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The Piano Patch Kids Method

A step by step guide for parents


as teachers.

C C C

Manual for: Level 1 - Right Hand

All rights reserved. No part of this book or any of the Piano Patch Kids books may be reproduced in any
form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without
permission in writing from the publisher.

Copyright 2006 Steeple House Publications PO Box 152247 San Diego, CA 92195
How to use this manual

This manual correlates with the


Piano Patch Kids Level 1 Right Hand Book.

Whether you are a parent with no piano experience or an


experienced teacher, reading this manual will give you specific
instructions on how to teach these lessons.
If you are a parent with no piano experience, use this manual
and the students manual to teach yourself before teaching your
child.

Have fun!

Contents:

Page 1: Instructions for pages 1-2


Page 2: Instructions for pages 3-4
Page 3: Instructions for pages 5-6
Page 4: Instructions for pages 7-10
Page 5: Instructions for pages 11-12
Page 6: Instructions for pages 13-15
Page 7: Instructions for pages 16-18
Page 8: Instructions for pages 19-22
Page 9: Instructions for pages 23-24
Page 10: Instructions for pages 25-27
Page 11: Instructions for page 28
Page 12: Instructions for pages 29-30
Page 13: About Terminology
Importance of Practicing
Practice is important. For very young students, even more
important. Practice does not have to be more than 5-10
minutes a day. Establishing good practice habits is very
important from the very beginning.
Make it part of their daily routine, part of life.
The key to practice is that it is done consistently and
frequently. Long sessions of practice does NOT make up for
several missed days.
I can’t say enough about how short and frequent practicing is
essential to the success of any age student.

If during practice, you or your child feels frustrated, stop


practicing. However, stop with a happy attitude. You don’t
want your student to leave practice unhappy and not wanting
to do it again.

Very important: Do not underestimate or overestimate how


much your child can learn. We may find ourselves
saying...”he can’t do that”, or we may say...”he should be able
to do that”. This is a brand new experience... one that
can’t be compared with other experiences. Some of
my best students had a very slow start, but once it “clicked”
the foundation was there, and they thrived.

Give your child a chance to learn. Slow and awkward


practices may seem for nothing, but I promise, he will catch
on eventually. Keep it fun and happy!
Teacher’s Guide - Level 1 - Right Hand Book - Page 1

Pages 1 and 2:

Depending on the age and learning capability of your child, you will either
spend no time on these two pages, or an extensive amount of time.

Most children no matter the age will plainly see that there are black keys
and white keys.

Explain that the “buttons” on the piano are called “keys.”


Explain that the white ones are long and th black ones are
short.

Help your student recognize and locate the groups of two black keys on your
piano or keyboard.

Children younger than 4 may have difficulty distinguishing


between the groups of two and the groups of three.
It is common to see a very young student when asked to find a group of two
black keys to choose any two black keys that are next to each other,
whether it be part of a group of three or 1 of a group of two and 1 of a
group of three.
Teacher’s Guide - Level 1 - Right Hand Book - Page 2

Pages 3 and 4:

Locating C on the piano.

Once your student can distinguish between groups of two and three black
keys, then finding C becomes easier. Tips:

1. Find and play all the C’s together by finding the groups of 2 black keys
first and talking through it: Example..“Here is a group of two black keys,
where is the C?”
2. How fast can you find all the C’s? (Time it against your students best
time.)
3. Ask child to place a small object (like candy or beans) on each C and
for every one that is correct, he gets to keep it. You take a turn and
purposely make mistakes and have your students correct you.
4. Ask child to find all the C’s with their thumb. (Right hand only for now.)
You will see your student form their fingers into a fist with the thumb free to
use on C. Correct his formation by asking your student to open their hands so
that you can see all their fingers. As they play all the C’s, don’t worry
about how the other fingers are positioned as long as they are not curled into
a fist.

As you can see, this list can go on and on. Come up with your own tips and
tricks. You know your child, you know how to make him understand.
Working with small children presents lots of challenges and patience is going
to be a virtue!
Teacher’s Guide - Level 1 - Right Hand Book - Page 3

Pages 5 and 6:

These pages show the right hand position with the thumb placed on C.

When your child places his hand in this position, you may wonder if
this is ever going to work.. trust me, I have taught this to literally hundreds
of tiny hands. It is true, it takes A LOT of coordination just to place
their fingers in the right place, then it takes A LOT of concentration for
a young child to keep the fingers in place. Don’t worry too much about
getting it right. Be happy if they can place their thumb on the C and if the
other fingers naturally fall in place, consider that a HUGE bonus. If they
don’t, then you will be doing some coaching while they are practicing songs.

Recommended Activities:

Trace right hand and decorate it. Mark fingers C, 2, 3, 4, 5


How fast can you find C position?
How many C positions can you find?

DO NOT MARK THE PIANO


Teacher’s Guide - Level 1 - Right Hand Book - Page 4

Pages 7 - 10:

Now it’s time to play something!

Page 7 shows a short song written in numbers. The numbers represent


which fingers to play. The goal is to try to keep fingers in place and
eyes on music. Also note that there is a right hand icon that serves
your child as a reminder of which hand he should be using. You will
see this icon on each song. The symbol on the right hand is called
a “treble clef.”

Pages 8-10 are for you and your student to create songs together.
I would recommend only using C, 2 and 3 for students 4 and under.

Practice these pages until a noticeable improvement takes place.


Your student should display the ability to match the correct finger
to the correct key with little or no help.

Not looking at fingers is a hard request to make, however, it is very


easy for a student to do this if you can prove to them they can do it.
How to prove it? Place their hand in position, drape a small dish towel or
wash cloth over the hand and ask them to play one of the songs keeping their
eyes on the music instead of their hands. Your job is to
coach them to keep their fingers on the keys, and feel which finger to
push. When they do it...praise them! Praise each one they get right.

I like to tell my students to pretend there is glue on their fingers and that
their fingers are stuck to the keys. Children love pretending!
Teacher’s Guide - Level 1 - Right Hand Book- Page 5

Pages 11 - 12:

These two pages are VERY important.

It is important for you to understand that music is made up of rhythm and


the only way to create rhythm is to have a combination of long and short
sounds.

Young children can create rhythm by knowing how long to hold a note when
they play it.

Page 11 shows a quarter note above each C. As you play this, you will
say the words “play and” with each C.
When you play the 4 C’s, you will have said out loud:
“Play and play and play and play and”

“Play and” represents the length of time that note is held.

Likewise on page 12, a half note is a longer note, so while it is played,


you hold it down until you complete the words “play and hold it.”

Sounds complicated? It’s really not. This is actually easier to teach the
children than finding the correct position or keeping eyes on the music.
Teacher’s Guide - Level 1 - Right Hand Book - Page 6

Pages 13 - 15:

Now it’s time to apply the following learned music concepts:

1. Keep eyes on music.


2. Play by matching the “letter/number” to the correct finger, to the
correct key on the piano.
3. Say the correct rhythm as you play each note.

You as the parent/teacher must practice these things first in order to


really understand how it feels and sounds when it is done right.

What to expect:
This is pretty easy for 6 year olds and older. A little challenging for 5 year
olds, and 4 and under needs a lot of coaching.
Teacher’s Guide - Level 1 - Right Hand Book - Page 7

Pages 16 - 18:

These pages continue with all the same concepts, however, number 5 will
be replaced with G.

To practice means to play through a song 3-4 times in a row, or until


any improvement is made. This is challenging to ask a young child to do.

Up until now, I have not mentioned which C should be used for


C position. Start using “Middle” C as the position for the right hand.
Middle C is the C that is closest to the middle of the piano/keyboard.
If you child has established a certain C to start playing on, then gently
redirect him by saying..”Why don’t we use this C this time?”

Tip:
Praise every step of the way, every time a song is completed..even when
a mistake is made, praise how well they corrected it.
Provide small incentives for each time a song is repeated. Example: Keep
a small jar on the piano (like a baby food jar) and every time a song is
repeated put a penny in it. When it is full, use the money to buy a favorite
treat or gift. Be creative! You are the parent, you know better than anyone
what motivates your child.
Teacher’s Guide - Level 1 - Right Hand Book - Page 8

Pages 19-22:

3 is replaced by E.

Don’t forget to start on middle C.

At this point, a habit of not looking at the fingers should be developing.


Watch carefully and gently remind your child to look at the music.

Counting (saying “play and” or “play and hold it”) should be a habit
at this point. If it is not, then you might not have been consistent in
counting aloud with your child. Even if the counting is not steady,
developing the habit of counting is still very important.

Note: Counting is an intregal part of learning a new song whether you are a
beginner or an advanced musician.
Teacher’s Guide - Level 1 - Right Hand Book - Page 9

Pages 23-24:

2 is replaced by D.

If you haven’t already, this is a good time to introduce the left hand book.
The right hand should be getting very comfortable with it’s new task.
Adding the left hand at this point will add some variety and a new
reason to practice.

If you feel that your child is not ready for the left hand, that’s OK.
Wait until you feel it’s time.

Once you start the left hand book, practice will include practicing
out of both books. The right hand book will be completed before the
left hand book is completed. At the end of the left hand book, your
child will be playing with both hands simultaneously! Doesn’t seem possible
at this point, but I’ve done it hundreds of times with these young students.
They really can do it, and so can you!
Teacher’s Guide - Level 1 - Right Hand Book - Page 10

Pages 25-27:

Introducing the whole note. The whole note receives the count:
“play and hold it extra longer”.

Continue the same with replacing 4 with F.

New word: Measures. Measures are the boxes that divide the music.
On page 27, there are 8 measures. The first measure contains two notes,
the second measure contains one note. The 4th measure contains four notes
and the last measure contains one note.

I will start to refer to measures during instruction so you can quickly locate
notes.
Teacher’s Guide - Level 1 - Right Hand Book- Page 11

Page 28

Notice that there are no letters on this page.


This is a counting practice page. Point to the
notes and count the correct rhythm for each
note:
Measure 1: “play and hold it extra longer”
Measure 2: “play and hold it, play and hold it”
Measure 3: “play and hold it extra longer”
Measure 4: “play and, play and, play and,
play and”

Continue in the same manner.

Tip: I strongly recommend that you add this “count without playing”
technique to your practice sessions.
Point and count aloud through the song a couple times without playing it.

This will help further establish good counting habits.


Teacher’s Guide - Level 1 - Right Hand Book - Page 12

Pages 29-30:

Practicing all concepts learned in book.

Review of all concepts learned:

1. Look at music, not hands.


2. Match letters to correct keys on keyboard.
3. Recognize quarter notes, half notes and whole notes.
4. Apply correct counting to quarter notes, half notes and whole notes.

Congratulations! You have completed the right hand book!

You should have already started the left hand book and are about
half way through it.
Teacher’s Guide - Level 1 - Right Hand Book - Page 13

About Learning Terminology:

Music terminology is part of the language of music. It is important to


learn the basic terms. They are very easy to learn if you refer to them
while you are teaching or practicing with your student.

Ways to incorporate learning the terminology without overwhelming your


child are found in the game and activity print outs.

Terminology learned in the Right Hand book:

quarter notes
half notes
whole notes
treble clef
measures
C position
rhythm
keys
Middle C

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