Here’s a piano teaching tip that sprung to my mind as I overheard a conversation in the grocery store between a mother and her young daughter.
Mom: Probably because she’s hungry.
Girl: Why is she hungry?
Mom: Because she hasn’t eaten in a while.
Mom: Because she’s busy shopping with her mom.
Mom: Probably because their fridge is empty… like ours.
Mom: Because they ate everything in it.
Mom: Because they were hungry.
Mom: Honey, you’re driving me crazy, stop saying ‘why’!
Girl: (long, thoughtful pause)…How come?
Mom: sigh… laugh
After I stopped chuckling to myself, I realized that there was a brilliant piano teaching tip to be learned. As this young girl demonstrated, young children are very inquisitive; “why” is one of their favorite words. And so it should be… they are desperately trying to learn everything about the world around them.
As piano teachers, we must never forget that our littlest of piano students need to know “why”… even if they are too shy to ask.
So, the next time you are talking about ‘hand position’ with a little piano student, don’t simply say, “Remember to play with nicely curved fingers”. Instead, try the following…
1. Remember, if you keep your fingers curved they will be able find those white and black keys quicker, OR
2. Remember, if you keep those fingers curved your hands won’t get tired and cramped.
Give it a try. In your next piano lesson, make sure every statement and suggestion you make answers the question, “Why?”!