Why This Teacher Will Never Go Back To Any Other Method After Using WunderKeys
“It’s essentially vegetables that taste like cake!” Why this teacher will never go back to any other method after using WunderKeys.
Cassia started teaching piano when she was a teen, discovering that her knack for connecting with young children paired perfectly with her love of playing the piano.
“I started off as a fairly traditional teacher, using my favorite method book and seldom varying my approach until students were more advanced. But then I stumbled upon the Teach Piano Today blog and was astounded – all of the things that I absolutely adored about early childhood education were being used to teach piano skills in ways that were engaging and exciting.”
Cassia had always had a desire to teach children as young as 3 years old as she herself started at age 3 and her own early piano experiences were “life-changing”.
However, she struggled to find materials that truly suited this age group.
“Traditional method books simply didn’t work – they moved too fast, and there were too many things that were not realistic in terms of expectations.”
Knowing that the needs of her preschoolers were unique and were not being addressed by the method books she could find, Cassia resorted to teaching her young students using a “no book” approach. However, this was not the right fit for her either.
“Parents were generally confused by this, and often felt uncomfortable that their child was not progressing through a method book at a steady and predictable pace.”
Having recently moved to a new city and thus having lost the word-of-mouth advertising she had previously relied on, Cassia decided to separate herself from other teachers in the area by offering preschool piano lessons. She did a test-run of the books with her own son.
“Prior to trying WunderKeys with him, I had done just a few lessons with another method series, but he had grown frustrated quickly.”
After a long time away from the piano due to his frustrations, Cassia wasn’t sure how her son would respond to a “second try” on the piano.
“I did the first lesson from WunderKeys Preschool Book 1 with him. Oh my goodness, he LOVED it! The characters captured his imagination, the games kept his attention, and the duet had him beaming with pride!”
Not only was her son excited about this return to the piano using WunderKeys, but Cassia was also thrilled.
“I was blown away – the lesson had been so EASY to follow, even my first time through. Over the next few weeks we were doing a new lesson every few days, and as I watched my son’s confidence at the piano grow, it completely melted my heart.”
Cassia was quickly convinced that WunderKeys was her answer to providing age-appropriate and effective lessons to preschoolers in her area.
I almost feel like I’m cheating a little.
Like most piano teachers, Cassia was used to spending hours of out-of-studio time planning and prepping lessons. But WunderKeys quickly changed this for her.
“The lessons are so quick and easy to plan and follow. With students happily and consistently progressing with the program exactly as laid out, I almost feel like I”m cheating a little. More of my time outside of lessons is spent with my family instead of on prep work, and I don’t have to wonder how to keep things exciting while still staying focused on goals.”
And it wasn’t just planning time that was improved, Cassia began to notice exciting changes in her students as well.
“One thing I have noticed in my WunderKeys students is that their understanding of notation is stronger and more reliable compared to students using other method books.”
Like many other piano teachers, Cassia was used to the same old note reading difficulties that students struggle with when learning to play the piano but was thrilled to discover that WunderKeys was able to change that.
“I have had the opportunity to move two transfer students into the WunderKeys primer method book and was amazed to see them begin to read their music more confidently and with more fluidity. They are better prepared when they reach a new piece to know what steps they should go through to break it down and effectively practice.”
WunderKeys is becoming a way of teaching that is completely unique compared with anything else that I have ever tried.
After starting with WunderKeys Cassia says “there was no going back.” She was hooked on this new approach to teaching piano for so many reasons.
“I usually expect that any method book I find will either be fun “cake” or good-for-you “vegetables”. The best I expected was to find a book, however dry and boring, that covered skills well enough, and then to spend a lot of time and energy trying to make it appealing enough for children to continue with it until the intrinsic benefits of playing become the primary motivating factor. However, with WunderKeys I have at long last found a perfect blend of fun and engaging activities that keep kids coming back for more, but at the same time delivering an approach that is pedagogically sound and gently paced to help avoid frustration… essentially vegetables that taste like cake!”
“Student retention has been better than ever.”
Cassia recently added six new WunderKeys students in just one month after posting in local Facebook groups with a 50% off the first month offer.
“I started getting messages from interested parents within just a few hours of posting. This was the most growth I’ve ever had in such a short period! One parent contacted me looking for lessons for her 5-year-old, but when she saw the WunderKeys preschool books during our interview she was so excited that she signed up her 3-year-old daughter for lessons as well!”
This isn’t the kind of piano lessons that parents remember when they were growing up!
WunderKeys didn’t only change the way Cassia taught, it has also changed the way she advertises her studio.
“Learning to present my studio in a way that gets families on board is one of the most notable changes since I started advertising in my new city. WunderKeys is a really big part of that.”
Instead of a generic-looking website or predictable piano studio Facebook page, Cassia has been able to curate an online presence that is irresistible to local parents searching for piano lessons for their children.
“When a prospective piano parent visits my website or Facebook page, they see lots of pictures of students playing games and engaging in off-bench activities. This isn’t the kind of piano lessons that they remember when they were growing up!”
Cassia carries over this atmosphere of fun in her studio as well.
“With finger puppets up on the piano and character posters up on the wall, parents can see right away that my focus is on teaching children in a way that engages all of their senses.”
When asked what surprised her most about using WunderKeys, Cassia cites the support and free resources as some of her favorite “extras”.
“My biggest surprise is the overwhelming amount of extras and support that I have had all along the way. The free printables are so impressive – beautiful and always right on target in helping my student to practice their most important skills.”
Cassia enjoys sending these extras home and her piano parents love it.
“Families are so impressed when they see how many extras I provide for students to take home. Instead of flashcards and scale drills, their children are singing silly songs and playing theory board games at home and are eager and prepared to show off what they have been learning.”
“The Facebook community is second to none.”
As an active member of the WunderKeys Facebook community, Cassia has been able to take advantage of the extra free printables and other offerings.
“The social media graphics help to keep my page up to date and I’ve had a lot of parents tell me that these are what first caught their eye before they contacted me.”
In a profession that can be somewhat lonely, Cassia appreciates the chance to network with like-minded teachers online.
“The method book is absolutely right for me and I would have chosen it regardless, but knowing that I have a community instead of just figuring out everything on my own means that to me, WunderKeys is becoming a way of teaching that is completely unique compared with anything else that I have ever tried.”