How to teach keys to an 8 year old?


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I am jamming with an 8 year old musician. He just learned rhythm and counting time 1 2 3 4. Now I try to teach him how to play in key. I play a C chord on guitar, he plays white keys on the keyboard, and he composes a melody. I think scales are too much for him to grasp right now. He is learning major chords now. But how can I introduce a G scale with it's F#?
 
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happyrat1

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Work your way through the circle of fifths from the easiest to the more complicated one at a time. Spend about a week on each key signature and let him work out some exercises. Only move on once you feel he has grasped the concept and at the same time make sure he is aware of the notation standards as well as the fingering.

Eventually he will catch on to the concept and become more adventurous in his playing.

8 yrs is not too young to start some basic theoretical work.

Order in one of these from Amazon. It's a great teaching tool. It's basically a giant flash card with a rotating overlay that breaks down music theory with one simple graphical tool.



Gary ;)
 
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Additionally to Gary’s suggestion.

Why not introduce the concept of step intervals of tone in the C scale

ie where each key on the keyboard is 1/2 step from the key on each side thus:-

C > D = 1, D > E = 1, E > F = 1/2, F > G = 1, G > A = 1, A > B = 1, B = C = 1/2

So its 1, 1, 1/2, 1, 1, 1, 1/2

Then apply these intervals to the G scale and this will show how it has F#

Then apply the same concept for the other Major scales
 

happyrat1

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This just turned up in my inbox.

Why not put together a list of tutorial videos for the kid to watch. Kids today respond well to video instruction.


Gary ;)
 
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Hi Biggles!

Yes, you are right! A piano is not a flight simulator!! haha, just joking :)

Well, the pythagorean intonation IS very theoretical. Understanding the incomprehensible theoretical framework of intonation does not help, especially on the piano, since it is a tempered instrument.

One of the reasons it has been tempered, is because then the uppertones (fifth, octave, etc) are resonating effectively with the root note. That is, you can theoretically press any key combination, loading a sample in midi, no time.

An uppertone is the upper resonance of the root note. (fifth, octave, and if I remeber correctly ninth, or 13th. a 13th in the key of C major is A).

One of the reasons Neil Young uses the ninth chords (which is a root, a third (minor or major), a fifth, and a ninth, which in the key of C major is a D), is because of the uppertone resonance. You can check out this dark chords for instance in Neil Young, Cortes the killer. The studio version.

You are also right, that extensive scale exercises are designed for untempered instruments, like bowed, or plucked, like a lute. Even there, too much scale, mindlessly, are meaning more harm then good.

In piano, the basic notion is that you have to scale softly with the first and second finger, pressing with the first, then the next white note (C major) with the second finger, and then the third white note with again the first finger. Do this, till you reach the 8th note (the octave of the root), where play normally.

Yes, simple tunes and exercises are better for piano technique, you'll understand why. But, I'd recommend a classical education booklet, like easy piano sonatas (Handel and Bach, Scarlatti, etc) after a while.

Why? Because it is very important to follow the fingering notation in the first few months. I mean, there is a number above the note. That corresponds to a finger, with which the note should be pressed, if strictly following the classical etude, or simple piece.

Why? Because of the hand shapes.

Hope that helps, best,

Krisztian
 
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Hi Biggles!

Yes, you are right! A piano is not a flight simulator!! haha, just joking :)

Well, the pythagorean intonation IS very theoretical. Understanding the incomprehensible theoretical framework of intonation does not help, especially on the piano, since it is a tempered instrument.

One of the reasons it has been tempered, is because then the uppertones (fifth, octave, etc) are resonating effectively with the root note. That is, you can theoretically press any key combination, loading a sample in midi, no time.

An uppertone is the upper resonance of the root note. (fifth, octave, and if I remeber correctly ninth, or 13th. a 13th in the key of C major is A).

One of the reasons Neil Young uses the ninth chords (which is a root, a third (minor or major), a fifth, and a ninth, which in the key of C major is a D), is because of the uppertone resonance. You can check out this dark chords for instance in Neil Young, Cortes the killer. The studio version.

You are also right, that extensive scale exercises are designed for untempered instruments, like bowed, or plucked, like a lute. Even there, too much scale, mindlessly, are meaning more harm then good.

In piano, the basic notion is that you have to scale softly with the first and second finger, pressing with the first, then the next white note (C major) with the second finger, and then the third white note with again the first finger. Do this, till you reach the 8th note (the octave of the root), where play normally.

Yes, simple tunes and exercises are better for piano technique, you'll understand why. But, I'd recommend a classical education booklet, like easy piano sonatas (Handel and Bach, Scarlatti, etc) after a while.

Why? Because it is very important to follow the fingering notation in the first few months. I mean, there is a number above the note. That corresponds to a finger, with which the note should be pressed, if strictly following the classical etude, or simple piece.

Why? Because of the hand shapes.

Hope that helps, best,

Krisztian
You lost me at Pythagorean.
 
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Biggles........ I told you I dont' remember. Thats how they do it. You're thinking that everything you did was wrong, and nothing exists. If I would only knew...

But, someone told a lot of things regarding tempered instruments. What this person told me, is that I should read Vikram Seth's book, I think the title was two lives. Seth understands both traditions.

So, accordingly, western classical music evolved in the sense, that traditional Indian (and of course Middle Eastern) music was in a sense related to being both a performer, AND a composer.

In western classical music, the composer writes the piece, and someone else performs it......

I think, that in this sense, American classical music (jazz), is a return to the ancient form of music. Of course Jazz has it's root in African music, and not only the rhythm.

If you listen to Sona Jobarteh for instance, you can discover some similarity to Coltrane. Ironic, that in the golden age, most of the standards deviated from this path.

And now you have ai (computer generated music). ?? of course, ai had it's own predecessors, maybe even mechanic, like Boris Vian's interrogation machine (psychoanalysis), or the mechanic piano....

If we're talking about this, let's mention Alan Turing, the mathematician, who first proposed, that computer language should be not binary, but hexadecimal. Ever wondered why midi has 16 channels?

So? Why people keep bloating about how talented someone is?? In Korea everyone has to learn an instrument. If you use your brain capacity (10%), then you probably do have an aptitude for music, everybody understands music, but it is the interest that counts....
If you like to do something, then eventually you become quite good at it, and then you can also get money from that activity...

Einstein's performance of Mozart is on youtube..... can you argue with that, that he's not talented enough? Maybe he was just more interested in particles.......

(The link is that Turing also played the violin).

Ironic, that after the golden age of jazz, I found interesting the Norwegian line (Jan garbarek, Anja Garbarek, Bugge wesseltoft, Nils Petter Molvaer, Esbjorn Svensson trio, but they're Swedish)

So much more of course, but to be honest... I am not sure of anything now.
 
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Biggles........ I told you I dont' remember. Thats how they do it. You're thinking that everything you did was wrong, and nothing exists. If I would only knew...

But, someone told a lot of things regarding tempered instruments. What this person told me, is that I should read Vikram Seth's book, I think the title was two lives. Seth understands both traditions.

So, accordingly, western classical music evolved in the sense, that traditional Indian (and of course Middle Eastern) music was in a sense related to being both a performer, AND a composer.

In western classical music, the composer writes the piece, and someone else performs it......

I think, that in this sense, American classical music (jazz), is a return to the ancient form of music. Of course Jazz has it's root in African music, and not only the rhythm.

If you listen to Sona Jobarteh for instance, you can discover some similarity to Coltrane. Ironic, that in the golden age, most of the standards deviated from this path.

And now you have ai (computer generated music). ?? of course, ai had it's own predecessors, maybe even mechanic, like Boris Vian's interrogation machine (psychoanalysis), or the mechanic piano....

If we're talking about this, let's mention Alan Turing, the mathematician, who first proposed, that computer language should be not binary, but hexadecimal. Ever wondered why midi has 16 channels?

So? Why people keep bloating about how talented someone is?? In Korea everyone has to learn an instrument. If you use your brain capacity (10%), then you probably do have an aptitude for music, everybody understands music, but it is the interest that counts....
If you like to do something, then eventually you become quite good at it, and then you can also get money from that activity...

Einstein's performance of Mozart is on youtube..... can you argue with that, that he's not talented enough? Maybe he was just more interested in particles.......

(The link is that Turing also played the violin).

Ironic, that after the golden age of jazz, I found interesting the Norwegian line (Jan garbarek, Anja Garbarek, Bugge wesseltoft, Nils Petter Molvaer, Esbjorn Svensson trio, but they're Swedish)

So much more of course, but to be honest... I am not sure of anything now.
And the relevance to teaching an 8 year old is?
 
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The relevance is that practicing more than 8 hours is very bad to your physical health. Not to mention that you have other things to do. That you'll just neglect. Not because of your own fault, but because you are raised with very high expectations, to be winner of competitions, to jam through unplayable classical pieces. To memorize infinite amount of data in school.

Pointless. You can, however recover from dysphoric states related to exploitation of your mind and body, because society, and sometimes your parents expect you to. It can, after years, dissolve........ but you need a special circumstance, like a good teacher for that. And maybe, you're still better off after all that, because the hours and hours of practice ingrained the technique into your nervous system. At one point you'll start to practice a lot anyway.

But that usually happens, later in life, when you lose someone or something, you cannot find your purpose, etc. So, you evade things by practicing.

But it's funny, that when I was born in 1979, I had a relatively normal childhood. School was awful in the eastern bloc, but you could go to places with pals after school. With global warming, and coronaviruses, you're reduced to a faceless masker, who is totally isolated, and cannot go to work. Perhaps my generation was the last one to have had a normal childhood............

So, I'd suggest to an 8 year old, that try to have fun, make friends, and when you feel like it, yes, play the piano. But you don't HAVE to.... ;-)
 
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Rayblewit

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An 8 Year old needs to sleep 10 hrs a day . . 24 - 10 = 14hrs

Breakfast and Lunch = 1 hr.
Dinner = 1 hr (in a civil household)
14 - 2 = 12hrs

Ablutions would add up to about 30 mins . . getting dressed and bedroom chores about 30 mins.
12 - 1 = 11hrs

School days . . 6 hours per day study
11 - 6 = 5hrs

Play time on tablets and games consoles = 3 hours
5 - 3 = 2hrs

Homework (for school studies) . . 2hrs
2 - 2 = 0 hrs

KEYBOARD . . . . . 8 HRS ?????

I rest my case!

Ray
 

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