How Can I Teach My Daughter When I Can't Read Music Myself?

by Bonnie

I'm very interested in taking lessons with my daughter, who is 4. I want her to learn to read music and practice pitch, tempo etc.

How can I teach her when I cannot read music myself? I'd love to purchase some sheet music that has the music go along with it.

What do you suggest is the best way to teach a child singing. and where can I purchase a song book for her age 4?


Bonnie, if you want to teach your daughter, then you've got to be one step ahead of her - at least! You will have to teach yourself music first, and then share what you have learned with her.

Go to a place where you can find some beginner books for piano (and voice too) - a store or library. Round up all the used/free/cast off beginner piano books you can find, and start combing through them, to see how much you can understand without a teacher. You may end up with a pile of books that are useless to you, but you only need one book that makes sense to you. (Initially I had thought to recommend Jon Schmidt's 67 Fun Songs Primer, but they seem to have discontinued that - I bought it digitally for my students last year.)

Keep hunting around the internet, say on Youtube, for free piano lessons. You can find a few... but they probably won't be methodical. You can also BUY a piano video course... go to and see what others have said about various courses, such as "Learn and Master." I've got a video GUITAR course from them that is pretty helpful.

Singing is harder. Are you trained at all? You should encourage a natural, light sound at her age, not a forced "rock" or "Broadway" sound. This may not be an area where you can be an accurate judge. Watching little "prodigies" on Youtube is not where you want to find your direction.

I'm going to suggest a CD by Chris and Carol Beatty - Teaching Kids to Sing Volume 1: Building Foundations that Last - they take a gentle approach to teaching voice.

Good luck!


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