Preparatory A (from 2+). Lesson 35
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In our Pedagogy Class today we are going to talk about the essential role of piano exercises in your toddler's fine motor skills development.
The First Steps of the Piano “Walk”
Playing exercises involves the work of all of your toddler's fingers in a set sequence. The perception and consciousness should have full control over all that is needed for the muscles to play. To accomplish this, the muscles must be exercised. Provided that the exercise is simple and easily memorized, and that work on it doesn’t distract from the main goals, it is the most effective way to teach the hands and fingers to work.
The key phrase for a starting pianist is “walking along the keys.” Putting our fingers on the keys for the first time, we also become year-old toddlers again, taking our first steps. The difference is, this time, we’ve got a minimum of five legs instead of two!
There is only one way to learn to walk, and that is – to walk! In this regard, exercises and songs are like prescribed strolls. An active exploration of the keyboard achieves a score of useful goals.
- They develop coordination between the fingers and keys.
- They train the perception to fixate on this coordination and the keys at the same time.
- They allow the vision to become more familiar with the space of the keyboard. After several trips forward and back, it no longer seems as scary and mysterious.
- They help to slowly memorize how the black keys are grouped in twos and threes, and how the white keys are organized in octaves and in order.
- They help to apply the music alphabet to the keys.
The effectiveness of exercises doubles if stickers are used (it’s like applying a road map with the names of the keys), and if each pressed key is also voiced out in Solfeggio.
Many argue that exercises are too tedious and mechanical. Again, this is the view of more mature musicians. But at the very beginning, it’s the other way around. The task of the exercise, its predictability and repeatability, is a great starting point for the new skill of “walking.”
Plain, repetitious movement can quickly be memorized, and the attention is free to focus on the coordination of the fingers and hands. Rather than worrying about figuring out where to go and how to find out the direction, the student can move on autopilot and focus on the fingers and the sounds they make, slowly developing a feeling of balance.
Please, repeat all of the exercises that you and your toddler learned for the past 9 months:
1. 5 Fingers Exercise
2. Chromatic Scale (White Cat and Black Cat) in a short - 'Spooky' manner
3. Chromatic Scale with no limits in length
Hanon #1 Watch this video and learn how to play this exercise this week. I am going to help you teaching it your toddler next time:
Download LMZ file for Preparatory to Hanon #1 and add to your library
- Learn how to play these 6 notes using fingers 1 2 3 4 5 4 (Right hand) and 5 4 3 2 1 2 (Left hand)
- Place with your toddler the cards in the same order as the melody goes
- Teach your toddler to play the exercise using proper fingering
Say Note Alphabet from different notes
Keep working on all the piano pieces and exercises for the past months including the Hallelujah theme
Enjoy this week and share your experience!
Musically Yours, Hellene Hiner.