This article is from guest writer, Kristin, from
Kristin is a piano teacher who specializes in teaching children how to create
their own music.
(Used with permission)
Children are naturally creative and are thrilled to discover that they can create great sounding music. When your child creates music that’s incredibly impressive, you’ll see a huge boost in confidence.
The best way to introduce your child to the piano is with improv. With a few simple formulas, kids can sound great fast. This is an easy activity that your child will love and it works for all ages.
Step 1: Press and hold the highlighted key. Use your left hand to play. This key is called C and can always be found to the left of the two black keys. Play a lower C so that your right hand can play in the middle of the keyboard.
Step 2: Improvise with your right hand. Find the highlighted keys and play them one at a time, going up and then coming back down. Then try experimenting with different sequences. You can play any key in any order, and it’s fun to try to play in a jazzy rhythm. Find a few short sequences that you like.
Step 3: Switch the left hand to add variety. Here are two more keys, F and G. Press and hold F while your right hand plays a short sequence you invented earlier. Then change your left hand to press and hold G while the right hand improvises.
Left hand plays F:
Left hand plays G:
Have fun experimenting with different patterns. End your improvised song by pressing and holding the C key. You can watch the video to see an example. The video uses a few more keys which you can try adding in after you’re comfortable with the keys in the diagrams.
Click play to see an example.
After teaching this simple formula to your child, stand back and let him or her experiment. When your child is ready, give your full attention as he or she plays and then applaud wildly. Your child just composed their first song, so make a big deal about it! You’ll see a gigantic smile on a kid who now knows she can create her own music.
Get another free piano improv activity at http://www.eartrainingandimprov.com. This free printable lesson can make a fun duet, providing great bonding time for parent and child. Just have parent play the left hand and child play the right hand. Have fun creating music together!
Update from Kristen (August 2014):
I've created a large collection of printable music worksheets and activity ideas and wondered if your readers might enjoy them? I've put a ton of time into them and would love for them to be used. All are free for parents and teachers.
You can view them here:
Visit DLTK's Music
Section for music themed activities.