How to Teach Piano to an Autistic 4-Year-Old?
I've been teaching piano for 17 years and recently I started teaching a 4 year old autistic boy. It's a first for me, I wouldn't normally take an autistic student, but he's the son of a good friend of mine.
During the first lesson, I immediately found out that patterns work for him. He repeats almost everything I play as long as it's not more than 7 or 8 notes consecutively, one note at a time, and using only one finger.
He's pre-school so I wouldn't bother with written music notes yet, but I'm curious as to what to expect from him. I figure it's better to teach him songs that he's heard before...
I suppose I can teach him short songs by giving him one pattern at a time, 'till he's able to repeat the whole thing, but I haven't been able to make him use his other fingers. He does the C major scale up and down with his index finger, repeating each note almost exactly as I show him, with different repetition patterns each time.
I'm wondering if anybody has some suggestions on where to go next, if there are specific visual aides that I should be using, anything that helps.