First Piano Lessons eBook - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. k. Teach yourself how to play piano with our award winning easy piano lessons, designed and used by professional piano teachers and students worldwide. Hal Leonard Student Piano Library. Teacher's Guide. Piano Lessons Book 1 rt. Written by. Barbara Kreader • Fred Kern • Phillip Keveren • Mona Rejino. Includes .
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Announcing the launch of The First Piano Lessons eBook - 50 pages of fun piano teaching resources for young beginners. Teach yourself how to play piano with our easy piano lessons for beginners. . Awarded the 'Quality Excellence Design' (QED) seal of approval for eBook. Teach yourself how to play piano with our easy blues piano lessons for beginners. . Awarded the 'Quality Excellence Design' (QED) seal of approval for eBook.
Once you get going there are so many different ways you can use the cards in your music lessons, and depending on the theme of the lesson or the mood of the children it is easy to adapt these ideas to suit every occasion and keep the kids engaged.
Once familiar with the note names and time values, there are lots of guessing games that can be played which are lots of fun and great practice. Keep the flashcards in a small cloth bag and ask the child to pick one, identify it and demonstrate the sound it makes on a drum or wooden sticks.
Certain songs are particularly good for teaching rhythm. Hickory Dickory Dock and the Clock Song are excellent for steady crochet beats with lots of tick-tocks. And songs about the rain also offer plenty of rhythm practice with dripdrops and pitter-patters so do visit the blog for more ideas. Ask a child to pick two cards and demonstrate the rhythm they make next to each other. Then add another, and another, playing the rhythm each time to see how it changes. Using some props to identify well known nursery rhymes e.
Then ask the child to work out. While doing this, explain that when we play piano we call our fingers by number to help us to know which ones to use.
Ask the child to fill in the numbers on the fingers of each hand starting with the thumbs as 1 to the little fingers as 5. Explain that each Ask the child to play each note with each finger and repeating it 3 times - call this exercise Up And Down The Escalator. Then ask the child to place their hands on top of the drawn hands and ask them to wiggle their 1s, 2s, 3s etc. This little exercise helps them to connect the numbers with the fingers before actually trying to play the notes.
Explain that 4s and 5s are usually weak because they are normally a bit lazy and never really do anything on their own. This is why it is a bit more difficult at first, but just like riding a bike or learning to write your name, practice will always help! Repeat this exercise with the Left Hand, with the 1 thumb on middle C but with the fingers going downwards in steps the opposite way.
This is usually more difficult at first, depending on whether the child is left or right handed. Again, reassure them that it will get easier with practice.
The object of these exercises and games at this stage is to encourage your pupil to play them as frequently as possible in order to strengthen the fingers and consolidate the lessons learnt so far. This can be really quite difficult at first as weaker fingers will be harder to control.
A little competition always helps!
Children often tend to hold two or three notes down through lack of control, so point this out as something to be careful of.
Both 1s should start on middle C together, then play both 2s-3s-4s-5s and back again. This is the first time they play anything hands together, so it is very satisfying! This needs gentle reminders and reassurance that the more you do it the easier it gets!
You can practise on your leg, in the car, or at the table. Again, they should expect 4 and 5 to be hard work, but it will get easier with practice.
You will find that you can adapt the words quite easily, once I even changed it to Cheese and Onion Crisps! After a bit of practice your little pupil will find it great fun to try to play it faster and demonstrate how much easier they find it! Explain that when you do this exercise each finger has to have its own go. Both hands should start with 1 thumb sharing Middle C.
This sounds very impressive and is easier than it sounds as both hands are doing exactly the same thing at the same time. Lots of fun and very satisfying!
This helps to make it clear which fingers to play in what order. It also helps if you actually touch the fingers in the correct order, 1 and 2, 2 and 3, 3 Ive got sticky fingers This simple little rhyme is another effective way to encourage finger strengthening which gives a little break from the keyboard. You start by offering the child a pot of imaginary glue which they can dip their fingers into.
They then recite the poem while rubbing their thumb and forefinger together in a circular motion, then repeating the action with every finger in turn. Repeat this for each hand and then hands together. Ive got sticky fingers I dipped them in some glue I dont know why I did it?
What a silly thing to do! Tommy T humb Young beginners love singing Tommy Thumb and it doubles up as a great finger exercise.
Place both hands palms down on the table and starting with the thumbs tap each finger to the rhythm of the words in turn, as they are referred to in the song.
Tommy Thumb, Tommy Thumb, where are you? Here I am, here I am, how do you do?
Peter Pointer, Peter Pointer, where are you? Toby Tall, Toby Tall, where are you? Here I am, here I am how do you do? Ruby Ring, Ruby Ring, where are you? Baby Small, Baby Small, where are you?
Looking at the Music This is an important lesson because it is the first step towards really reading the notes and connecting with the music. Here, the child will start to learn the importance of looking at the music rather than down at their hands and begin to understand the relationship between the keys on the piano and the notes on the page. Tell them to choose any note on the piano to start. Pointing to the first note of exercise number 1 ask if the second note to it steps up or down. Once they have answered correctly ask them to play the next note up or down one note accordingly.
Continue along the line of notes in the same way. Congratulate them as they go, and help out if they make a mistake. Follow the line of notes with your finger on the music as they play them. To make it more fun you can sing the ups and downs with a slidey voice as the notes move and if they go wrong its fun to impersonate a game show buzzer sound. Sliding snakes Using the Sliding Snakes printable at the back of the e-book explain that as the snakes slide up or down one step you play the next note up or down.
Now look at the first exercise on the sheet and ask them to touch the first note with their index finger. They soon get the idea and are keen to demonstrate how they can play it correctly without setting off the buzzer! Ask them to slide their finger along the line of notes.
Then ask them to tell you whether it is moving up or down as it goes. Dont worry about explaining tones and semitones or that they are not identifying the actual notes because The object here is purely to help them make the connection between the notes moving up and down and how that relates to the keys on the piano.
For added fun and a break from the keyboard you could play this outside using chalk to draw the lines and notes on the ground. The child can then do real steps and hops to blow off a bit of steam - a really good way to make the lesson memorable.
Spot the frog In this exercise the child learns to recognise and play the interval of a third and how it sounds. Look at the first exercise and again ask the child to trace the line of notes with their finger. Warn them to watch out for where the frog hops over a note and plays the next one instead. Ask them how many they can find.
These exercises should not be attempted all at once. Just do one or two occaisionally to bring a little Chapter 5 This process will be new to them and no matter how keen they are, it is a lot to expect them to remember on their own. You can help them get into good practice habits by having a structured and organised approach to their lessons.
Use a small note book as practice diary and write down what they need to remember, making a clear practice plan for them to refer too.
This will also useful for parents and you can suggest they make a note of any questions or particular difficulties that the child has with their practice. Kids love an achievement sticker chart see the dice game in the printables section at the back which always goes down well. Make sure you have a good supply of colourful stickers, the shinier the better! It seems obvious, but there is no short cut for practice.
Everyone knows and understands this but its not always that easy to execute. Young children will need a certain amount of help and guidance in learning how to practice.
First make a list of all the piano activities that they are required to practice, next to the numbers 1 - 6 on the chart. This can include finger exercises, note naming and recognition as well as any pieces. To start with you will need to stock up with some pretty coloured glass gems I actually use sparkly beads collected from junk jewellery or marbles and keep them on the piano in a large glass jar.
Give the child their own jam jar which they can decorate with sharpies or stickers to keep on their piano.
The pupil throws the dice, identifies the number and then refers to the list to find out which activity they should do a handy bit of extra reading and number practice thrown in!
At the beginning of the lesson you place several gems on the left side of the keyboard and explain how they can be earned. You decide this depending on what you are hoping to achieve in the lesson: As they complete each activity let the child put a tick in the corresponding box on the chart they love being the teacher!
When you feel that the child has accomplished one of the tasks you set out, you make one of the gems jump across the keyboard the springier and bouncier the better!
As the child becomes more proficient you can make it harder to earn the precious gems. They will be so proud to show their parents the proof of all their hard work!
When they have completed all 6 activities, reward them with a very well earned sticker which they can place on the chart themselves as proof of all of their hard work. Exercise 2. Heres a simple practice game which encourages lots of repetition of pieces without the pupil getting bored.
All you need is a dice and a chart see printables and theyll be practicing all of their pieces and exercises rather than just choosing their favourites! Marble jars have always been popular as an incentive and reward scheme for kids, and they are the inspiration behind this Jumping Gem Stones practice game. All the ideas set out so far in chapters 1 to 5 provide the building blocks for a perfectly balanced piano lesson for a young beginner.
The most important thing is that the child enjoys their lesson and wants to come back for more, so the activities are all short and playful with the result that the child will often be quite disappointed when the lesson comes to an end. However, they can also be a bit rigid and restricting so why stick to only one book when there are so many wonderful piano books to choose from?
Over the years I have found one or two particularly effective check out the useful resources section at the back of this book and I let each child choose the one that they prefer the look of. Its an exciting and important part of starting the journey and committing to the process. Then as the lessons progress I cherry-pick the best beginner pieces from all sorts of sources and let them build up their own folder of extra pieces to supplement their tutor books.
This way the child has more freedom to pick their favourites and can proudly build an impressive and varied repertoire.
Choosing a tutor book Tutor books have various pros and cons. On the plus side they provide motivation and a sense of achievement as the child works through one book and moves up to the next level. They have been carefully put together so each new piece or exercise teaches a. Its a good idea to start the lesson with some note hopping where the child has to find notes at random up and down the keyboard, it serves as a warm up for both fingers and brain.
Finger exercises should come next, depending on the age and level. Choose an exercise that is appropriate for their needs: Chapter 6 to learn and practice a bit of theory. Next its time to go to the tutor book or sheet music for the new content part of the lesson. Use this new music for sight reading practice see blog for my Top 10 Tips for Sight Reading.
Help the child to work out the notes and rhythm bar by bar. Remember that children will need guided practice at first, so before the end of the lesson set a clear practice plan in their piano practice diary and make sure both the parents and child understands what they need to do at home. Establish a clear strategy for tackling the new piece and outline the plan of action in the practice notebook.
Insist that they must be able to play each hand separately before they attempt both hands together. Its always important to be flexible, you never know when a child might need more time to grasp a lesson. But its also important to be consistent and methodical in your approach. Always set out with the aim that in every lesson a pupil should learn something new, review something that theyve already learnt and perform something that they can already play comfortably.
This makes sure that you stimulate and consolidate their progress while they gain plenty of satisfaction and enjoyment from playing at the same time. This part of the lesson will lead to scales as the child progresses.
After concentrating hard on the new music the child will be ready for a bit of a break from the piano. A rhythm and listening game using some percussion instruments, or interval recognition with chime bars, or an action and rhythmic activity like Magic Feet Follow The Beat would be a good exercise here. A note reading exercise like Sliding Snakes and Spot the Frog should now be practiced to help the child make the connection between the notes on the music and the keys on the piano.
This would also be a good time. Now you could play The Dice Game which is a fun way to squeeze a little more concentration out of them. Its also a good opportunity to consolidate what they have learnt. Help the child to work out the notes and rhythm bar by bar. Remember that children will need guided practice at first, so before the end of the lesson set a clear practice plan in their piano practice diary and make sure both the parents and child understands what they need to do at home.
Establish a clear strategy for tackling the new piece and outline the plan of action in the practice notebook. Insist that they must be able to play each hand separately before they attempt both hands together. Its always important to be flexible, you never know when a child might need more time to grasp a lesson. But its also important to be consistent and methodical in your approach. Always set out with the aim that in every lesson a pupil should learn something new, review something that theyve already learnt and perform something that they can already play comfortably.
This makes sure that you stimulate and consolidate their progress while they gain plenty of satisfaction and enjoyment from playing at the same time. This part of the lesson will lead to scales as the child progresses. After concentrating hard on the new music the child will be ready for a bit of a break from the piano.