So you’ve decided to take the plunge and schedule your first piano lesson? Congratulations! If you’re feeling a little nervous, you’re not alone. It’s totally normal to get the jitters when you’re about to do something new for the first time.
Preparing for your lesson is a great way to banish your nerves, plus you’ll show up to your lesson primed for success. Follow these 5 steps and enjoy the excitement of your first piano lesson!
1. Ask Your Teacher
Before lessons begin, have a chat with your teacher to find out which books they teach from and if there are any other materials they’d like you to have before your first lesson. Take notes during your conversation and feel free to ask your teacher any questions you might have. There’s no such thing as a stupid question, especially when you are just getting started. Your teacher is here to guide you and help you, so take advantage of his or her knowledge as much as you can.
2. Key Into Rhythms
When you’re listening to music, make a point of listening for the beat and clapping or tapping your foot in time. Get used to noticing the beat and note when there are tempo changes within a song. This will help you improve your physical tempo and your ear for rhythm.
3. Find Middle C
For beginning piano students, middle C is your musical homebase. Sit down in front of the center of your piano keyboard. You’ll see the black keys are arranged in sets of two and three. Put your right hand index finger on the lower (left) black key on the set of two black keys closest to the center of the piano. Now, let your finger fall to the next white key on the left and press down. Great job! You’re playing middle C.
Once you’re at middle C, each white key is the next note up (D, E, F, G). After G, the scale starts over and the next white key is A. Practice playing a note and saying the name to get to know the keyboard.
4. Get Strong
Try this exercise to strengthen your fingers. Lay both hands flat on a table and practice lifting each finger, one at a time. In addition to strengthening your fingers, this exercise improves your coordination and dexterity. For another great way to strengthen your fingers, practice creating rings by pressing each finger individually into your thumb. Count to ten as you hold your hand in a ring and don’t allow your fingers to collapse.
5. Put it in Writing
Give yourself time to think about what you’d like to accomplish by studying the piano. Is there a certain song or style of music that you’d love to be able to play? Write down at least one goal, even if it seems crazy. Writing your goals makes them seem more real and achievable. Keep your written goals posted by your piano as a reminder of all that you’d like to accomplish.
Are you feeling more confident yet? Taking the time to get prepared will help ensure your first piano lesson goes smoothly. We hope that your lessons will result in a lifetime of loving music!
Photo by liperuf