Piano Right & Wrongs
To get your child started playing piano the RIGHT way, follow these basic rules and guidelines. Believe it or not there is a certain etiquette that goes along with learning the piano. If you instill these manners in every lesson, you will surely be on the right path to musical success!
- Keep your hands and fingers curved at all time. I like to tell my students to imagine they are holding an invisible bubble. Or have them curve their hands until they resemble a musical spider!
- Straight back equals proper posture! And did you know that if you encourage your little ones to have a straight back while they practice, this will help them to have proper posture throughout their life? It’s the little things that help to create strong muscle memory!
- Arms at an “L” shape. This will give your little musician the right amount of spacing to reach all keys on the piano.
- Hands in their laps or on the piano at all times. By being diligent with this practice, your child will become more disciplined and patient with practice.
- Proper finger numbers. In piano, we never let our fingers cross over each other unless they are any fingers crossing under or over the thumb. So if you see your child awkwardly crossing any fingers other than their thumbs, simply help them by looking at the correct finger number they should be using on their sheet music.
- Flat fingers! Our hands should never look like pancakes on the piano. That lessons our ability for agility.
- Hunchback of Notre Dame is not welcome here. (Sorry Hunchback…although we do love you in the Disney movie!) I always ask my students how a prince or princess would sit at the piano? Does it look better to slouch or sit with a straight back. And who doesn’t want to look like a prince or princess?
- Too far or too close to the piano. Always make sure that your child is sitting the proper distance from the keys so they can reach with ease.
- Listening skills. We help and aid our students to listen to their teachers, music, and rhythms! Listening is a huge part of playing any instrument!
- Bent or broken wrists. If your child’s wrist is not straight from hand to elbow while they are playing, they can actually be doing damage to their tendons. Of course we want flexibility while we play, but it’s a good rule of thumb to aim for a straight writs. If it’s bent up or down, this could potentially create carpal tunnel syndrome over time. Yikes!
Road Trip Piano Game!
Going on a road trip with your family? Well this game is sure to inspire and improve your child’s musical retention! Here are the rules:
While riding in the car, your child looks for the letters in license plates that match the missing notes on the page. When they find one they have to draw the note on the staff. First one to finish wins. Also, parent pro tip:
Don’t know how to read music? NO PROBLEM! Print out a cheat sheet of the musical notes on the staff. Then you can help your little one if they get stuck. AND you can play along with them! I think they will LOVE the idea of beating their parents at a little musical competition! 🙂