Piano by number for children's piano lessons

 

 

Walden Pond Press publishes the PIANO BY NUMBER series

Beginning Piano Music in Numbers

 

 

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Start piano at home with your child

Start with numbers, then read music

Books for Younger Kids      Books for Older Kids      Books for Adults

 

BEGINNING PIANO MUSIC IN NUMBERS

There's only one reason to start playing the piano using numbers: reading music is so confusing at first that children often give up before they have a chance to have any fun at the instrument.

Unless a child has fun with a toy, it's over.

You need to establish the toy aspect first before you endow respect for the greatest musical instrument on earth.

If a child has fun with a piano, that IS respect.

Let's examine in a visual sense the difficulties involved for a child starting to read music and play the piano at the same time.

Here's MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB expressed in a simplified version of sheet music:

We've removed most of the symbols that would confuse a child even more than these, and have left just the bare bones of musical notation.

While MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB is not a difficult song, imagine a five year-old presented with this information.

The average child will be confused by notation alone, and that is before they even get to the confusion of translating the notation above onto the keys of the keyboard. Thus you have doubled their confusion by presenting the song in this manner. Confusion on the page is compounded by confusion on the keys.

The effect I notice in children when music is presented this way is one of disengagement. They immediately decide that this is far harder than they thought. Once they decide that, the teacher's job is practically impossible.

Here's MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB presented in PIANO BY NUMBER  format with a numbered keyboard below it:

3     2   1   2        3   3     3    

Ma-ry had a        lit- tle lamb   

Since numbers are readily transparent to children, there is no confusion on the page. The piano keys are numbered and the numbers on the page are simply stated. Thus there is no confusion of any kind, either on the page or the keys.

Using PIANO BY NUMBER, the child is immediately making music, albeit simplified, but not to the mind of a child. To a child, this simplicity is, as Goldilocks said, "Just right."  

It's easy to take that enthusiasm and add a dozen more songs in a day, because piano by number songs are easy to navigate both on the page and the piano keys.

Once you have established the joy of playing music at the piano, you must carefully start to introduce the elements of reading music, but only a bit at a time.

To the child, the lesson is all fun, songs, games and numbers, but there's just that short part where the piano teacher is asking them to look at notes for a minute or two. Then, back to the fun of songs.

This approach works with every child.

Some children move beyond numbers in a few months, and the older they are, the quicker they migrate to the common language of notation.

Piano by Number also serves another useful function.

Children are able to play piano music far harder than what they are able to read in sheet music. So if you restrict them to a diet of what they are able to read, they will starve to death, as it were. You can't build enthusiasm on a diet of exercise pieces and nameless pieces that mean nothing to the child.

Use numbers to extend their ability to play any music they take an interest in, while at the same time work constantly to bring their music reading skills up to the same level.

This is exactly the reverse of the conventional approach, where you learn to read music first and then, if you survive, you can play anything you want. 

But this freedom is what children need to thrive at the piano in the beginning.

By John Aschenbrenner Copyright 2011 Walden Pond Press All Rights Reserved

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Piano Lessons: A Child's Point of View

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THE COMPLETE BOOK PACKAGE: 

1. 107 page illustrated THE CHRISTMAS CAROL KIT Book with 44 songs, Play Along Audio CD, and removable stickers   

2. 120 page illustrated PIANO IS EASY Book with 50 songs, Play Along Audio CD, and removable stickers 

3. 50 page I CAN READ MUSIC Book 

4. 132 page TEACH YOURSELF PIANO STEP BY STEP Book, 56 minute DVD Video and removable stickers 

5. 141 page THE BIG BOOK OF SONGS BY NUMBER Book with 130 songs, and removable stickers 

6. 88 page EASY CLASSICAL PIANO BY NUMBER Book with 10 songs, and removable stickers, and 29 minute Play Along Audio CD 

6 BOOKS, DVD AND 3 PLAY ALONG AUDIO CDS 

Our BOOK PACKAGE price: $89.95Click here to order THE COMPLETE PIANO PACKAGE

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You can also purchase individual books with CD $24.95

 

   

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