TTTV061: Teaching using MusikGarten with Ellen Johansen



Teaching an early childhood music education program can be a great addition to a piano studio. Not only is it an enriching teaching experience, but it makes business sense too.

Young children are often able to attend classes during times you might not normally be able to fill. Plus graduates of your program can feed directly into your regular piano lessons.

Ellen Johansen

If you’re going to start an early childhood music class, it’s wise to have the strength of a great curriculum behind you. That way you know you’re doing something that works, and you can just focus on the teaching part.

Ellen Johansen has been using MusikGarten for over 20 years, so when she says it works, she knows what she’s talking about!

Ellen has found her MusikGarten students to be better readers and overall musicians. They naturally and instinctively improvise, sing and play with musicality. I’m so excited to have Ellen on today and share some of the wonderful examples of her MusikGarten teaching.


Please find a full transcript of this episode at the bottom of this page. Alternatively, click below to download a PDF. If you are an Inner Circle Member, you can find the full video and transcript in the Member Resources AreaNot a member? See below for how you can get $50 off your membership today. 

In this episode, you’ll learn

  • The types of lessons in a MusikGarten studio
  • Why Ellen went in search of an alternative music teaching method
  • The benefits of the MusikGarten program
  • How MusikGarten creates well-rounded musicians
  • How a class with ages 0-3 looks and what the kids are learning
  • The biggest mistakes Ellen made when she was starting out
  • What the transition from music and movement to piano lessons looks like
  • How to train as a MusikGarten teacher and how you can use the materials

Links Mentioned

This month’s sponsor

early years piano teaching

Musikgarten prepares children to play the piano!

Playing the piano, or any instrument, succeeds most quickly when the body, ear, and family are well-prepared.

For both children and teachers, Musikgarten is the best preparation for playing an instrument. We offer a holistic, age- appropriate curricula designed specifically for the various stages of a child’s early years.

Musikgarten’s sequential material begins with informal music making in our Birth to 3 ½ year old curricula Family Music for Babies and Toddlers and our 3 to 5 year old curricula The Cycle of Seasons. Here children sing, dance, move, and play simple instruments preparing their bodies and ears for the next step.

Then the children move to our first sequential steps with curricula Music Makers: At Home in the World and Around the World for 4 –7 year olds. This two-year sequence gives children a solid music making foundation by including activities to train the ear, coordinate the body and voice, first steps in music notation, establish fundamental skills for instrument playing, ensemble work and creative movement. This is perfect preparation for piano or other instrument study.

Music Makers: At the Keyboard is our three-year method for groups of young beginners and features a variety of activities which lay the foundation for keyboard success. The program features an aural approach to music learning, building on songs children have come to love and provides a natural pathway to reading music while building a much- loved piano repertoire.

Piano Partners is Musikgarten’s newest publication. This has all the benefits of our Music Makers: At the Keyboard program, but is specially written for partner lessons.

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Thank you for Tuning In!

There are a lot of podcasts you could be tuning into today, and I’m grateful that you’ve chosen mine.

Being a full-time teacher myself, I know how busy teachers are and how much time, effort and passion we put into our students. Sometimes, the last thing we want to do in our time off is listen to more piano teaching stuff! So, well done for using this time for self-improvement.

Whether you’re at the gym, on the bike or in the car, I know that you and your students will get lots out of what you learn in the long run. Just make sure you try out some of the ideas before they get lost in the business of your next lessons.

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Full Transcript


Do you teach music and movement classes?

Do you use MusikGarten or another program?

Perhaps you don’t teach a program yourself but have experience accepting graduates of one of these programs?

Tell us what you’re experience has been with early childhood music classes.

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