The "right" age to begin piano lessons varies from child to child. A good first test is the age when your child can tie their shoes. Many four year olds can achieve great success with piano lessons. It's important for these early lessons to be based around fun, and plenty of off the piano activities and games. Below are the skills you can expect your 4-year-old to gain in their first few months of lessons.
2. Build Finger Dexterity - In the early days of piano lesson, 4-year-olds can gradually build finger strength with fun games and stories. Practicing separating each finger from the other will help build grace and confidence at the piano.
4. Learn Rhythmic Patterns - I love using the stick rhythm method to teach young students. This technique uses words for each rhythm instead of numbers. This is particularly helpful for children who haven't yet learned math.
In a music lesson, students receive many new tools and skill building techniques. The sooner your child practices after a lesson, the easier and more productive the whole week of practicing will be.
Students should aim to review lesson material with a parent for 3-5 minutes the SAME day as their lesson. This will solidify all the instructions from the lesson - including technique, dynamics, new material, and special areas to work on. Students will also be more likely to start practice earlier in the week with a chip of practice already out of the way. Here are some fun ways to build lesson review into your routine:
Have your child give a "mini-lesson" to a parent or sibling using all the new information they learned from their music lesson. Kids love to teach their parents and give them their own assignments.
Film your child and give them a pretend news interview on their music assignments.
Have your child play their music pieces, and try to guess what they were assigned.
It’s a fact-music lessons tend to be on the pricey side. Whether you’re the parent of a budding musician or someone who wants to learn their favorite song on the piano, funding a musical passion can be a challenge. Lessons are necessary to progress and grow as a musician, so how can you make it work? The infographic from Take Lessons below gives some great ideas on how to make small adjustments that can lead to big rewards. For example, carpooling to work can save you tons in gas money allowing you to take music lessons instead!
Play these Billboard Hits on piano, guitar, and ukulele today! Read the chord descriptions below and get playing!
1. Shape of You - Ed Sheeran (4 chords!)
Shape of You moves between the chords G, Am, Em, C. Each chord gets 1 bar (2 half notes).*
Notes in Dm chord: D-F-A Notes in Gm chord: G-Bb-D Notes in Bb chord: Bb-D-F Notes in C chord: C-E-G
Shape of You is in the meter of 2/2, meaning each bar gets 2 half notes. Once you are comfortable playing the chords, you can add the riff in the chorus. The riff alternates between the notes D-F-D, and repeats for the whole chorus. *The chords are transposed up one half step from the original key, for easier playing.
2. Attention - Charlie Puth (4 chords!)
Attention moves between the chords Dm, C, Am, Bb. Each chord gets 4 beats.
Notes in Dm chord: D-F-A Notes in C chord: C-E-G Notes in Am chord: A-C-E Notes in Bb chord: Bb-D-F
Attention uses an eighth note bass pattern, arpeggiating the notes of the chord. If you're playing piano, try incorporating the bass pattern in your left hand after you feel comfortable playing the chords.
3. Now Or Never - Halsey (4 chords!)
"Now or Never" moves between the chords C, Em, C, and Am. Each chord gets 4 beats. *
Notes in D chord: C-E-G Notes in F#m chord: E-G-B Notes in E chord: D-F#-A Notes in Bm chord: A-C-E
Throughout Now Or Never, Halsey uses an effects pedal on her voice to manipulate her tone into an "other-world" sound. A popular vocal effects pedal for vocalists is a TC Helicon. *Chords are transposed down one whole step from the original key, for easier playing.
Jammin' With You is proud to offer piano lessons, voice lessons, guitar lessons, ukulele lessons, drum lessons, and flute lessons in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Park Slope, Gowanus, South Slope, Carroll Gardens, Red Hook, Boerum Hill, and Clinton Hill . JWY! has an all star list of Brooklyn teachers - this week we get to know piano teacherBelen Cusi!
Belen is a multi-lingual pianist, singer and composer by way of Argentina and Texas. She has an album under her belt, and has appeared in multiple commercials, including a McDonalds commerical. Her musical background, combined with an extensive foundation of personal development and peak performance coaching have combined to allow her to teach with passion, perception and effectiveness.
JWY: What got started in music?
BC:I started playing classical piano at 8-years-old and continued with lessons until age 21. I went to BU for journalism, but realized I couldn't give up playing piano and connected with local piano teacher and music producer Tim Lukas at Blink Music. I began singing and studying songwriting and composition. Soon after this, I began to work on my first album, "Closer".
JWY:How did you come to be featured in a McDonald's commercial!?
BC:I model and act for agency in Boston and was connected through to the commerical. I've also done print work and a few German films.
Watch Belen in a McDonald's commercial!
JWY:What made you want to teach music?
BC:I really enjoy working with kids, and wanted to find a way to give back and share my love for music. During the 5 years Ispent at Blink Music I began teaching children piano and voice - I fell in love with it.
JWY: How do you get started teaching beginners on piano?
BC:I like to use the Piano Adventures lesson book series to start lessons. This is the same book that I began with, and it's fun for kids while leaning towards classical themes. I keep kids engaged and busy throughout the lessson. If my student's have interests in other genres, I bring songs they love to supplement our lesson material.
Belen is available for Brooklyn piano lessons in Park Slope, Gowanus, South Slope, Carroll Gardens,Red Hook, Boerum Hill, and Clinton Hill, as well as Long Island. Sign-Up For Lessons With Belen!
Do you ever hear a song on the radio and wish you could play it? Now you can in a matter of minutes. Looks at the easy piano songs below and play the notes in each chord.
1. Shape of You - Ed Sheeran (4 chords!) Shape of You repeats the chords Cmin, Fmin, Ab, and Bb for the whole song. Each chord gets 2 beats. Notes in Cmin chord: C-Eb-G . Notes in Fmin chord: F-Ab-C Notes in Ab chord: Ab-C-Eb Notes in Bb chord: Bb-D-F
2. Mercy - Shawn Mendes (4 chords!) Mercy repeats the chords Emin, G, Bmin, and A until the bridge. At the bridge the chords change to G, Bmin, D, A. Then back to the original pattern! Each chord gets 2 beats for the whole song.
Notes in Emin chord: E-G-B Notes in G chord: G-B-D Notes in Bmin chord: B-D-F# Notes in A chord: A-C#-E Notes in D chord: D-F#-A
3. 24K Magic - Bruno Mars (3 chords!) 24K Magic repeats the chords Emin7 and Am7 for the whole song except the prechorus. Each chord gets 4 beats. At the prechorus, the chords change to C and Em. The C gets 2 beats, the Em chord gets 6 beats.
Notes in Emin7 chord: E-G-B-D Notes in Emin chord: E-G-B Notes in Am7 chord: A-C-E-G Notes in C chord: C-E-G
No matter what your level, you can learn to play these popular songs in a matter of minutes!
1. Work from Home - Fifth Harmony, Ty Dolla $ign (3 chords!) Work From Home repeats the chords F, Db, Ab for the whole song. Fm and Db get 2 beats, and Ab gets 4 beats.
Notes in Fmin chord: F-Ab-C Notes in Db chord: Db-F-Ab Notes in Ab chord: Ab-C-Eb
2. Cheap Thrills - Sia (4 chords!) Cheap Thrills moves between a F#m, D, A, and E chord for the whole song. Each chord gets 2 beats. Notes in F#min chord: F#-A-C# Notes in D chord: D-F#-A Notes in A chord: A-C#-E Notes in E chord: E-G#-B
3. Lush Life - Zara Larsson (4 chords!) Lush Life moves between Eb, Cm, Gm, and F for the whole song. Each chord gets 2 beats.
Notes in Eb chord: Eb-G-Bb Notes in Cm chord: C-Eb-G Notes in Gm chord: G-Bb-D Notes in F chord: F-A-C