Middle C is
the first location at the piano keyboard that your child must find and
find it, let's ask why we must find it.
To a child
at first, the piano keyboard is a fascinating but daunting maze of black
and white keys, with no apparent order.
To give kids
a feeling of security you need to give them a visual reference point, a
Middle C is
that home base.
In Piano by
Number we put the sticker numbered one on Middle C to begin the process of
giving the child security through a visual reference point.
will put a red sticker on Middle C to further distinguish it from all
Play a game
of finding all the Cs on the piano. The note C is defined as the white key
to the left of any group of black keys. Clearly, to do this you first need
to play a game distinguishing between groups of two black keys and three
take two fingers and place them on a group of two black keys, and ask the
child to find the note C, on the left of the two black keys. Once again,
there is a prior step that must be mastered, and that is the concept of
left and right.
Next play a
game wherein you point to a C on the piano and ask them if it is Middle C.
Kids are barely sure where any C is, much less one particular C, and you
must use games again and again to cement this principle in their heads
with out boring or alienating them.
have to be like a game show host, with valuable prizes waiting backstage.
Drive this game into he ground, springing a quiz on them whenever
possible. All that is necessary is a 10 second quiz that tests for their
retention of the idea and location of Middle C.
If the Piano
by Number method has a consistent principle, it is breaking musical skills
down to their lowest common denominator.
we do this with Middle C. Finding it really involves four skills, each of
which should be separately learned so the child knows the process from the
First, we distinguish between the
groups of two and three black keys. Second, we make sure the child
knows left from right at the piano.
Third, we find all the white keys
named C directly to the left of any group of two black keys. Fourth,
distinguish between all the white keys named C, and single out the one
most in the center of the keyboard as "Middle C."
breakdown procedure is good for the student and good for the teacher. For
the student, the learning process moves at exactly their speed, and cannot
move at any other pace because each step is based on the last. For the
teacher, there is firm knowledge that a skill is mastered, leaving the
teacher free to go on to the next step.
beginning piano is really a set of steps, each of which involves several
previously learned skills.
for children art the piano involves making each skill easily manageable,
and proceeding to the next step based on confidence with the last.
confident child is ready to understands new ideas.
Aschenbrenner Copyright 2008 Walden Pond Press All Rights Reserved