Shannon of teaching tiny tots wins her first choice of either Baby Einstein Playdate Fun cd or Disney's Greatest cd
Brooke wins the other cd (which hopefully is your first choice)!
Congratulations to both of you! Please e-mail me at laughlearnloveblog [at] gmail [dot] com with your address so I can mail it to you.
Now, onto today's post. I told you last week that I would be saving you money today, and here's why: I'm giving you a piano lesson. Like I have said before, I have been teaching piano for 10 years, and I love teaching. So I am going to explain to you what I do for a first lesson.
Finger numbers: each finger has a number: thumb = 1, index finger = 2 and so on until pinkie = 5. The reason this is important is because when you look at music, particularly more difficult music, the composer or editor will suggest finger numbers to make the music a little easier to play. Knowing and remembering the finger numbers is important. So I ask the student to hold his/her hands out and I randomly call out numbers for them to wiggle the corresponding finger.
How to sit at a piano:
- back straight
- shoulders relaxed
- bellybutton lined up with middle C (for the first week I just show them where middle C is on the piano. The following week I explain why it is called that.)
- feet flat on the floor if they will reach. If not, either get a stool so their feet can be flat, or let them dangle.
- hands in the shape of a bubble, or bear claw, on the keyboard
- elbows relaxed (not squished into their sides, and not sticking out far away from their bodies)
- rear end should be halfway on the bench - not all of the way back because you have less control of your body that way
The keyboard: I point out that there are patterns on the keyboard. The black notes are grouped in sets of either two or three. I ask them to play all of the groups of two black notes, using their right hand finger numbers 2 and 3 starting from the bottom of the keyboard and working their way up. Next, I ask them to start at the top and play all of the groups of three black notes, using their left hand finger numbers 2, 3 and 4.
Sometimes, this is where I stop. If the child (or adult, I'm not picky) seems to understand everything quickly, I will also explain these things:
- The musical alphabet is ABCDEFG. No H, no I, no J. It just repeats itself over and over all the way up the keyboard.
- The definitions of quarter note, measure, bar line and double bar line.
- When playing music, when the stems point up that means the right hand plays those notes. When the stems point down, the left hand plays those notes.
- I will show them where C is on the keyboard (immediately to the left of the set of two black keys). Then I have them point out all of the Cs on the keyboard. Then I explain that the rest of the notes are in alphabetical order going up the keyboard: CDEFGABC.