Local piano teacher Robyn Crosby

Local piano teacher Robyn Crosby

many tricks to teaching young kids the piano

Local piano teacher Robyn Crosby has many tricks up her sleeve.

Local piano teacher Robyn Crosby has many tricks up her sleeve.

Although it sounds hard to believe, she manages to get kids as young as three interested in playing the piano.

As anyone who’s handled young children will know, having them sit in front of a piano can be impossible, so Crosby sticks to a more tactile style of teaching that’s more exciting for young children.

“It’s really hands on,” she said of her teaching method. “Everything is made up of things to do.”

Compared to teaching adults, there are a lot more items required to help engage young pianists, she said, emptying a closet of stuffed animals onto a giant keyboard mat on the floor of her teaching area.

Each stuffed critter represents a different note, and has a story and a neighbour, to help students remember where notes are located on a piano.

“It’s not just, this is C, this is D,” she said. “It’s more exciting; more interesting. Children often learn from other children, too.”

As such, the piano lessons she teaches the youngest of learners are done in groups, with their parents present, so they can be part of the learning process as well.

On top of learning the piano, Crosby said that knowing the theory behind the instrument is important, as well.

“They don’t just learn the piano. They learn theory in fun ways,” she said.

Putting context to what students are learning also helps them remember and appreciate the various facets of music, she said.

Going up in the Royal Conservatory grading system, one must know theory by Grade 5

“It definitely helps you understand the music you’re playing,” she said.

Crosby started playing the piano at the age of six.

“I played in church. If you don’t have a place to play other than home, they don’t keep up,” she said, of students.

She was taught the instrument by her aunt, Catherine Dash, who also taught well-known pianist David Foster.

“It was just basic solid teaching,” Crosby said, of Dash’s teaching.

At 13, Crosby quit lessons, but never quit playing the piano. As an adult, she took lessons again, and eventually started teaching, herself.

She’s now been teaching the piano for 20 years.

“You need a passion for students and music,” she said, of good piano teachers.

In addition to teaching children, Crosby teaches adults; something a lot of teachers don’t enjoy doing, as adults tend to quit more quickly.

When they don’t quit, Crosby said, “It’s neat to see them progress.”

“Music is very important,” she said. “I think it relieves the stress of every day life. I sit down, and everything goes.”

Just Posted

A new laundromat is opening in the Peters Centre in Lake Cowichan. (file photo)
Peters Centre getting all cleaned up

Laundromat being developed at the Neva Road site

Robert's column
Robert Barron column: Skyrocketing house prices a tragedy

North Cowichan councillor Rosalie Sawrie brought an interesting perspective to a discussion… Continue reading

Soaker hoses laid down over corn seedlings, soon to be covered with mulch, will see to the watering needs of the bed through any summer drought. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Investing in soaker hoses is money well-spent

No-till gardening has a distinct advantage during drought

Karl McPherson, left, and Mary Morrice are the new head coach and general manager, respectively, at the Duncan Dynamics Gymnastics Club. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Manager charts a new course for Duncan Dynamics

More recreational programs to join competitive teams

Cute but fierce! Timber moonlights as an attack kitty. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Sarah Simpson Column: Beware of Mr. Bite, the midnight attacker

Last week, in the middle of the night, I was awoken by… Continue reading

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read