We all began our learning process with first being taught the ABC's, then the 1, 2, 3's, and after that, the do-re-mi's, and piano lessons are no different.
When learning the piano, it really can be as simple as A to G, as several “keys” can be remembered, to make this more fun for anyone who is just starting out.
Here are 7 keys to making piano lessons an enjoyable activity.
A - Attention-Grabbing
The average age of beginner piano players range from 6 to 8 years old, but some beginners are even younger. The younger you are, the shorter your attention span is, and piano playing has to, therefore, always be attention-grabbing.
Piano lessons should be short and concise, and not introduce too many new concepts at once. It is challenging to hold a young beginner’s interest while teaching both theoretical and practical concepts, but if these are presented well, they will be more easily remembered and practiced.
B - Bass and Treble
It is the most fun when beginners are able to discover and demonstrate sounds themselves.
Being given the opportunity to “play” around randomly, like hitting different keys on the keyboard to hear and experience the different high and low sounds which are made, always makes for some fun and laughter.
In this way, the learner can become familiar with bass and treble, and identify that the higher sounds come from the right-hand side of middle C on the keyboard while the lower sounds come from the left-hand side of middle C.
This is a good way for beginners to learn the technical terminology.
C – Creativity
One of the most important things to remember is to always keep piano lessons fresh and unpredictable. It can become very boring very quickly when beginners know what to expect in each lesson.
If different approaches and activities are used, it becomes far more enjoyable and memorable. It is also vital for the teacher’s creativity to be modeled to the student, and, therefore, if the teacher is having fun in the lesson, the student will be inspired to feel the same.
Piano lessons should be interesting in order to find the balance between challenging, stimulating as well as rewarding at the same time.
D – Deliberate
As soon as goals are visualized, they become far easier to achieve, so be deliberate in your methods.
By learning purposefully (as well as practicing and performing with purpose and on purpose), you are well on your way to becoming a piano maestro!
A great idea is for students to practice a mini "recital" during their piano lessons which they can then perform for their family or friends.
This informal "performance" will not only help in growing confidence but also ensure that they concentrate on what they are learning, focus on becoming better while enabling them to share their enjoyment of music with those they love.
E – Exercises
An essential element of learning and practicing the piano is finger and hand positions, movements, and exercises.
The basics of fingering and hand positions are learned, and may take a while to build up strength and stamina before they can become habit.
The more exercises are done to "free up" the fingers and hands and make them stronger, the easier and more natural it will become.
Eventually, enough exercises will turn into muscle memory.
F – Force
Volume is an enormous musical element. Along with learning about bass and treble, it is also imperative to understand the influence of force on the keyboard.
If great force is placed on the keys, then a louder, harsher sound will be produced. In the same way, if less force is placed on the keys, then a softer, more graceful sound will be heard. This can be made into a fun game with different compositions to demonstrate the sounds.
G – Games
Nobody needs to be told to play their favorite game or love their favorite toy. It is an automatic response to something we are passionate about. Piano playing can also become a passion, and the piano lessons treated as a toy which can be enjoyed with a lot of time and energy invested into.
Here are three games which can be played when learning the piano:
1) Animal Friends
The keyboard notes can be easily learned and remembered by assigning an "animal name" to each note of an octave, beginning from middle C, for example:
- C - cheetah
- D - dolphin
- E - eagle
- F - fox
- G - gorilla
- A - alligator
- B - badger
By associating animal names and sounds with the respective musical notes, piano lessons can become a really entertaining experience.
The musical notes A-G can be learned by singing through the "musical alphabet", both forwards and backward.
It may also be fun to sing a song, such as "Do-Re-Mi" from The Sound of Music, as it is catchy, joyful and makes going through simple songs and scales easy.
3) Flash Cards
A set of flash or "memory" cards can be created to test the knowledge of the different keys, scales or theoretical notifications (such as bass and treble clefs, tempo markings and key signatures). These cards can be tailored according to the level of learning.
Piano Lesson are Fun!
It's simply not true that piano lessons aren't fun, and although they may be hard, it's always better to keep it fresh and entertaining at the same time.
By keeping these 7 keys in mind, you will be well on your way to learning piano in both an enjoyable and informative way, and soon the daily practice will become something to look forward to!
About the Author: Julie Adams
I am a mom, a music lover and teacher from Tampa, FL. After completing a Bachelor of Music in Performance Arts, I traveled for several years before returning home where I started offering private piano and singing lessons as extra income. I met my husband in 2009 and 2 years later moved to Dallas where we settled down and I started focusing on vocal training to aspiring singers and performance artists of all age groups. I still enjoy playing the piano very much, and in my spare time you will catch doing some horse riding, drawing, doing some light reading, or just spending quality time with my family.