Scaffolding is kind of a strange name for a really important teaching concept. If you work with very young students or if you have young children of your own, you need to know about scaffolding!

Scaffolding is a teaching technique where you demonstrate a skill to your child, then let them imitate you. Once they imitate you you can build on what their doing, then let them continue to imitate you. In scaffolding, the child will discover new ways to explore a concept and the parent or teacher is simply facilitating their discoveries.

It’s kind of like a conversation, but the words are not as important as the actions and demonstration.

An example of scaffolding to teach a young child to keep a steady beat with an egg shaker would go like this:

  • You shake an egg shaker to the beat of music.
  • Your child starts shaking along with you.
  • If they’re not finding the beat, just repeat this activity consistently. It may take days, weeks or months, but eventually they will start to land on the beat.
  • If they can already keep a steady beat, change the way you shake your shaker. Tap it on your head.
  • Let you child imitate you tapping the shaker on your head. If your child decides to tap it on their leg, you can imitate your child and tap it on your leg.
  • Then, you change it up and tap it on the floor; let your child follow suit.
  • Continue this exchange for as long as your child stays in engaged.

Scaffolding may seem simple, but it’s a really powerful way for your child to learn. Your child will pick up new ways of using the instrument and this repetition will teach them to find a steady beat.

I find that often times, parents can see that their child enjoys music, but they’re not sure how to help them. Scaffolding is a perfect technique for parents to use on a daily basis, and it’s one that we use a lot in my Preschool Music Class.

And, speaking of my Preschool Music Class, I’m thrilled to tell you about a new program, especially for people who love working with small children, or who want to work more with small children!

Teach Preschool Music Course

Teach Preschool Music is my online course for piano teachers who want to add preschool music to their studio. In this course you will learn more about scaffolding and many other teaching techniques specific to young children.

If you’ve ever considered adding a preschool music program to your studio offerings, this course is for you! It will teach you exactly what you need to do implement a successful preschool music program. It covers everything from child development, lesson planning, finding materials, communicating with parents, business planning and more!

To get a flavor of what some of the curriculum of the course is like, be sure to enroll in my free course, Teach Hot Cross Buns To Preschool Music Students.

To get updates about sales and other preschool music news, leave your email address below and all of the details will go straight to your inbox!

Since I wrote this post, I’ve launched a separate site for preschool music teaching resources – check out Teach Preschool Music for all your preschool music teaching needs!

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  1. I can’t wait to see what you are offering. I have been teaching preschool piano for three years and preschool music classes for two years. The biggest problem I see in all preschool piano methods is the lack of communicating to teachers what children can learn at certain ages and how best to teach this age group any concepts. And unless those kinds of things are understood first, teaching piano or music in general is not as successful and fun as it probably could be. It seems that there has been a rush to get preschool piano methods into mainstream piano teacher’s hands without the instruction necessary to actually know what and how to teach these concepts. So I have kind of pulled the best from a lot of resources to “do my own thing”. I’m sure I have much more to learn. I’m looking forward to seeing your launch. Best wishes!

    1. Thank you, Cherie! You’re right – teaching preschoolers is an entirely different thing that teaching piano lessons. My course has a heavy focus on child development milestones and what is appropriate for different ages groups within a preschool class to do. When it’s approached correctly, it’s a special experience to watch a child interact with music and begin to understand concepts!

  2. I have taught preschool music for years. When they begin in 3k right away I teach them forte and piano. You are correct with scaffolding. Children are great at imitating. I get tickled at them often. If I push my glasses up or scratch my head, there is going to be that one observant child that will copy!

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