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Piano Lessons: Common Mistakes

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Hello, Practice Partners.
Welcome to the Peery Piano Program.
I'm so excited to have you and your child
here, and
appreciate all of the hard work and
support you give to your child.
I look forward to working with both of you
through the coming years.
A couple of things we need to go over that
might help out in starting your journey.
Some common errors you might think.
So first, please realize that the most
important thing in
helping your child to enjoy music, which I
know is your goal.
Is that they form great habits.
So the real advantage to starting learning
to play the piano when you're young,
as opposed to old, is that your muscles
learn so quickly.
So every time they're touching the keys,
the muscles are learning.
So we have to make sure that the muscles
are doing what they should,
so that later on when they want to play
difficult pieces or
have something sound a certain way, that
they'll be able to do that.
Nothing's worse than taking lessons for
six or eight years, only at the end of
all that time to come and realize that you
can't play the piano very well.
So children don't know and it's our
responsibility to help train them so
that when they do know, they will have all
the tools easily at their disposal so
that they can make music any way that they
want to.
So here are a couple really important
things that you want to watch.
These things are more important than
anything else that they're going to learn
in the habits program.
So let's talk about the basic hand
Just really keep an eye on their thumbs.
So it's really easy to have a tight thumb
to play with a position out like this, or
like flat.
So the thumb, the rule with the thumb
always is to keep it on the key or
under the hand.
Now every hand is different, so for some
kids it's going to be.
Easier to stick it under but some, when
they stick it under,
they stick it under like this and
everything collapses.
So this is kind of a mess.
So it's easy for them to stick it under
where the thumb stays loose and
under the fingers, and that's great.
If that's difficult and they tend to
collapse down a lot,
it's better if they learn with the thumb
out on the key.
They need to be watching this all the time
while they play.
Now if this gets overwhelming,
it really is more important to take away
some of the content.
So instead of trying to do muscular,
practical, musical together,
just do one of them at a time, so that the
child is always feeling like
they're succeeding, and not having a bad
hand position.
So let's talk about how the fingers should
It's really important in the Habits that
the students learn to play right on their
Now, here's a little secret.
We don't always play on our points.
We'll learn later to spread our fingers
and we'll even start doing that at the end
of Habits Three.
Because how we attack the key, how much
skin is on the key
depends on what sound is going to come out
of the piano.
But the best foundational position is to
teach them
to play with their fingers on their
So a good general rule with any muscular
habit is if your child's struggling
to do a certain position, just have them
exaggerate it.
So if you have a child that's always kind
of playing lower down like this,
then have them even roll forward, more
Now this isn't great hand position so I'm
not saying that they should play around
like this where they're almost on their
What I'm saying is you wanna exaggerate
this so they get this feeling.
So then when they bend out like this.
Now this is correct.
But if you keep saying roll up, roll up,
tip, tip, tips.
They'll never do it quite enough.
So get them to do it overboard, and
then they'll be able to come back to a
perfect position.
Know this takes a lot of patience and a
lot of time.
That's totally normal.
The parent forums on the site are a great
place to talk to other parents who
are going through.
They're going to have great tips of how
they were able to get their kids to do it.
Every parent has a unique story with how
they got their,
their child through this program.
So please become friends with other
they're going to be able to help you
through this more than anybody else.
Okay let's talk about our wrists.
We have a few things that we learned about
First is that it should always be level.
So it's as if you can stick that pencil on
there, okay?
Now, we're not going to play with a tight
wrist in the Peery program,
absolutely not, but the resting position
should be here.
So you see to get my wrist up a lot of the
times it's a problem with my thumb.
Cuz when my thumb drops, my wrist drops.
And kids it, wrist is kind of a foreign
[LAUGH] They don't really think about the
wrist, so
feel free to touch them a lot while they
So a lot times touching, which I can't do
cuz I'm not there.
We'll do more than telling.
So be there and lift this under.
Sometimes I stick a pencil with the eraser
just to support this so they can feel it.
So instead of saying, Johnny, wrist
higher, wrist higher.
You're low, you're low, you're low.
Like, they don, [LAUGH].
They don't know how to respond to that.
But if you go and just touch them.
Just touch them, and bring it up.
Say, I'm just gonna hold it here.
You're doing a great job.
So, we'll also learn to be bending our
wrists down, and to be lifting up.
But in general, this is the wrist you're
gonna be looking for.
And remember.
The thumb is our friend.
It could often be the thumb and really not
the wrist.
But the wrists can be showing you that the
thumb is in the incorrect position.
So the thumb needs to be playing more on
the corner.
Now every child's hand is different, it's
gonna be a lot smaller than mine.
So really, you just roll it up until the
wrist is flat.