, "Ode to Joy", "You Are My Sunshine", "Hokey Pokey", and more.
The Guitar is the most popular instrument in the United States, and is a lifelong way to create music independently. I love teaching it!
I also teach Ukulele, using the Hal Leonard course.
The ideal age to start guitar is similar to piano: I recommend kids be at least in 3rd grade and have an instrument that fits their size. Teenagers also may learn guitar very quickly. I have special books for each age group.