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Piano Fingering for Kids

Piano fingering for kids is the first thing the average piano teacher insists upon. But when is learning fingering necessary? The indications for fingers are a prominent part of most piano books, and children are known to constantly disregard them.

Consider the diagram, in which each finger of each hand is assigned a number, as in all piano lessons. Start with thumbs as number 1, and then go up to 5, which is the little finger.

When To Introduce Fingering

It is essential to learn fingering eventually in order to play the piano properly. But our question is, “When is learning fingering necessary? May I temporarily disregard the finger indications in the piano books?” Does a child need to learn fingering at the very beginning? Piano books and teachers are full of drills to get the five fingers in a row, and keep them that way.

Difficult Tasks Of Beginning Reading

Think of it from the child’s point of view. Children are asked to understand three things, almost immediately First, they must learn to identify the notes on the page, usually naming them (A B C D E F G) as well. Second, they must learn fingering, using the correct finger for each of the notes. Third they must learn rhythm, which is the timing of each note.

Multiple Dimensions

If you observe a child attempting to learn the notes on the page, and relate them to the correct keys of the piano, you will find that it is an intensely difficult process. And this is without asking them to name the notes as well. So they revert to the easiest tool, the index finger. To ask them to use a certain finger at first is to cloud the issue as they struggle to learn the unfamiliar language of music on the printed page, numbers or notes.

A Different Approach

Let us consider an entirely different approach to piano books and fingering for kids who are just beginning the piano: Allow the child to find the first five notes (C D E F G, or 1 2 3 4 5 ) and associate them with the piano keys at their leisure. They may go at their own pace, with whatever finger they wish, usually the index finger. I usually tell them, “I don’t care if you play it with your nose, but find that note on the page, and play the key on the piano that belongs to it .”

When they are fully confident with this, and look up at you as if to say, “Is this all there is to it?” they are ready for the next step. The truth is that children are only dimly aware at first that they have five fingers, much less able to use them as a coherent group or make decisions about which one to use. This only follows the psychology of children. Allow them to grow at their own pace.

PIANO BY NUMBER

We've turned notes into numbers for happy beginners at the piano!

PLAY ALONG SONGS ARE FREE!

Our PLAY ALONG SONGS are produced by Grammy Award winner Joe Castellon of Sesame Street. They're such an important element in making the piano fun for kids!

PLAY FUN & GAMES

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