Teaching your child to play a keyboard can be done in several ways of doing it – you can find them a teacher, look up how to play online or allow the child to learn to play by ear. This helps the brain to develop properly and is a healthy skill. The necessary things for playing keyboard are proper positioning of the child’s hands (otherwise bone injury could occur), proper posture, the ability to read music and the ability to sight-read, ie play a piece without practicing it prior. There are several skills your child will need to learn when playing keyboard or any other musical instrument. All of these help the child’s brain to develop in creativity and intellect, and are critical to learning music. The keyboard takes a long time to really gain skill in, so be sure that your child’s up to the commitment.
The keys might look confusing to the child at first, but you can explain to them that the white keys are normal notes, while the accidentals are the black keys. Show them about the musical alphabet: the notes A through G, and tell them the accidentals are the notes between on the black keys. The black keys on a keyboard won’t be used very often when first starting out, so start off with simple lessons by teaching them proper hand position and posture. This includes sitting up straight or leaning slightly forward. Also show the child that the fingers need to be relaxed in their natural position, and let the thumb curl slightly inwards so they’re parallel with the rest of the hand.
Basic scales are the next thing for a child to learn on keyboard. C scale is the most basic of these, so show the child where C is – it’s the key just to the left of a series of two black keys. Then show them how to progress up the scale with the right thumb, index finger, middle finger, and then carry on this way until the next octave. This is a full major C scale.
Learning to play a scale one-handed is easiest learned this way, and it’ll teach the child dexterity in the fingers. Sheet music shouldn’t be bothered with this early in the musical education of a child – instead, try to encourage them to play a theme for a favourite TV show on the keyboard, like the basic Spongebob melody or anything else they happen to like to watch. Mainly, it’s most important to help them figure out how to play the melody by simply listening which is a skill that everyone should try to develop at some point.
You can show the methods of reading sheet music later on, but it’s best to go more slowly with this part. Sometimes it can be complicated or confusing to a child, but as children are quick to learn they can grasp the basics easily enough. Children can then learn to play along with and read music at the same time, and this can provide a healthy dose of accomplishment from learning a new skill. Especially with keyboard, learning any kind of musical instrument is a mentally stimulating activity for children’s mental development.
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