Lesson 1: Introduction to the piano
You first lesson is an introduction to basic music theory that every pianist should know.
You will learn what is the Grand Staff, the notes on the piano keyboard, how to sit at the piano and the numbers of your fingers.Download this lesson checklist in pdf
You will learn:
How to sit at the piano
The History of the Piano
Notes on the Piano: where to find them
How to match the notes with the corresponding piano keys
The numbers of your fingers
The Piano’s Grand Staff
Piano Level One Lesson 1
1. How to sit at the piano
You will learn:
How to sit at the piano and some of the history of the piano.
The position of your fingers on the keyboard.
- You should sit comfortably at the piano.
- Before you start playing, you should adjust the height of your piano bench.
- Your height must allow you to touch the keys with your forearms parallel to the floor. You should sit at some distance from the piano and you should sit facing the center of the keyboard.
- Your feet should touch the floor. If they don’t, place an object under your feet.
- Your fingers should be curved on the keyboard (spider fingers).
Relax your arms and shoulders as you hold your hands over the keys.
- Don’t cross your legs when you are playing the piano.
2. History of the Piano
The piano was invented in 1711 by Bartolommeo Cristofori, in Florence (Italy). It was invented because the keyboard instruments that were in use before the piano couldn’t produce great changes in dynamics (piano or forte).
- piano (in italian) means a soft sound ; forte means a loud sound.
- The piano could play different dynamics (piano or forte). For that reason, it was called pianoforte. Later, its name was shortened to piano.
3. Notes on the Piano: where to find them
The notes and the Black Keys
The piano has a pattern of 2 + 3 black keys that is repeated throughout the piano keyboard.
We can find the different notes because of this pattern:
- 2 black keys: the note C is the white key immediately to the left of the first black key in the group (look at the keyboard).
- 3 black keys: the note F is the white key immediately to the left of the first black key in the group (look at the keyboard).
4. How to match the notes with the corresponding piano keys
Do this exercise
Match the Notes Exercise
5. The numbers of your fingers
It’s important to know the numbers of your fingers and respect them when you see them written in piano scores. Play with the finger that is written above each note.
Do this exercise
Finger Numbers Exercise
6. The Piano’s Grand Staff
Music for the piano is written in the Grand Staff.
The Grand Staff is a two-part staff that shows you the notes that you play with the right hand and also with the left hand:
- The top staff (usually with the treble clef) shows you the notes that you play with the right hand;
- The other staff (usually with the bass clef) shows you the notes that you play with the left hand.
What did you learn in this Piano Level One – Lesson 1?
What do you need to practice again?Download this lesson checklist in pdf
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