Our First Piano Recital
My mom started taking piano lessons a few years ago so she has a piano in her house – the girls head straight for it on each visit. They love music, enjoy dancing and singing and always want to play with any piano that they see. For Christmas, my MIL got the girls a keyboard. It seemed like a great opportunity to encourage the girls to learn to play an instrument…something I regret that I have never done.It’s one of those fancy keyboards with the programming and keys that light up to teach you what keys to play. Miss M played it for only a few days and quickly had a few songs under her belt. She would play one correctly then speed up the tempo and play it again. Then speed it up and play it again. She repeated this until it was so fast that she had trouble keeping up. But she loved it and was showing an interest in learning it and I loved that.
Miss K, on the other hand, was perfectly happy singing to her own tune and leaving the keyboard to her sister. With as much as she loves to make up songs, I was disappointed that she wasn’t more interested in the keyboard. Maybe in time, I figured…
Then along came a review opportunity to test out “Piano for Preschoolers“. With Miss M’s interest in the keyboard, I thought this would be an awesome supplement. I agreed and sent away for my kit.
The meat of “Piano for Preschoolers” is the color strip and the color-coded sheet music. As I mentioned before, despite my years of dance, I never learned a stitch about music. All I could remember was the letters associated with music were E G B D F – “Every Good Boy Does Fine” but I couldn’t tell you much beyond that. Not what strings on a guitar or keys on a piano are associated with it. Yet when I placed the color strip on the keyboard and opened the book to “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, I was delighted to hear myself play something that sounded like the intended song.
But I’m obviously not a preschooler, so how did it work out for my kids? Well despite my prodding, 4 year old Miss K wasn’t interested and I was disappointed (yet not surprised). So when Miss M, (age 6) came home from kindergarten, I proudly showed off our new project. She listened to me explain the process of matching the colors in the book to the colors on the keys then she made herself at home. When she would play music with the pre-recorded light-up keys of the keyboard, she would play one finger at a time. I showed her how she can open her hands and give each finger a key (more or less) and she thought that was pretty cool.
She proceeded to play the keyboard by looking at the notes and ‘reading’ the music. It’s not perfect, but it certainly is a wonderful start. The fact that she continually wanted to play the keyboard with her new instruction tool was a sign that she’s interested in learning.Before I go any further, need to reiterate that I’m musically challenged. I made a mistake that I honestly didn’t even notice until I was prepping the pictures for the blog post. I didn’t line the color strip up correctly with the keys. Regardless of this error, the music resulting from the lesson still sounded great! Nonetheless, please don’t use my pictures as any kind of teaching aid!
After Miss M put so much enjoyment into her piano lesson, what do you think happened next? Why, yes, Miss K thought that it was the bees knees. She insisted on playing with it also. She did a great job reading the music and producing real songs so I asked why she didn’t want to play with it that morning with me. She bluntly replied “I thought it was going to be hard.” I responded with “Well, was it?” She smiled and said “No. It’s fun.”
Both the girls have been playing with it since we set it up and you can probably hear me swearing at the creators of “Piano for Preschoolers” each night around 7:45 pm when the girls insist on playing it before going to bed. (This is usually when I’m trying to get the girls to get their pajamas on and brush their teeth.)
Since Miss K has half day preschool, she has half the day to do other stuff. We have spent a bit of time playing the keyboard and she is so very proud of her accomplishments. The other day she performed her first piano recital for me. First she had me stay out of the room while she practiced. Then called me back in to watch her perform. Finally, she asked DH if he had time to watch her recital. It brought tears to my eyes to see how excited she was and hear what a great job she was doing.
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