The Kids On Keys music programs have been developed in response to a need for a structured music method designed for the young child ages four through seven. Children's learning readiness is developing at earlier ages.
Kids On Keys began over twenty years ago as a small group concept, taught at the Waukesha County Conservatory of Music, one of the largest music schools in Wisconsin. Parents often requested private piano lessons for their very young children. Although many of these children have letter and number recognition skills thanks to Sesame Street and other media exposure, this age child is usually not ready for the attention requirements of the traditional private lesson. Small muscles are not ready for the demands of individual finger movement and most young children are not ready for the learning pace of even primer method books.
Although there are many good primer methods available, the need to isolate and simplify one music concept at a time, in big, bold pictures and type, led to the creation of the Kids On Keys Workbooks. Integral to successful teaching at this age is the group dynamic that leads to play. Small group learning has many advantages over one-on-one teaching at this age. Young children enjoy hands-on learning, so the "Kids" of Kids On Keys: ANDY, BETSY, CANDY, DAVE, EMILY, FRIEDA, AND GUS, and a set of "friends" help students begin to learn music fundamentals. Each doll represents one letter of the music alphabet. We put them in order, place them on the keyboard, and on the music staff, play games with them, and sing songs to them.
As the Kids On Keys program continued to grow, we researched songs, games, projects, and other activities that correlated and enhanced the musical concepts being presented in each week's lesson. These ideas have been compiled into very comprehensive Teacher's Manuals, so that every lesson has an outline and plan to follow. Support material has been developed to enhance the Kids On Keys classroom experience with seasonal music fun, world music, songs to play, and songs to sing. Class activities are spaced in five to seven minute intervals, which is the average attention span of this age group.
With the addition of the Kids On Keys Compact Disks, we can now offer "help at home." The CDs follow the pages and concepts introduced in the workbooks. Through a series of funny and clever rhymes, songs, and activities, every fundamental is presented through explanation and repetition.
One of the major goals in creating Kids On Keys was to offer a practical, inexpensive teacher and student friendly music method with age appropriate material for young children. Kids On Keys is one of the only programs that uses keyboard emphasis and piano readiness as its core. We feel our material is compatible with most standard music methods. When children are ready to make the transition to private lessons, all concepts presented in Kids On Keys will allow students to integrate their knowledge into popular teaching texts. The success of this program can be tracked by the number of young students continuing on in private study with solid knowledge of the basic concepts of music, as well as a lot of enthusiasm for learning!
music for almost 20 years, I can honestly say that Kids On Keys is one of the
most exciting and dynamic preschool programs I have ever encountered. For
the student, it's fun and academically more challenging than other programs.
At the same time, it allows the teacher a flexibility to be as creative as they
wish with their lesson plans. Teaching in a private studio, I've seen
children's progress jump-started by the use of Kids On Keys, with significant
progress in their first year of keyboard study. I believe every child
should experience Kids On Keys as part of their musical training."
LaTona, Piano Teacher
presented in Kids On Keys are musically and educationally sound. Because
they are presented in short, age-appropriate segments, keeping the attention of
young students is easy and fun."
Masterson, Piano Teacher
"Kids On Keys
helps children begin their musical journey with a positive, enjoyable program.
Kids On Keys is designed to build a foundation that can be used with almost any
piano/keyboard method available today."
Dragoo, Piano Teacher
Susan McTaggart has been teaching young children for over 20 years. Most recently, she has been teaching the Kids On Keys program at one of the largest music schools in Wisconsin, the Waukesha County Conservatory of Music in Southeastern Wisconsin.
Lung Yang has been providing illustration support for the Kids On Keys products for over two years. His whimsical styling and creativity has brought a new dimension to the Kids On Keys products.
"Since graduating from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design in 1998, I've been involved in whatever art projects come my way. My home-based studio allows me to get just the right amount of work. I seem to enjoy doing all things art-related from digital graphic designs, logos and clip art to more traditional life-drawings, cartoons and illustration. The truth is my versatility comes from a background in fine arts, pre-press and computer graphics. Nothing is more fun than creating art for the world so if anyone has a request, please let me know. No project is too big or small, just email me and see what we come up with."
- Lung S. Yang
Phone: (920) 405-0314 (SAT & SUN)