Jane Cronkite: Creating Music and Piano Learning For And With Preschoolers

Topic Description:


Creativity is something valued and practiced by everyone in our musical family. We tend to enjoy the creative process as much as the final result — and end up with something that looks different than even we might have expected at the start. In truth, learning to play an instrument is not all about creativity. There are keys, notes, Italian words, hand positions, intervals — so many facts and skills to learn. We use creative ways of thinking, playing and interacting to help us learn, however. Very quickly that spills over into composition (“Look what I can do with these chords!”), or interpretation (“Listen to how this sounds when I play it pianissimo!”), or analysis (“That sounds like thunder!”), which turns basic information into an art. Jane loves finding creative ways to make the basic things fun, and she loves nurturing the creative process in the students as they explore and make music their own. In this presentation she will share how she does this in her studio.

Speaker Biography:

My training includes an MS in Education with a Preschool Credential from Indiana University and many years of private piano instruction. I have taught public school kindergarten in Indiana, preschool in California, and music classes/piano in Holland with 40-60 students/year.  Extensive experience working with this age group and teaching music/piano has given me a solid understanding of children and their developmental needs as well as the process of learning music ideas and skills.

My school age students excel at Michigan Music Teachers Association Student Achievement Day and are well represented at the Honors Recital. Holland area teachers are happy to receive my students when they “graduate” out of my program.

My former students include concerto contest winners who have played with the Holland Symphony, PhDs in music fields, and an accompanist/arranger/ composer of musicals in New York City. I am equally proud of the majority of my students who continue to enjoy music as hobbies and as more appreciative audience members.

Member of: Holland Piano Teachers Forum, Michigan Music Teachers Association, Music Teachers National Association.