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Learn to Play the Piano – Beginner Lesson for Older Kids & Teens

Learning to play the piano can be exceptionally beneficial to young children. Many parents look to sports to develop their child’s motor and concentration skills, but sport is not for all children. Learning to play the piano provides many of the same benefits as sports and more. The piano is both educational and your child will develop great coordination skills.


You need to make sure your child has access to a piano to practice every day, or at least several times a week. You will find that as long as he/she loves the music they are learning, the more they will enjoy playing it. Before your child starts, below are some basics that he/she should know.

How to use your hands?
Beginners sheet music often has numbers below each note. These numbers refer to fingers on your hands. Teach your child the below numbers and their related fingers.

RIGHT HAND:

1 – thumb
2 – index finger
3 – middle finger
4 – ring finger
5 – little finger

LEFT HAND:

1 – thumb
2 – index finger
3 – middle finger
4 – ring finger
5 – little finger

About the keyboard:

Learn to Play the Piano - Beginner Lesson for Older Kids & Teens

– There are two types of notes, black and white

– The black notes are higher up than the white notes, they are also spaced out in groups of 2 and 3.

– When you play a black and white note that lie side by side they are a semi tone apart. When you play two white keys that are side by side and have a black key between them, these keys are a tone apart.

– The white notes are named “A, B, C, D, E, F, G”

– The black notes are named using the same letters with either a sharp (#) or a flat (b) sign.

– C# (C sharp) means that the sound is raised a semi tone from the C key. If you look at the keyboard you will note that this must mean that C# is the black note beside the C key. Play them to hear the sound.

– Bb (B flat) means that the sound is lowered a semi tone from the B key. If you look at your keyboard you will note that this is the black key below the B key. Play both to notice the difference.

– As the key of C does not include any black notes, beginners start playing tunes in the key of C by placing both thumbs on middle C and placing each finger on each subsequent white note. Middle C is the C note in the middle of the piano usually above the keyhole in the wood.

About the notes in a scale:
The above may be a lot for your child to take in at once, but it will start making sense when he/she starts to play. Start your child off by learning the scale of C. Get your child to sit up straight. His/Her right hand should be slightly turned in with their thumb on middle C. Now ask them to play each of the below notes in sequence using the correct finger on his/her right hand. The first finger (thumb) should be crossed under the third finger (middle finger) to play the F key.

Note     C    D    E    F   G     A    B    C
Finger   1    2    3    1    2     3    4     5

Well done! Now you know the Scale of C.

Now you can play it in reverse. When using the third finger (middle finger) to play the E key, cross it in front of the first finger (thumb).

Note      C    B    A    G    F    E    D    C
Finger    5    4    3    2    1     3    2     1

Now play the scale of C up and down with out stopping.

How to quickly print these notes and guidelines: Use your mouse to highlight all of  text that you want to print out.  Then copy/paste that text into a text-only editor on your computer. For example, Notepad, a common text editor included with all versions of Microsoft Windows, and found in Start, All Programs, Accessories. Then click on “File” in the top left corner of the Notepad document, and click on “Print”.

- Next Lesson – How To Read Music Notes »  1 , 2 & 3