Homeschool Piano by Number
Many homeschooling parents find that our Piano by Number books make an excellent basis for a home piano program. Parents become piano teachers in order to get their child started, using a Piano by Number book. It's actually not hard to teach any willing child the rudiments of piano if you're patient and kind and are willing to go slowly. Half the battle is showing kids what can be done with a piano. Once a child has an ideal of what the piano can be, they will pursue this goal even if their talents and abilities are rather humble. Giving them that ideal can be as easy as playing a CD of a great pianist, pop or classical, and listening to it with them. Try our online listening list of examples.
A Guide For The Parent
TEACH YOURSELF PIANO STEP BY STEP is a good place to start for parents that wish to prepare themselves to teach a child and need a piano book for themselves. This book will teach you to play simple songs with both hands in a few days or hours. The curriculum is broken down into such tiny steps that anyone catches on. Still, TEACH YOURSELF PIANO STEP BY STEP is not a book for children to explore alone. The concepts involved in chords (three piano keys played with the left hand) are readily understandable to almost all adults, but kids need help from adults to get the idea of chords. We suggest that you use this piano book to prepare yourself. Then perhaps return to it when your child has mastered playing many songs by themselves. They may then be ready to explore chords with the left hand along with some guidance from you. Read the entire tutorial HOW TO TEACH YOUR CHILD TO READ MUSIC
Start Kids At The Simplest Level
Where should kids start? Launch the piano book together, perhaps with PIANO IS EASY putting the stickers on with your child, and then let them loose after everyone has tried a few songs. Or, you can start older children with THE BIG BOOK OF SONGS BY NUMBER, which has more songs but no pictures or lyrics. Let them explore the book on their own. If they show no interest, you should keep playing yourself, until they come back. And believe me, if you set up a piano book with numbered stickers and let your child alone with it, eventually they will embrace it and try to play. The reason is that numbers are very easy to them. When they look at the book, they become curious. It always happens.
What About Practicing?
Do I tell them to practice? Not if you've set it up correctly. If you have to force them to play, you're already lost. The trick is to get them to want to do it themselves. And the reason they will want to play piano is this: Piano By Number is so easy that there is no negative emotion associated with it.
What Comes After Numbers?
It depends on the child. I wait until the child is utterly comfortable with every song before I attempt to move forward. When they are ready, a little bored perhaps with numbers, I introduce THE BIG BOOK OF SONGS BY NUMBER. This entertaining piano book introduces the use of the black keys of the piano. It's easy to master once the child is comfortable with songs on the white keys.
When I was certain that the kids understood playing one note at a time, I would introduce chords for the left hand, using TEACH YOURSELF PIANO STEP BY STEP. The book and video make it easy to understand chords. Almost all kids like chords, but some don't, and resist the leap to playing with both hands. Don't push it. Chords are a lot like Legos, and you have to get the child to see it that way. Piano chords and Legos have the same interlocking, pleasing quality. Describe it that way and they will want to play with chords. You can always start with two note chords if their hands are small or they have a hard time catching on with three note chords.