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First Piano Lessons Animal Memory Game
There are many methods to help learn piano notes but this way is easy and children immediately engage with this animal memory game. They are so keen to memorise the order of the animals that they inadvertently learn the piano keys without realising it! The whole keyboard stretching out in front of them can be a bit overwhelming, so firstly it is important to break it down and help to them recognise that there are indeed only 7 notes, just repeated over and over.
Working It Out
Ask them how many they think there are? Surprise them with the answer of only 7! Kids love the idea that they can impress others with this “trick” question! Depending on the age and attention span of your child or the child you are teaching, to make it easier this lesson can be broken up into two sections which introduces C-D-E-F first, and then G-A-B the next time.
Easiest Way To Learn The Notes On The Piano
1. Sitting in front of the keyboard, explain that the right hand plays high notes, and the left hand plays low notes simply because it is more comfortable to do so. Encourage them to explore some high and low notes, and make sure they can tell the difference.
2. Start by asking them to play the groups of 2 black notes and 3 black notes, all the way up and down the keyboard, making sure to use the left hand for low notes and the right for high.
Introducing The Animals
3. Then find middle C by looking for the 2 black notes in the middle – C comes just before these 2 black notes. Introduce the CAT! Find all the ‘cats’ up and down the piano, using the right hand for high ones and left hand for low ones with middle C in the middle. Navigate by looking for the 2 black keys, and notice that they are always the same distance of 8 notes apart each time, call this an Octave. Eight notes like an octopus with 8 legs!
4. The next note is D for DOG! It comes after C and is in between the 2 black notes, which look like the dog’s black ears! Find all the Ds.
5. E for ELEPHANT comes next, find all the elephants by hopping up and down the keyboard, noticing that it comes on the other side of the 2 black keys.
6. The next note is F for FROG! Repeat the hopping game in the same way, noticing that it comes before the group of 3 black notes.
7. The next note is G for GIRAFFE, find all the Gs up and down the keyboard, always making sure that the right hand is used for higher than middle C, and the left hand is used for lower than middle C.
8. A for ANTS comes next, notice that the first and lowest note on the full piano keyboard is an A .
9. The last one is B for BEAR – repeat the process, and all the notes have been named, as we have reached C again!
Now try to see if they can remember all the animals from beginning to end of an octave. Although this seems a lot of information for the first piano lesson, children really seem to enjoy the challenge of remembering the correct order of the animals. After a little bit of practice they love to demonstrate that they can recognise which one is which. Play this game at the start of every lesson. Once they are more confident, jumble the animals up, and pick different ones at random. See if they can name them backwards – though this is difficult at first!
Pianos keyboards vary according to size and budget. A full size piano keyboard has 88 notes from the bottom to the top including all the black notes in between starting on the bottom A up to a top C. A mini-piano or smaller keyboard may have a few less notes at the top or bottom, but this doesn’t make a lot of difference for beginners, as they rarely need these notes anyway. Whatever the size of your keyboard, you will find they all share this repeated pattern of keys as described above and this is the easiest way to learn the notes on the piano.
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