Last week I started about six brand new beginners, all aged between 7 and 9, who had never had a piano lesson in their life before. And in each of these lessons I had to brush away a little tear. Honestly. At my age. I’ve been teaching the piano for maybe twenty-five years, and it gets me every time.
In that precious, first half an hour, I covered
- how the black notes are arranged in groups of twos and threes (and we “splatted every group)
- high and low, loud and soft
- ‘D’ for dog is found in the dog kennel made by the group of two black notes (and we found every dog)
- ‘D’ is written like a ‘d’ (so we wrote music with minims and crotchets)
- ‘C’ is like a dog, but with whiskers ‘
d‘ (so we wrote music for cats and dogs)
- ‘B’ for bear, or bee – depends on the child – is written like a ‘p’ (so we wrote music for bears and dogs)
- And now you can read the first page of the tutor book (in this case ‘Get Set Piano Book 1’)
And then I found a hanky and cleaned my glasses. Each and every child was awed by their achievement, and, with a little help, or in some cases no help at all, played the first couple of B and D pieces with increasing amazement.
I’ll go back over the details next week – you know, rhythm and counting and staves and treble clefs and bass clefs and all that malarkey. The important thing is that they left the music room reading and playing music, with plenty to keep them going for the rest of the week.
This is why I still teach piano after twenty-five years.
Oh, and if you were wondering why the posts are numbered in such a weird fashion, I am challenging myself to get 60 posts up before 31st December, so make up for my ‘sabbatical’ earlier this year.