Booki Piano (Toddler Piano) Classes, Seoul, Korea
When I saw that the i'Park cultural center in Yongsan was offering Piano classes for 36-48 month old children I was hesitant. Being a teacher, I am constantly concerned about pushing Sam into things that are not developmentally appropriate for her age. I decided to test out the piano class with the understanding that I would drop the class if it was above Sam's level. Two semesters later I am very happy to share the classes are PERFECT!
The class is instructed in Korean but was very easy to follow along without knowing the language. The teachers did do the one-on-one instruction with Sam in English. The class structure is simple. There are 2 teachers and roughly 5-6 mom/toddler pairs. The class starts with some dancing, then story time about musical concepts (trucks are low and loud, planes are high and quiet). The books are amazing hand made creations that engage the students and require that they help the teacher pull off Velcro characters and even pull on strings attached to cat whiskers. All the stories are read by one teacher while the other teacher accompanies all the pages with music. For instance when a child pulls off a Velcro plane, the teacher at the piano will make a fast and sharp high sound on the piano. The whole class is enamored with the whole affair. After the story the teachers split up. One teacher calls each student to sit with her at the piano and gets an individualized mini lesson. The teacher uses images from the day's story on the piano to connect the story concept to the piano.
The other teacher sits on the floor doing an activity with the students while they wait.
The piano book is filled with fun coloring and sticker activities just right for little hands.
After 2 semesters (12 weeks each) Sam isn't playing Bach but she is happy to sit at the piano and play with me. She loves to sing "do re me fa so la ti" and tries her hardest to strike the right keys at the correct time. She now recognizes when she sees a musical note and, best of all, she LOVES the idea of playing the piano. At nearly 3, I'd say that is pretty amazing! The class far exceeded my expectations and I am extremely glad I decided to give it a shot! I'm thankful for her wonderful instructors at Booki Piano and I can only hope that the program will be make available in the USA one day!