Piano by number for children's piano lessons

 

 

Walden Pond Press publishes the PIANO BY NUMBER series

Amazing Musical Abilities of Autistic and ADHD Children

HOME

PRODUCTS

ALL PRODUCTS
PIANO IS EASY
I CAN READ MUSIC
BIG BOOK OF SONGS
CHRISTMAS CAROLS
TEACH YOURSELF PIANO
FAVORITE HYMNS
EASY CLASSICAL PIANO
GAMES FOR THE PIANO
CHORD DICTIONARY

SAMPLE PAGES

PIANO IS EASY
I CAN READ MUSIC
BIG BOOK OF SONGS
CHRISTMAS CAROLS
FAVORITE HYMNS
EASY CLASSICAL PIANO
CHORD DICTIONARY

CONTENT / READING

ARTICLES
ARCHIVES / ALL READING
FREE EBOOK
ADVICE COLUMN
AGE TO START
FINGERING
PRACTICING
CHILD'S POINT OF VIEW
LEARN TO READ MUSIC

SONG LISTS

PIANO IS EASY
BIG BOOK OF SONGS
CHRISTMAS CAROLS
TEACH YOURSELF PIANO
EASY CLASSICAL PIANO
FAVORITE HYMNS

FEATURES

SONG LIST
PUBLISHER
AUTHORS
SATISFIED CUSTOMERS
SPECIAL EDUCATION
HOME SCHOOLING

FUN

ONLINE PIANO
EXCUSE CONTEST
GAMES
SONG FINDER

SONG STYLES

ALL STYLES
HYMNS
FOLK SONGS
CLASSICAL

UTILITIES

PRODUCT DESCRIPTIONS
PRICE LIST
FAQ
ABOUT US
CONTACT
PRESS ROOM
PRIVACY POLICY
RETURN POLICY
SATISFIED CUSTOMERS
EMAIL
SITE MAP
PURCHASE KEYBOARD

ORDER

ORDER ONLINE
ORDER BY PHONE
 

 IT'S EASY!

 

FREE STICKERS

 

KIDS LOVE IT!

 

 

This is our original site

Please click here to visit our main site

 

Start piano at home with your child

Start with numbers, then read music

Books for Younger Kids      Books for Older Kids      Books for Adults

 

TEACH YOURSELF PIANO 

Reprinted from TEACH YOURSELF PIANO STEP BY STEP

1. Music is an art that builds each step upon the last. Take your time and try to understand each point of each step. The steps necessary for you to learn have been carefully broken down into individual points. Just follow the path between piano lessons.

Once you get going, how much should you play? The answer is: 5 or 10 minutes a day are sufficient. Research shows that it's better to play 5 minutes a day than to cram all your playing into 35 minutes on one day a week. If you use short play periods, your brain has a better chance of absorbing the information and developing the habits you will need to play.

Pleasure in playing music comes from continuity, and continuity comes from familiarity. You need to allow yourself to thoroughly grasp the physical movements involved, and to do this you need to absorb each step to the point where it becomes almost  automatic.

Don't play a song only once, and then say, "Oh, it's too hard." Play the song 100 times over ten days and then see what happens: you'll develop habits with your fingers and  eyes, and begin to move faster through the songs.    

Don't worry about which hand or finger you use. Your first task is to get the "number" information from the page and make any finger play those numbers. Until you become like a robot at translating the written numbers into piano keys (via fingers) all other information (like fingers or timing) is irrelevant. Play the numbers until they are virtually memorized and you can play each song without significant stumbling.   

2. Music is essentially a matrix constructed entirely of chords. Think of individual piano keys as atoms and chords as molecules made up of several atoms (keys.) There are only 12 basic chords: most songs use between 3 and 6 chords.

The little finger of your left hand becomes the leader of the three acrobats (fingers) trying to find each chord position. Since chords are named (and categorized) by the lowest key in the chord, the little finger of the left hand is the most essential and usually is placed on the first key to be played in most chords.

All chords are shaped alike, in terms of the distance between the fingers. Chords, in terms of the hand, are nothing more than a series of physical templates that are  applied to various positions on the piano keyboard.  

Since the distance between the fingers in any chord is basically the same, you should try to move the hand from one chord to the next without significantly changing the distance between the fingers. If you do this, the fingers of your left hand will always be in roughly the correct position, no matter where on the keyboard you are directed to play a chord.

When you see any chord symbol, such as the capital letter C, (for C chord) your first thought should be to immediately direct the little finger of your left hand to the "correct" lowest key of the chord (first C below middle C.)

Take your time. It's not easy to pick out three keys with your left hand again and again, but with repetition, it becomes easy. Don't try it once. Try it 100 times and see.

3. Remember the kid's game where you patted your head with one hand while you circled your stomach with the other? Playing piano with both hands is exactly like that. When you  were four years old, you had to do each hand separately to get the feel of the whole thing.  

One basic rule of pianists is: first play the hands separately so the brain can absorb the information of each hand. With every song make sure you can play each hand (chords in left hand or numbers/melody in right hand) separately (by itself) before you try to combine the two hands. If you have a problem putting the two hands together, play the hands separately for a while and then try again until you can easily combine the two hands. 

Playing the piano with two hands is almost like an Englishman speaking Portuguese and German at the same time: it is an incredible juggling act and you'll need to do it many, many times until it feels comfortable. Remember that the brain has two sides, left and right, and the LEFT brain controls the right hand, and the RIGHT brain controls the left hand. Any actor given the task of speaking Portuguese and German at the same time would do well to study each language thoroughly before trying to combine them.

The job descriptions of left hand and right hand are entirely different:

Right hand: Play only one key at a time, (the owner's kid.)

Left hand: Play at least three keys at once, constantly (the workers.)  

4. Try the songs in three ways: right hand only, left hand only, and both hands. Repeat as many times as you can. If one song seems easier or more fun than the others, concentrate on it. If a song becomes tedious, try another. But you must keep playing, a little bit each day.

Think of a song as a little machine, with chord parts and  melody parts. It's like a three dimensional emotional puzzle with moving pieces: you have to try the moves from key to key and chord to chord again and again until they feel familiar and smooth.

Don't forget that there are only a limited number of basic chord combinations and even melodic combinations. The chords C F and G, for instance, are used as the entire basis for countless songs. Once you learn a set of common moves like C F and G in one song, the next song will be that much easier and immediately familiar.

By all means memorize the music. Think of the music book as the "library" where you go to get information that you will utilize elsewhere: eventually, like an actor with the script of a play, you will enact the play (the song) at the keyboard without reference to the written symbols. An actor in rehearsal may refer to a script but does not look at it except for a quick reference. In the same way, musicians are completely involved in their instruments and only refer to written music for accuracy and convenience, if at all.

Music making lies in the relationship between your eyes, your hands and the keyboard: the written music is only one way to convey the content of music, and a tedious one. Memorize as much as you can so the music can enter your poetic subconscious: this is the real reason for repetition.  

5. Sharps and flats (the black keys of the piano) are road signs that tell you to turn away from the white keys to which you have become accustomed.  There are only a few basic rules associated with sharps and flats. Once you learn the rules, sharps and flats will come to you as automatically as white keys.

Music on a most basic level is a language with but two parameters, up and down, right and left.  Sharps and flats are graphic symbols which command you to move in a specific direction, up or down, right or left. 

Play Middle C and then every white key to the right: that's one way to move "up" on the piano. Now play Middle C and then every key to your right, including black keys: it's just another more complex way to move "up" on the piano.

The reason for the use of groups of two and three black keys on the keyboard lies in the construction of the human hand, and shows the genius of the keyboard's inventors.

Hold your hand with your fingers stretched out in front of you: note that your thumbs are shorter than any of your fingers, including your little finger. Also note that, at the piano, the black keys are shorter than the white keys. The black keys and white keys of the piano are arranged to accommodate the construction of the human hand. Few machines fit human anatomy as well or to such grand purpose.

Put your right thumb on Middle C and the index finger on the black key to the right. Rock back and forth between the two keys. White keys are long to accommodate the short thumb. Black keys are short to accommodate the longer fingers.  

6. Pianists think in visual terms in order to control the huge number of events (keys) they have to produce. Pianists think as they are playing, "Look here, reach there, black key on top there, here comes the white key thingy." Any visual, verbal cue you can devise is acceptable.

There are only twelve basic chords, and the easiest way to remember them is visually: which white and black keys are used? Since twelve chords is not a lot of information, it is within the realm of possibility to categorize them.

One cannot overemphasize the importance of familiarity with the twelve basic (major) chords. All chords beyond the basic twelve are merely derived from the basic set. All other chords are arrived at by calculating from the "starting point" of the twelve basic chords.

Chords can be categorized in sets of three, both visually and in terms of usage: three chords are usually used together as a powerful unit. Twinkle, Twinkle uses only the unit of C F and G chords, and so do countless other songs.

Three of the twelve chords have all white keys: C F and G. Three of the twelve chords have a black key in the middle: A D and E. Three of the twelve chords have a white key in the middle: Ab Db and Eb.  That's a total of three groups of three or nine chords: the rest (the other three out of twelve chords) are "exceptions" to this rule.

If nothing else, you should understand that there is a visual order to the construction of chords, and that once you begin using them it will readily become apparent. It all comes down to memorizing a few combinations, six to be exact, of black/white key combinations.  

7. All chords are derived from the  12 basic major chords. The two methods used to derive those chords beyond the 12 basic chords are alteration and addition: you can either alter one of the 3 keys in the basic major chord, or you can add another key, or use both methods.

Minor chords indeed sound sad, and there's a good reason. There are natural, barely audible vibrations within each musical note (overtones) that are attuned to the structure of a major chord: nature (and music) is constantly broadcasting the shape of a major chord. This is why minor chords sound slightly sour, and are a psychoacoustic cue for melancholy. The minor form conflicts with the major form, and makes us take notice.

There are many types of chord, but for the beginner, there are really only two, major and minor. Almost all songs can be played using the 12 basic major and 12 basic minor chords. In fact, the beginner's vocabulary of chords is rather limited: in almost all beginning repertoire you'll run across, at most, C F G D E and A major chords, and D G A and E minor chords.

At first, always think of a minor chord in terms of the "default" basic major chord that lies behind it. When asked for a C minor chord, think first of the C major chord as a known starting place, and then move the middle key of the chord one key to your left to make a minor chord.

Visualize the whole process. See it in your mind's eye and imagine the keys moving slowly from one known position to another. If you can think it, and see it in your mind's eye, you can play it on the piano, perhaps very slowly at first.  

By John Aschenbrenner Copyright 2008 Walden Pond Press All Rights Reserved

 Click here to return the the main articles page.

PIANO FUNHOUSE: Free Online Piano Games for Kids

 

View All Products / Price List

View All Product Descriptions

FREE USA SHIPPING AND HANDLING ON ALL ITEMS

 

Click here to read articles about children and piano lessons.

Start your child playing piano today!

Red musical note: start your child reading music today!

TOPICS OF INTEREST TO PARENTS:

"What is a good age to start piano lessons?"

"What are the benefits of playing piano for my child?"

"How can I help my child read sheet music at the piano?"

Piano Lessons: A Child's Point of View

Visit the WALDEN POND PRESS ARCHIVES and read articles about children and piano

 

Click here to read the entire tutorial HOW TO TEACH YOUR CHILD TO READ MUSIC

LET US HELP YOU FIND AN INEXPENSIVE ELECTRONIC KEYBOARD TO GET YOUR CHILD STARTED!

Start your child playing piano today!

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

Free USA Shipping and Handling!

You can also purchase individual books with CD $24.95

Click Here to Play Piano by Number Online Using Your Computer's Mouse!

PIANO BY NUMBER BOOKS ARE ONLY AVAILABLE HERE IN OUR ONLINE STORE

Start your child playing piano today!

View All Products / Price List

View All Product Descriptions

FREE USA SHIPPING AND HANDLING ON ALL ITEMS

Start your child playing piano today!

Click Here to Play Piano by Number Online Using Your Computer's Mouse!

CALL TOLL FREE 1-800-707-2682

 ORDER BY MAIL   ORDER BY PHONE  

 

PIANO BY NUMBER trademark logo

Click here to visit the PIANO IS EASY home page!

Order Form | See Our Books | Videos & DVD's | Home | Contact Us | FAQ