Those first lessons with beginners can seem awfully long–all the instructions to give about posture, the keyboard, key names, high, low…. Although I offer young pianists the chance to explore all the concepts by touch, sound, movement, and fun (of course), there is no way to avoid a great deal of talking/explaining. The child may go home with just one piece to play because there is so much to know before “reading” can kick in. Can you imagine how beginning lessons must feel to those eager, tiny fingers? Or, some opt to begin lessons later as teens or adults and of course want to learn quickly and get their hands on the keys and make some music ASAP. Adding some creative and rote assignments can satisfy those hungry minds and fingers. These tasks can provide that necessary “carrot” to keep them coming back for more.
Here are some ideas for encouraging creativity with beginners. You’ll notice a description is provided along with a sample assignment (in bold) you might give between lessons.
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