Thursday, June 4, 2015

Summer Tenleigh - Piano

Lately, Summer has had a huge interest in playing the piano.  From a young age, she has always enjoyed "playing" the piano and "singing" along, however now she is really catching on to reading notes and how the keys on the piano relate to the notes on a page.  Last week, we put tabs on the keyboard with the letter names, and identified "middle C".  She pulled out some piano books with kids songs and wanted to play the songs in them.  While they were obviously too difficult for her to play, I showed her the melody line and we talked about how each of the notes have names.  I wrote out for her the letter names of the notes above the notes on the page, and she loved trying to find the matching letter names on the keyboard to play songs she knew. 
I taught her the names of the lines and spaces on the treble clef, and she was very interested!!  Almost every day since then she has climbed up on the bench and tried to label notes and play songs of different sorts.  I asked my mom to bring my beginner piano flashcards and books the next time she came over.  Today, my mom brought over the flashcards and within a few minutes she was able to name all the treble clef notes!  I am amazed at how fast she learns things.  Here is a video.

We did the first few pages of one of my beginner piano books today, which removes notes from the busyness of the staff and focuses on linking the fact that higher notes are played on the right side of the keyboard and sound higher and lower notes on the staff are played on the left side of the keyboard and sound lower.  We also started introducing different length notes - for example a quarter note gets one count and a half note gets two counts.  Here is her practicing one of these songs.

She loves it and will "practice" on her own when I am not around.  Paul and I have been talking about getting her into piano lessons at some point for several months, and decided that now is a great time!  It is recommended to read before trying to read music, and she has been reading for several months now (recently read two chapter from her chapter book during quiet time), so we feel she has a good basis for learning.  With her current interest level, combined with her love of music and the stage, it appears that piano will be a good fit!  Our friend from church, Ms. Sue, who was also Summer's director for her Christmas musical, has agreed to teach Summer and she begins lessons next week!  Summer absolutely adores Ms. Sue and was thrilled when I told her Ms. Sue could be her teacher.  I am really excited for her!


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