For very young beginners:
If the parent or guardian doesn't "play", then take 6 or more months to explore your piano with your child, prior to enrolling for private lessons.
Encourage your child to play around and with
the piano prior to lessons. You can't break a
piano by playing it.
If you don't know where to begin with regard
to exploration - try this:
Use the BLACK KEYS, and see if you
can invent songs. Then add some white
keys. Explore and listen. Keep it light.
Make note of how your child explores the
The right teacher is going to want to know this
Do they like thehigh sounds, or the
Is the middle of the piano where they prefer to play?
Does everything sound percussive (this is fine - the piano is part percussion - part string),
Does your child enjoy singing words, or
even nonsense syllables along with playing
observations at the
prospective teachers ...
...and I recommend interviewing
not less than 2 or 3 teachers.
SOME MORE SUGGESTIONS BEFORE YOU BEGIN PIANO
Is your child able to distinguish between their left and
their right sides?
Have them "jump to the left", and "jump
to the right".
Have them look at how the thumb of their
left hand forms the letter "L".
Ask them if the high notes are on the right side of the
piano, or on the left? ...same for the low notes.
Turn everything into a game!
It's no secret that piano
teachers enjoy giving out stickers -
implement a similar
system in your home to reinforce
the fun side of piano
Information on this website has been adapted from
several other resources - please feel free to explore the
web on your own for more suggestions & excellent
additional resources (explore this site for many excellent
online sites & sources!)
Shad Wenzlaff Piano Studio
A professional piano studio
located in Madison, WI
The Music Studios at 615 N. Sherman Av
Madison, WI 53704
The studios are open by appointment only -
please email or call for your interview lesson.
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Diane Hidy suggests that you
"go with your gut" when you meet a teacher - trust your instincts.
Shad's studio lobby. A perfect place to wait in a quiet and comfortable atmosphere. Glass doors to the studio allow parents to "glance" during lessons.
Shad's teaching space featuring a Kawai Studio Grand Piano and a Boston Grand Piano - courtesy of the
Steinway Gallery Mineral Point Rd. Madison, WI
Before you start piano lessons,
BUY A PIANO.
All students who study with Shad MUST have a piano with 88 weighted keys. A standard height piano with a suitable bench & footstool for younger students - make sure it is adjustable to grow with the student. It is best to own an acoustic piano.
I BELIEVE THAT PROPER POSTURE IS ESSENTIAL TO PROPER TECHNIQUE AND PHYSICAL HEALTH.
Second, please think about where you will place your piano in your home.
Ideally, your piano is not in the room with the only TV in the household. Make sure the room where you locate the piano is "not lonely".
The piano should not be located in the student's bedroom.
Three of the biggest reasons children don't practice
If you have space in your home for an acoustic grand piano - purchase one!
By the best piano you can afford. View owning a piano as a smart investment in your child's education and in creating a lovely environment in your home for sharing and spontaneous concert giving.
Steinway Gallery of Madison
Also, show your child that the lowest note on the piano is A, and "climb" up the piano keys from ABCDEFGABCDEFG etc.
Before piano lessons begin, make sure your child knows the difference between the MUSICAL alphabet
A B C D E F G
As well, ensure they are fluent with the full standard alphabet. In music, after we reach G, the musical alphabets begins again with A. If they can go forward and backward with ease, you're well on your way to acquiring a basic music vocabulary.
If you've made it to the top of the piano (88 keys), you will discover you end on C.
Can your child count
each WHITE key?
...each BLACK key?
Can they count all 88 keys - both black and white?