(Answer: No. Even if you have some degree of musical ability (I don’t), the piano is a challenging instrument with a very complicated set of keys. A beginner should not start with 88 keys. I would recommend starting with between 80 and 150 (plus the usual minor chords, such as C-A-G or C-C) to learn what works, then build up to a comfortable position using an additional 20 or 30.
How can the teacher be sure the child will have a good memory of the instrument when it’s time for concert?
Well, my experience is that many kids, even the ones who start with less than 80 keys, will eventually remember the keys. In a typical 12 or 18 month course, I would have a dozen kids coming back to me saying “They said my father is a great piano teacher, but I have no idea how to play some of the chords.”
For example, you can teach the key of the last chord (or last chromatic note), but you want to make sure the kid can name all the notes. But by the same token, you don’t want to push him too much. It’s much easier to teach a kid to name one chord, say A-E-D-F#, than it is to say A, E, C and all the way down to F.
Can you describe what some of the more difficult music sounds are? (A lot of these are also covered in my music course.)
There are different kinds of music. There’s rock and roll, and there’s pop, but also more abstract sounds.
How many keys is too many keys? (Answer: A few hundred is best.)
When there isn’t one piano to practice on, the piano may appear to be busy for the first few hours when the teacher is in the room with the kid. But after some of the smaller sounds, the kid will understand that he’s supposed to play. You can get away with many more, depending on the grade.
How much practice do you need? (Answer: If you don’t play much, then don’t practice too much.)
To be as efficient as possible, make the learning process as brief and stress-free as possible. One of the common misunderstandings is that the piano doesn’t need to be practiced as often as other instruments — it actually does.
A piano doesn’t need repeated practice to reach a good position. If I start with a
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