Do you have a young child who loves to play on the piano, but doesn’t know how to PLAY the piano? Teaching a child how to play the piano is not as hard as you might think. In fact, Ogden Piano Gallery has a network of excellent piano teachers in Ogden and surrounding areas we can recommend. We have also found some fun and unique ways to help teach your child piano stress-free!
Learning the Keys – Fingering
If you want to motivate your children to learn the piano, make learning fun! Start by tracing your child’s hands on a blank sheet of paper. Once here, you will number the fingers on each hand with 1-5, starting with the thumbs as the number one. Some people like to get circle stickers and stick them to their child’s fingers.
Once your child has their fingers ready, explain how we will assign each finger a note and each finger plays their note at a different. There are several easy songs you can use to start teaching your child piano with the finger method. Keep in mind the goal is to help them understand the notes and repeat. Try a simple learning exercise like the “escalator” where they begin in the traditional middle C position and have their five fingers go up and down on the notes from here.
Some children respond well to flashcard learning. You will need 7 note cards, they can be different colors or just plain white index cards. Write one letter on each card; A, B, C, D, E, F, G. If your child can read the letters just fine, you should be able to go ahead and move forward on the next step, which is learning the musical alphabet. To teach the musical alphabet, use these steps:
- Lay the cards in alphabetical order.
- Sing the ABC’s with your child and point to the letters and have them point to them the next time you sing the song.
- Now that they have the hang of the letters, sing the song backwards and point to the letters again.
- Turn the letter G over and continue singing the alphabet backwards and when your child remembers the letter “G”, praise them! This is a big memorization tool they will continue to use over the years as they learn piano.
- Keep going with each letter until your child can sing the letters forwards and backwards without needing flashcards.
What is the point of the flashcard learning exercise? It is used to help children understand spacing between notes. Being able to quickly recall notes that come before and after each other is a critical aspect of learning how to reach music in the future.
Using Animals as Notes
Younger children have an easier time with memorization when they have something they can link a note to. For example, if you use a picture of a chicken and tape it to middle C, your child will be able to recall this note as C easier because of the chicken.
Print out some animals that correspond to the starting letter of the key, tape the animal to the keys and follow the same process of playing the escalator on the keys. Here is a great link to assist with printing out cute animals for your piano keys.
We recommend watching this learning video to watch if you want to try the animal teaching method:
Using Stickers as Rewards
Once your child is comfortable with the three previous steps, you can begin introducing actual sheet music to them. The big trick here is to keep it simple! Children need a lot of positive reinforcement during this time to remain motivated. We recommend starting with songs that only require one hand to play. Once they can master the right hand, change to the left hand.
Have your child practice reading and writing sheet music with the basic notes they are learning. Purchase a plain notebook and begin writing scales with your child, here are some great examples we like as they make learning sheet music easier:
One of our favorite ideas for teaching notes to children is this paint chip example. The notes to focus on include:
- Whole note
- Half note
- Quarter note
- Eighth note
- Sixteenth notes
You will need to purchase 5 paint strips in different colors and draw each note on one paint chip and focus on teaching how to count 4/4. Teaching notes with colors can make everything visually easier to understand, and less overwhelming as your child continues learning the piano.
Tips for Parents Teaching Children Piano
When it comes to teaching your child piano, it is important to practice patience. Each child learns differently and while some may take to the piano quickly, others will not. Playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star seems easy, but this is challenging to young children. Set manageable expectations for yourself and your child so you can enjoy this journey together!
If you are ready to invest in a new piano for your children to learn on, come visit our Ogden piano gallery showroom. Our expert team is here to help you with all your musical questions, and to spread our love of music to your family.