Out of all the musical instruments out there, the piano is possibly one of the most difficult ones to master.
But those who learn to play this wonderful instrument are able to reap the endless benefits that the piano offers.
The piano is best known for honing motor skills (strengthens hand muscles and increases hand-eye coordination) as well as cognitive skills (improves memory, reduces inhibition, and sharpens the mind).
To instil these amazing qualities in your children, it is always best to find a suitable keyboard and expose them to the piano early on in their lives.
However, the art of piano playing is different for kids as compared to adults – for the former, piano lessons are deliberately kept easy and simple. Plus, the pianos that kids usually play are specifically designed for beginners. For example, they have fewer keys and come in a fun, exciting design.
If you are planning on giving piano lessons to your kids, you will need to start off with the basics first and then move ahead. This article features some key information about the mechanics of the piano, its different parts, how it works, and some fun facts that every kid interested in the piano should know.
Different Parts of the Piano
A piano comes with a keyboard with white and black keys. Generally, the piano has 88 keys that play different notes and create different sounds. When multiple keys are pressed together, music is produced. Remember that the sounds created are a result of various strings vibrating together. These strings vibrate when a hammer is pressed within the piano.
The following are different parts of the piano that every beginner must be aware of:
As mentioned above, the piano strings are the primary source of producing musical sounds. They are made of high-quality steel wire and come in a variety of lengths and diameters.
Research shows that a traditional piano comes with approximately 230 strings. That’s because each high note consists of 3 strings while lower notes have 2 strings, and the extremely low notes consist of 1 string only.
Most piano strings come with a damper that stops the vibration of the strings. Although the damper in a piano is made up of many parts, the one that is crucial for is vibration-stopping abilities is the damper head. It is a small wooden block that is padded on the bottom.
When the damper is activated (by pressing a key), the string is allowed to vibrate, but as soon as the key is released, it stops the string from vibrating.
At the piano’s base, you’ll find three piano pedals. These pedals help change the sound of the instrument in multiple ways. Most modern pianos come with three pedals – the soft pedal, the damper pedal, and the sostenuto pedal.
The damper pedal, also referred to as the right pedal, is used the most. When this pedal is pressed, it raises the key’s damper and allows notes to continue even after the key is released. The soft pedal, on the other hand, allows the music to play in a softer tone. The sostenuto pedal helps to make a sound even after the keys are released. It only stops the continuous sound when the pedal is depressed.
How to Play the Piano?
The piano is played with the help of all ten fingers and sometimes with the feet as well. A sound is produced by simply pressing a key down. However, the quality of the sound depends upon how soft, hard, slow, or fast you have pressed a key. The three pedals (discussed above) which are controlled by the feet also modify the sound of the piano. For example, if you are playing hardcore music and want to lighten the intensity of it, you will have to press the soft pedal. And if you want the note to continue playing even after the keys are released, you will have to make use of the sostenuto pedal.
How the Piano Works for Kids
Kids that are beginning their piano-playing journey will need to learn a song that they can easily play on the instrument. Now, this song can be any music that your kid likes – a nursery rhyme, a classic, or even the ABC song. You can make your kid watch some video lessons as it is easier and faster to process visual information. Plus, this way, the piano lessons will stay fun and exciting.
Encourage your child to practice playing the songs every day; allow them to make mistakes, as this way, they will learn better. If it helps boost your child’s confidence, play along with them. Being involved with your kid’s piano lessons will make the activity more enjoyable. As your kids become better pianists, introduce them to music theory worksheets, which will reinforce learning in their daily lessons. Also, ask them to record audio tracks and listen to them later on. This will help them pick out their mistakes and will contribute to their overall learning.
Some useful piano guide videos for kids are as follows:
Fun Facts About the Piano
- When pianos were first invented, only aristocrats and royals could afford them. These expensive instruments weren’t accessible to the common man.
- Initially, the piano was called the pianoforte as it could play quiet notes (piano) and loud notes (forte).
- The piano consists of over 12,000 parts, out of which, 10,000 parts are moveable.
- For a piano to produce a range of sounds, it needs to have 230 strings.
- There are approximately 18 million non-professional pianists in the United States alone.
- Adrian Mann – a piano tuner in New Zealand – built the largest piano on 30th December 2010.
- Some people call the piano “ivories” since, in the beginning, they were made from this material. However, this musical instrument hasn’t been made from ivory since the 1940s.
Playing the piano can easily become an overwhelming activity for kids if they are exposed to advanced pianos and complex piano lessons right off the bat. The key is to teach your children the essentials first (where this article can come in handy), and then slowly and gradually upgrade their piano lessons.