Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Piano For Beginners

Teaching beginning pianists isn't my forte, and given my son's temperament, I knew early on that my attempting to teach him to play the piano wouldn't be a good idea. 

Truth be told, we had his first piano teacher selected while we could still carry him around in an infant car seat.  She's a very experienced teacher with a large studio out of her home.  We were consistently impressed when we heard her play at a local church, and weren't surprised to learn she had earned a Masters degree in piano performance from a respected conservatory.

We started in January (last month), when Logan turned 7.  Here is a picture from his first lesson:

Logan's first piano lesson.
Logan's first piano lesson.

The lessons and our practice sessions have been going very well.  I am surprisingly impressed by the curriculum.  We've been working from a series of books called "Piano Adventures" by Nancy and Randall Faber.  We were issued four books, which are interrelated, but organized as: lesson book, theory book, technique and artistry book, and performance book.

Up to this point (after 3 lessons), we have dealt exclusively with the black notes, thinking of them as groups of 2 or 3.  Interestingly, no note names have been introduced yet. To me this makes total sense.  The black notes are easy to identify visually, plus from the onset, kids are introduced to the correct fingering for black note keys such as Db, Gb and B.

Already he has been introduced to quite a few musical concepts:  rhythmic values, including quarter notes, half notes, whole notes, as well as dynamics (quiet vs. loud).

Here is Logan playing "Old MacDonald".  I was especially proud during this run through as he refrained from stopping or getting visibly mad when he made a couple of little mistakes.


  1. WOW! Way to go Logan! So impressed!

  2. Very cool. I like that some curricula are now having small children play on the black keys to begin with; it's a good way to help them become comfortable (read: unafraid) of black keys.

    Another good beginner series is The Music Tree. I'm a fan, but rarely get to teach beginners as young as those for which I feel it's suitable.