Piano by number for children's piano lessons

 

 

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Familiar Songs for Kids Piano Lessons

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USING FAMILIAR SONGS IN CHILDREN'S PIANO LESSONS 

Most beginning children's piano books are overly concerned with finger position.

For this reason, they start with "songs" made of entirely original musical material designed to show the child how easy it is to keep their five fingers in a row.

The result is uniformly boring music, which never excites the child in any aural or musical way. The only reaction they have is to your praise if they succeed in playing it correctly.

This is an exceedingly poor choice of material because children have much more positive responses when the first songs they play are familiar to them. Their reaction becomes one of amazement and pride as they hear a familiar tune from the piano.

Let's take the first "song" in most conventional piano books. It almost always consists of the first three to five white keys, in a row, going up. It's the same, more or less, in Bastien, Schaum, Thompson, Alfred and any other conventional piano method you might name.

To step back a moment, the strategy behind all these worthy methods is solid, but the material they choose to illustrate is poor.

Here is the strategy of all beginning piano books.

First, play all five ascending notes on the white keys starting with Middle C.

Second, do the same as above but have one note change direction to teach the child to pay attention to the direction of the notes (up or down.) In other words, throw in a little monkey wrench, in terms of linear direction, and see if they can catch it.

Third, do more or less the same, starting on a note OTHER than good old Middle C.

Fourth, do the same but with a skip between notes. Previously, all note movements have been the adjacent white key to prevent confusion.

You can see the progression of events like a chess game: we're teaching the child to move on the keyboard in terms of the printed page only. It's like a board game with five squares. Within that limited scope, we teach the child how to move around via the five notes on the page.

The steps are solidly constructed, but there is one huge problem:

Your child will fall asleep before they ever have a chance to get excited about piano.

There are many problems with this methodology as it's applied today.

First, if your child takes one of the hypothetical steps above, one a week for four weeks, they will be so bored with piano that it will be a miracle if they don't quit. And that curriculum is exactly what you'll get from the average piano teacher.

Second, the child will have no aural joy in playing something they recognize. There is a subtle rise in self-esteem when a child feels they have controlled the piano and played a song they know and like.

Third, the method above does nothing to give the child a pleasurable, purely physical experience of the piano, just plunking happily away at a series of keys with no reference at all to a page or notes. Call it the Joy of Piano.

This is the essence of what a real pianist does, simply playing the music without CURRENT reference to the page. You should show them this first, before you do anything else.

As to the four steps of the conventional lesson above, here are better ideas.

First, play I'm A Little Teapot to learn the first five adjacent white keys.

1 2 3 4 5 8 

Second, play Alouette to throw a little twist into it.

1 2 3 3  2 1 2 3 1 5  

Third, play Mary Had a Little Lamb to show how to start on a note other than Middle C.

3 2 1 2 3 3 3  2 2 2  3 3 3 

Fourth, play Jingle Bells to learn how to skip over notes.

3 3 3 3 3 3 3 5 1 2 3 

Now you have a first lesson that teaches the same concepts as conventional methods and in addition gives your child four songs they know and like, which they can proudly play.

By John Aschenbrenner Copyright 2008 Walden Pond Press All Rights Reserved

See also HOW TO HELP KIDS FIND MIDDLE C

See also KIDS SONGS FOR PIANO

See also SELECTING CHILDREN'S SONGS F0R THE PIANO

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Red musical note: start your child reading music today!

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Piano Lessons: A Child's Point of View

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THE COMPLETE PACKAGE

Click here to view PIANO IS EASYClick here to view I CAN READ MUSICClick here to view THE BIG BOOK OF SONGS BY NUMBER

Click here to view THE CHRISTMAS CAROL KITClick here to view TEACH YOURSELF PIANOClick here to view EASY CLASSICAL PIANO

Click here to view TEACH YOURSELF PIANO DVD

Picture of Brahms playing piano.THE COMPLETE BOOK PACKAGE: ALL 6 BASIC  BOOKS  

#WCS 001 Price: $89.95

THE COMPLETE BOOK PACKAGE: 

1. 107 page illustrated THE CHRISTMAS CAROL KIT Book with 44 songs, Play Along Audio CD, and removable stickers   

2. 120 page illustrated PIANO IS EASY Book with 50 songs, Play Along Audio CD, and removable stickers 

3. 50 page I CAN READ MUSIC Book 

4. 132 page TEACH YOURSELF PIANO STEP BY STEP Book, 56 minute DVD Video and removable stickers 

5. 141 page THE BIG BOOK OF SONGS BY NUMBER Book with 130 songs, and removable stickers 

6. 88 page EASY CLASSICAL PIANO BY NUMBER Book with 10 songs, and removable stickers, and 29 minute Play Along Audio CD 

6 BOOKS, DVD AND 3 PLAY ALONG AUDIO CDS 

Our BOOK PACKAGE price: $89.95 Click here to order THE COMPLETE PIANO PACKAGE

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Red musical note: start your child reading music today!

Our Play Along Audio CDs are an important element in making the piano fun for kids, and are produced by Grammy Award winner (Sesame Street) Joe Castellon. 

Our colorful books and videos have been created by Emmy Award winning composer and teacher John Aschenbrenner and are guaranteed to get your child happily started at the piano.

Digitally engineered and mastered, these high quality educational recordings include fun, familiar songs that children love to hear and play along with, and are sure to give hours of musical enjoyment, entertainment and guidance to your child.

Special thanks to these schools recently joining our growing list of organizations using PIANO BY NUMBER:

Primrose Day School, Jumping Jacks Preschool, Valley Elementary, Kid's Korner, Play All Day Nursery School, Children's Development Center,  Springfield Child Time

If you're not sure what book is right for your child, email us at info@pianoiseasy.com and we will be glad to help you.

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