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Piano: A Foundation for Success



Is your child dreaming of becoming an electric guitar player like Billy? Or perhaps aiming to be a violin maestro like Sally? Maybe even longing to jam on a trombone like Gretchen? No matter your child's musical aspirations, starting with piano lays the essential foundation. Over three years, they'll develop crucial skills like ear-training, note-reading, and piano-playing—a solid launchpad for any musical journey.

 


Advantages of Keyboard Learning

The keyboard remains the optimal first musical instrument choice. Spend three years with us, and you'll shine in your orchestra, marching band, or punk rock club.

Each key on the keyboard directly corresponds to a note on the staff—ascending on the staff means ascending on the keyboard. Step-by-step and skip-by-skip, the piano provides a remarkable visual and tactile method to understand music notation. Its layout promotes fluent staff reading—an advantage over instruments like the violin or trumpet, where note production relies on varied fingerings and positions.



Learn to Read: the Right Tool

When children learn to read music, simplicity is key. The piano acts as the phonics primer of the music world—logical and easy to decipher. Let's avoid overly complex language that could confuse beginners.


At Let's Play Music, graduates have a crucial advantage when tackling new instruments: they already understand music notation and can hear melodies in their minds. This foundational knowledge makes learning instruments like the trumpet a breeze, propelling them to shine in their concert bands. In contrast, students without this background struggle to grasp the connection between notes on paper and instrument fingering, lacking the internal sense of pitch.



Part Of the Whole

The keyboard excels as a teaching tool because it enables players to simultaneously create melody, harmony, and rhythm. In our classes, melodies are often played by the right hand, while the left hand provides harmonies and a steady rhythm. This holistic approach prepares students to understand the intricacies of music composition and performance. 


When your child transitions to orchestra or band, they'll appreciate the foundational understanding gained from playing the piano, where they've learned to blend and interpret multiple musical elements. This broad perspective enhances their ability to contribute effectively within a musical ensemble, whether emphasizing melody or harmonizing with others.


Multi-sensory Learning

The keyboard integrates a child's tactile and visual senses with their auditory and mental faculties, similar to how Solfeggio connects voice, ear, and mind.



In our program, students reinforce melodic patterns learned in Year One by seeing and feeling them on the keyboard. The tactile sensation of stepping, skipping, or leaping further solidifies these connections in their mind and ear. When a child sings a Solfeggio syllable and observes the corresponding notes descending on the staff while feeling their fingers move step by step, they deepen their understanding of music theory and application. This multi-sensory approach fosters a comprehensive grasp of musical concepts and enhances musical fluency.



The World is Your Oyster

Here's a phrase I often use with my students: "The world is your oyster!" You've received comprehensive training as a whole musician, so now you're equipped to excel in any musical pursuit. Go out and explore to discover where your passion lies.


Here are some ways to expose your child to different instruments and musical venues:


  • Attend local symphony performances, some of which have special children's concerts and instrument "petting zoos," like the Idaho state civic symphony's Halloween concert mentioned by Teacher Emy LeFevre in Chubbuck, ID.

  • If symphony concerts are costly or time-consuming, consider attending concerts by concert bands, orchestras, or high school musicals. Point out solo instruments to your child during performances.

  • Enjoy parades and football games with a focus on the bands performing. Encourage your child to notice the different instruments being played.

  • Visit music studios that coach youth bands (rock, jazz, etc.) and attend student concerts to see young musicians in action.

  • Piano remains an inspiring instrument to watch older children play. Look for local piano teacher associations or recitals to attend.

  • Discover family-friendly performances in your area, such as fiddler groups or operas tailored for kids, as recommended by LPM Teachers Katie Anderson and Megan Dougherty.

  • Foster a love for singing by attending community choir performances, as suggested by LPM Teacher Sarah McKay in Marietta, OH, whose daughter auditioned and made it into a children's choir.


These activities will help broaden your child's musical horizons and nurture their passion for music.


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