Starting a new student is always an adventure.
It’s exciting to watch them discover the joy of the piano for the first time. They have so much to learn and we have so much to teach.
Sometimes that makes it hard to know where to start!
Here are five things to cover at the first piano lesson that you will get your new pianist set up for success.
1. Give Some Background
Pianos are a permanent fixture in many people’s living rooms, and your student might not know where they actually came from.
They might be interested to hear you explain that the instrument is from late 1600s Italy. They might also enjoy learning that the piano can play both lower and higher notes than any other instrument in the orchestra.
It’s nice to let your student know a little bit about how you learned to play. Tell them why you love doing it.
The more excited you are about pianos, the more likely it is for them to pick up on your enthusiasm.
2. Emphasize Posture
Good posture is a very important part of playing the piano.
Students need to learn to sit up straight, play with curved fingers, and avoid raising or twisting their wrists unnecessarily.
Teaching your students these things from their very first lesson will help them create healthy habits that will serve them well in the future.
3. Introduce Keyboard Patterns
I like to begin piano lessons by pointing out the groups of black keys on the piano.
Students seem to enjoy identifying the alternating patterns of two black keys and three black keys. It helps them mentally break up the keyboard into smaller, more manageable sections instead of being overwhelmed by all of the keys at once.
4. Explain the Care and Keeping of Pianos
Pianos require some care that might not be obvious to students right away.
This is especially true of younger students, who may view the piano as a large, indestructible toy. It’s worth taking a few moments to explain to them why they shouldn’t bang on the keys too loudly or forcefully pump the pedals up and down to see what happens.
You might need to remind older students not to set food or drinks on the piano. It’s also a good time to demonstrate how to move the keyboard lid back and forth…on some pianos, it sticks!
Teaching your student how to take care of their piano from the beginning will prevent problems later on and let them concentrate on the fun part: making music!
5. Get to Know Your Student
Lastly, it’s easy to get so caught up in introducing our students to the world of pianos that we forget to learn about them as well.
I like to ask my students for some basic information like their birthday and favorite animal. Lessons are more enjoyable for both of us if we can get to know each other a little better as people as well as pianists.
What do you like to cover at a first piano lesson? Leave a comment below and let me know!