Fun for beginners ages 4-11yrs! On Zoom
Why on Zoom?
- 2nd camera shows teacher’s hands on keys. (Easier to see than socially distanced)
- Lessons are recorded
- No travel, parking or waiting
- Some students more comfortable at home.
- Breakout rooms for small group and one-on-one
Why group lessons?
- Students inspire each other, and learn from each others questions
- Students experience ensemble playing
- Peer motivation helps learning
- Students thrive in a group setting
- Performing in class = comfortable performing from day 1
- Growth Mindset demonstrated
- It’s fun!
We use the innovative group piano teaching method Keynotes. It includes multiple levels of challenges for every song, meaning that there is always something challenging and fun for every student in the group. Lessons take place on Zoom.
The teacher has two cameras, one showing her face, and another directly above the piano keyboard for demonstration.
You will need a laptop or iPad set up to the side of your piano/keyboard, showing both the student’s face and their hands at the keys.
Lessons are password protected and recorded. Teachers have a Working With Children Certificate (WWC).
Our curriculum is designed to ensure that all aspects of piano playing and general musicianship are fostered in a fun and inspiring way.
Workbooks based around a story or a theme make the pieces cohesive and give structure to learning about musical elements and compositions.
In our Little KeyNotes (for ages 4-5) and Principal KeyNotes Level 1 (beginners aged 6-11), all of our pieces are songs with lyrics that are based around the theme or story. Pitch notation is addressed in Levels 2 and 3.
The initial points of learning are based around the notes of the keyboard, finger numbers of right and left hands, hand posture, reading and using crotchets (quarter notes), minims (half notes) and quavers (eighth notes), describing music using terminology for pitch, tempo, dynamics and instrumentation. Once these learning aims are secure, pupils move onto pitch notation, first treble clef and then bass clef. They also learn to read and understand dynamics, articulation and tempo.
Lessons are structured as follows:
KeyListening At the start of each lesson we listen to music and pupils are asked to think about various aspects, such as where might it be played, what is the mood, what character might it represent etc. This introduces them to a wide range of musical styles and helps them describe their elements and characteristics.
KeyConcepts Every week students learn new concepts, such as how to read a particular note, how to find a note on the keyboard, or which notes a particular chord contains.
KeyNotes This is the main part of the lesson, where students can apply the concepts learnt in a practical task where they perform, compose, improvise and develop their keyboard skills. We hear each pupil perform at the end of each lesson.
KeyObjectives An important part of learning is for students to know what they are supposed to have achieved and whether they have achieved it! we recognise achievement.
Little KeyNotes Little KeyNotes workbooks are for students aged 4-5. They will have some prior knowledge of the letters of the alphabet (i.e. be able to sing the alphabet song and recognise some letters) and numbers 1-5.
Little KeyNotes children may start out trying to improvise and may not understand that the letters on the page are to be played on the keys that correlate to their names! However, after only a couple of lessons they should be able to follow the music.
The learning aims of the Little KeyNotes curriculum are:
- To identify the notes of the keyboard
- To clap and identify basic rhythms
- To clap in time to a piece of music
- To describe pictures/stories of listening extracts
- To compose short motifs for a theme
- To understand and using correct finger numbers
KeyNotes Foundations One
Students move onto Foundations One when they consistently meet the learning objectives for Storytellers. This may be after one Storytellers workbook or after three; each child works at their own pace.
The learning aims of the KeyNotes Foundations One curriculum are:
- To identify and read the notes of the treble clef stave
- To identify time signatures
- To use chords I and V to harmonise a melody
- To compare extracts by identifying similarities and differences using elements such as pitch, tempo, dynamics, rhythm and instrumentation
Points of learning running through all levels
In addition to each level’s learning aims, there are generic points of learning that run through all levels. They have been categorised as follows:
- Scales and scalic fingering
- Moving by step and by leap
- Melodic sequences
- Tonic notes
- Major/minor tonality
- Middle C
- Hand posture
- Finger exercises
- RH/LH playing – initially in octaves, then adding chords, and adding a written left hand with occasional left-hand melodies
- Listen for pitch, dynamics, timbre, instruments, tempo, rhythm, structure, texture
- Identifying cadences
- Singing back short melodies
- Clapping the pulse of music
- Basic pitch and rhythm dictation
- Clapping/playing back short rhythms/melodies