Learning to play the Keyboard/ Piano
Learning the keyboard /piano requires the child to use both hands to manoeuvre the keys independently. The fingers on both hands have to press different keys simultaneously to produce a melody which serve as a great opportunity for them, especially those who are not sports oriented to develop motor and concentration skills as it requires the use of both the left and right brains. It also provides an avenue to develop the child’s overall dexterity and use complex thought processes.
Like sports, when children who learn the keyboard/ piano participate in stage events, they have to work as in teams. Through working as a team, the child learns co-operation and social skills. Learning the keyboard/ piano is also liked to success in school.
Experts say that children who learn a musical instrument tend to score higher in both standard and spatial cognitive development tests.
One of the biggest problem facing music students today
One of the greatest problems facing music students today, regardless of age, is the famous command ‘Go Practice!’. As a parent, you know this is something thatyour child should be doing, but beyond this knowledge is a vacuum waiting to be filled with the correct methodology for successful musical development and advancement. Practicing, like the notes on an instrument, is a thing that needs to be learned.
THE NITTY-GRITTY OF PRACTICING
Not basically practicing
Both children and adults lead occupied lives, and consequently it’s simple to make the error of certainly not prioritizing piano practice, or rendering it a secondary priority in accordance with other tasks / activities. Most of us proceed through periods where we battle to find time to practice. Try to allocate some time (or times) everyday and make practice a part of your daily routine.
Setting keyboard/ piano up in a spot that’s ‘out of sight’ (and for that reason ‘out of mind’)
Setting the piano/ keyboard up in a room you rarely get into, or more serious, putting the keyboard aside in a cupboard with the purpose to getting around to practice one day is not the best way to motivate the behavior of practice at home.
Instead, set the piano/keyboard up in a prominent position including the living room or dining room, where it is easy to get at and where in fact the mere sight of it’ll provide as a reminder to accomplish your practice.
Practicing for very long sessions
Even professional musicians who practice 6-8 hours each day usually do not remain at the piano/ keyboard for a lot more than 40 minutes in any one sitting. They consider regular breaks before resuming their practice.
For some piano students, an acceptable amount of practice is just about 30 minutes each day, and for adults, performing this in a single sitting might work. For some students, kids especially, 1-2 short sessions of 10-15 minutes per day is often much more effective.
Visually assessing your music is extremely helpful in reducing the amount of time spent practicing easy and repetitive sections. Break the music up using a pencil into clear sections, using capital letters above the first note of each. Look at your sections. Are they short enough to break down into workable sections that will match the duration of your practice session? If not, add a second lower-case letter to further divide. If you can fit more than one section into a practice session, then you are in good shape.
Revise pieces to maintain a repertoire
It maybe surprising to know that many students, once they have learned a piece, do not play / practice it again, instead preferring to always push ahead to the next new piece. A balance to be reached here, at least once a week, try to allocate some time for ‘refreshing’ your memory by revising some of the pieces you have already learned – not so you can get out of practicing / learning something new, but for the specific purpose of maintaining a repertoire that will enable you to share what you have learned with others.
Starting from the beginning
Most students always start from the beginning of a song. The problem with this is that students tend to become very good at playing the beginning of a piece, but tend to be less proficient as the piece goes on. Try to target the ‘weak’ sections within the piece and in this way, your practice sessions will become much more efficient, and will promote a much more consistent level of proficiency throughout each piece.
Practicing too fast
The thing to remember here is the faster you try to play your piece, the longer it will take to learn, and you’ll probably have to unlearn mistakes along the way too. So go slow, give yourself a chance to take a mental note of each note, event or phrase within the given section. Learn to use the metronome for it is your best friend and maybe your only friend. The reason for this is because it is a steadfast and honest tool. It will never lie to you, and if you use it correctly, it will lead to great efficiency in practicing (and therefore musical development). This efficiency is slowly earned in the beginning, but pays massive dividends in learning music faster, down the road.
Looking at your hands excessively
Try not to look down at your hands, especially while you are still learning a piece. The reason for this is when students look at their hands a lot, they tend to learn the piece with mistakes, it’s fine to occasionally look down at your hands, especially after the piece has been learned, but when looking down, there is a way of doing it correctly. Instead, when looking down at your hands, try not to move your head. Rather, just look at your hands by only moving your eyes. Then when you look back up at the sheet music (only moving your eyes – not your head) it will be much easier to find your place on the sheet music.