Learning the skills for successful piano and keyboard playing improves thought processes in school subjects, develops hand-eye coordination, and provides valuable fundamental skills that can be used when learning other instruments, composing, or learning music theory. If you’re looking for piano lessons in Toronto, our outstanding piano teachers provide the following foundational principles. Click here to learn more!
Students can begin piano study as soon as they can show both the desire to learn and the self-discipline to practice regularly. Within the first couple months of study, most piano students will be using both hands at the same time, reading both treble and bass clefs, counting rhythm values from whole notes to quarter notes, and applying fundamental music theory such as reading music in intervals of seconds and thirds. In piano study students gradually accumulate knowledge of music theory, technical skills, and the coordination to put it all together in repertoire.
Rhythm is the arranging of notes of different durations. All music students must learn how to count to be successful. Quarter notes, half notes, and whole notes are typically the first note values learned. More difficult music will contain more complex rhythms, including eighth and sixteenth patterns. Piano students learn to coordinate different rhythms patterns between the right and left hand in the first few months of lessons.
Music theory is basically the formulas and rules that guide the formation of music. This includes chord structure and how chords progress within a piece of music. Students of other musical instruments may not have an opportunity to learn about how music theory applies to the music they play until they take a music theory class. Piano students begin learning chord structure within the first few months of study. They begin with two-note chords in left hand, usually in a simple I and V chord progression. As they progress, they begin playing three-note chords (triads), and move on to adding IV chords in their music. When students actually play the chords and see how they relate to each other, it makes sight-reading and creating accompaniments easy. Memorizing and composing music is also easier when students understand the underlying structure of the music they play.