Did you read through last week’s to-do list before your child’s first piano lesson? Being prepared and setting your child up for success is an important first step. But how can you continue to give support if you know nothing about the instrument?
Here’s an excerpt from a handy “crash course” from Piano Central Studios, to give you a head start:
Knowing the Instrument
The keyboard is divided into white and black keys, with the black keys organized into groups of two and groups of three. Typically there are three pedals on a piano. The far right one, the sustain pedal, is the most frequently used pedal for most students. This pedal, true to its name, sustains the sound when pushed down with the foot.
Knowing Correct Body Position
Your child should sit up nice and straight, with the bench far enough away from the piano that when your child’s arms are extended, with hands in a fist formation, his/her fists just touch the fallboard (front of the piano right above the keys).
Knowing the Hand
Each finger of the hand is assigned a number. Thumbs are always 1, index fingers 2, middle fingers 3, ring fingers 4, and pinky fingers 5. All beginning level pieces of music are played by reading these finger numbers. For example, rather than reading note names, your child will be reading notes with numbers written above such as LH: 3, 2, 4, 1, etc. Correct hand position in an important aspect for piano students. The hand should have a nice “C” shape, fingers gently curved and wrists resembling a flat table.
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Photo by U.S. Pacific Air Forces