One of the best ways to help a child succeed is to get him or her involved in music at an early age. Even a few minutes per day is enough to teach your child a musical instrument. This would be a great way to spend your time, because studies have shown that children taught to play music at a young age do better in school and have better discipline. Piano is a great instrument to start on, because it can be a great gateway instrument – meaning that if you can play piano, it’s easier to pick up other instruments down the road. Furthermore, you can’t lose a piano, and it’s also very hard to drop or crack!
Purchasing a Piano
You don’t need to buy an expensive piano to teach your child how to play. Even a simple keyboard is enough to help him develop coordination and the ability to read music. Visit a local electronics store, or consider trying Craigslist or Ebay to find something simple. The bigger the keyboard is, the more useful it will be to you in the long run, but it might be beneficial to choose a cheaper, smaller model. If your child doesn’t enjoy it, you won’t be out too much money. A standard keyboard has 88 keys, but try to purchase something with at least 42 keys.
When playing piano, the goal is to develop finger independence, so that each finger can play each key of the piano effectively. The last thing you want is for your child to become frustrated because his fingers aren’t cooperating. So, have your child place all five fingers anywhere on the keyboard. Then, ask him to depress one key at a time very slowly. The goal is to try and depress the keys without moving any of the other fingers. This will be difficult at first, but with enough practice, he will learn to do this effectively on his own.
Identify Middle C
Help your child identify where “middle C” is on the piano. This is the basis for good posture and will help him find his hand position. Have him sit in front of the keyboard. The keyboard or piano should be adjusted so that the keyboard falls just beneath his hands. His arms should be at just less than a 90 degree angle and parallel to the piano. Show your child middle C by asking him to find the white key to the left of the set of double black keys. Then, ask him to find the C that is closest to the center of the piano. This is middle C, and is one of the most fundamental aspects of learning how to play piano.
Next, you need to teach your child the numbers of each finger. When playing piano, early music has numbers written above the notes. These numbers tell you what finger to use to play a note. By learning the numbers associated with each finger, your child can more easily play songs. Have him hold both hands out in front of him, with palms facing away. Tell your son (or daughter) that the thumbs on both hands are 1s. Then, the fingers go up to 5, ending on the pinkies. Next, have him place his right hand on the keyboard. Tell him to play the finger that you call out. Call out random numbers until he correctly plays the finger associated with each number. Once the right hand is mastered, he can move on to the left hand. When he can play with each hand separately, have him place both hands on the keyboard, to see if he can play “hands together.”
Work on these basic lessons for at least a month. Once your child has mastered these skills and developed some coordination, purchase a method book for young beginners. Guide your child through the book or hire a piano teacher to help him continue to develop. As long as you dedicate yourself, you can keep up with him for quite a while. Eventually, you’ll have to hand the reins over to a qualified instructor, but you can definitely save some money in the beginning while your child works through the first few books.
This post was written by Melissa Tyler. She likes to write, spend time with her family and frequent www.dentalinsurance.net