Start Kids With The White Keys

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The wisest first move in learning the piano is to start kids with the white keys. There are thousands of songs that use only the white keys.

Kids of different ages have been exposed to different musical influences. Some kids know every Disney song, some don’t know any. Find the songs they know and identify which ones use only the white keys.

All piano methods start out using only the white keys to prevent the confusion presented by the black keys.

To kids, the white keys are a nice, even stairway.

try pbn 2

It is too confusing at first to deal with the black keys, for most children, especially the young ones. Songs on the white keys of the piano in this category might be:

Jingle Bells

London Bridge

Eensy Weensy Spider

Even many pop songs can be done on white keys only: Star Wars, Indiana Jones, We’re Off to See The Wizard, Somewhere Over the Rainbow.Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star is perhaps the most familiar, after Jingle Bells, for kids starting out at the piano.

You’d be surprised to see how delighted a child is to be able to play a familiar song like Twinkle, Twinkle. You could simply show the child the sequence of keys and memorize where your fingers went:

Numbered Keyboard
Numbered Keyboard

Twinkle, Twinkle:         1 1 5 5     6 6 5     4 4   3 3   2 2     1

Most songs have internal repeating patterns of notes that children readily recognize and with which they delight in playing. In a first piano lesson, one of the first things I do is find a familiar song they know and make sure they have memorized at least the first few notes.

This will act as a calling card, so they can play it for people and say,
“Look, I can play the piano!”

Children’s interest in the piano and self-esteem take a tremendous rise from this tiny accomplishment, playing a recognizable song.

To a child, it means they have conquered that big thing called a piano, and enjoyed doing it.

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