summer of piano lessons for the girls

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It’s a little difficult being the girls’ piano teacher.  We’ve only really started this summer, trying to commit to every week, but the hardship is actually commiting to the lessons every week.  Sometimes, I skip a week because I forget or because that night isn’t accomodating, but to be quite honest, it’s mostly my fault.  I need to really treat it more professionally and not as a hobby. By fall, Emma will have violin, ballet, and piano lessons added to the weight of her school work, so I need to keep her lessons light and consistent so she doesn’t not fall behind, and me nonchalant.

It was a little difficult in the beginning for her to grasp all the rules of starting piano- finger placement, right hand, left hand and remembering the use of clefs.  But well into the end of summer, distinguishing notes and their timing and the start of reading notes makes more sense to her, and she is more conscious of the musical rules. She does learn music properties fairly quickly like her violin teacher had stated.

Also in the beginning, what sets the difficulty for our dynamics is also how well we know each other.  She tends to get frustrated easily and as her mom, I try to combat her sensitivity with expecting more thick skin when it comes to learning. I blame myself because I take scaffolded years of callous conditioning and expect her to consciously wrap her heart with impermeable material to failure.  So there are times I have to prep myself before lessons and allow her share her fears of failure on her instruments and combat it with acceptance and problem solving.  It also helps to tell myself that she only turned seven and it’s already an accomplishment on her part to appreciate the sound of the piano and classical music like vivaldi and motzart (but I think ballet school has had a help in that).


Yes, I started Zienne on piano lessons as well, but not anything that requires formal practice every day like her older sister.  We do this once a week, and during the rest of the days, I only encourage her to toy around with the sounds and keys, practice her solfege and C scale as well as tell me what she’s observing about the piano.

During lessons, we go through one of the very basic piano books, exposing her to high and low notes, their placement on the piano.  Also, we go through some technical terms like left and right hand, piano and forte, white and black keys, and sometimes even trying to distinguish quarter and half notes and how they sound on the piano.  I also teach her how to alternate fingers back and forth, for now the 2-3rd fingers and then eventually move to the 3-4th and maybe by spring time, the 4-5th.  Lastly, she now can play the C scale on her own, knowing when to stop when ascending and descending. I’m pretty sure she can do this because she’s very familiar with how the solfeggio sounds, so it’s natural for her to know when to stop. 

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