Primer

Just getting started? You're in the right place! MakingMusicFun.net Music Academy piano lessons start from the very beginning with everything you'd expect from traditional piano lessons, including piano books, worksheets, and games.

Let's start learning!

Week 1

Congratulations on your decision to play the piano!

Before you get started with this week's lesson, let's learn your finger numbers. Learning your finger numbers helps you understand the suggested fingerings the music provides, making it easier to play. Grab a piece of paper and a pencil, trace both hands, and number the fingers: Thumb (1), Index Finger (2), Middle Finger (3), Ring Finger (4), and Pinky (5).

During the lessons the teacher will ask you to say your note names as you play and repeat rhythmic phrases. Making a habit of this helps you learn note and rhythm names faster, and play the rhythms correctly.

How to Make the Most of Your Practice Time

1) Pause the Lesson Often - Pause the lesson after each example and practice it until you can play what was demonstrated 3 times perfectly.

2) Count Out Loud - Say the rhythmic phrases recommended by your teacher out loud as you play. Students who follow this advice play rhythms correctly far more often and progress faster.

3) Practice with Your Teacher - Stick with each piece for at least one week so that you learn it well. Practice with your teacher daily so that you learn the notes and rhythms correctly.

4) Learn the Lessons in Order - Learn each lesson in the order it is presented so every lesson is fun and rewarding. Younger students (5-6) may achieve the best results by working on only one piece per week. Older students (7-8) may enjoy the challenge of having a second piece to practice.

The MMF All-in-One Piano Primer is your piano book for this level. Print it and let's get started!

Meet the Teacher - Andy Fling, Teacher of Award-Winning Students and Founder of MakingMusicFun.net

Week 2
 Piano Finger Technique for Beginners    Subscribe to Unlock Tutorial

Today you get to learn your very first song - I Love Bubble Gum!

It's also time to make a plan for practicing.

For most students 20 minutes per day for 5 days per week is plenty. You'll make good progress, and never feel burdened by the practice schedule. If you're homeschooling, ask your parent to consider scheduling time during each school day for piano practice.

Practice Goal: 20 minutes per day - 5 days per week

Watch the piano finger technique tutorial first, and then do your best to apply these techniques as you practice, I Love Bubble Gum.

Week 3
 Au Clair de Lune    Subscribe to Unlock Tutorial

Most of the time it will take you about a week to get a primer level piece sounding perfect - or at least good enough to move to next week's assignment. If you're not playing the right notes most of the time, or you're not yet able to keep a steady beat all the way through, keep practicing that piece while starting on next week's lesson.

Week 4
 I Am a Gold Lock    Subscribe to Unlock Tutorial

Most piano students like to look at the their hands rather than the music. It's understandable at this stage of development, because all those lines and dots are still pretty confusing. However, good playing habits should be formed as soon as possible. To help make the music a little less confusing, it's okay to write the note names on your music.

Week 5
 Fudge, Fudge, Call the Judge    Subscribe to Unlock Tutorial

The rhythms and stepwise melody of Fudge, Fudge, Call the Judge make it very easy to learn. This week the focus should be on keeping a steady beat from beginning to end.

Technique Challenge
Can you put a quarter on the back of your right hand and keep it there while you play the piano? Ask your parent for a quarter and try it. If your piano fingering technique is good, and your hand remains flat, the quarter will stay on.

Week 6
 How I Love My Horsey    Subscribe to Unlock Tutorial
 Color That Note! Treble Clef Note Name Lesson    Subscribe to Unlock Tutorial

With How I Love My Horsey, you've learned your first five treble clef notes. Drill these notes this week with the "Color That Note! Treble Clef Note Name Worksheet" lesson.

Are you remembering to say your note names and rhythm phrases as you play? It will help you to learn them quicker, and play the rhythms correctly.

Week 7
 I Saw a Goat    Subscribe to Unlock Tutorial

Let's practice your note names with the "Color That Note! Bass Clef Worksheet" from the MMF All-in-One Primer. It's on page 16.

Week 8
 Doctor Foster    Subscribe to Unlock Tutorial

Doctor Foster introduces bass clef note G. Print the "Flash Frog™ Flashcards" and pull treble clef notes C, D, E, F and G, and bass clef note G from the pack.

Piano students often forget to place both hands on the piano before they start to play. The result is that they scramble to get their hands to the piano in time to play the notes, and often play them too late. If you're always ready before you start playing, you'll be one of the best!

Week 9
 Who's That Tapping at the Window?    Subscribe to Unlock Tutorial

Drilling your note names this week includes chocolate!

Who's That Tapping at the Window? introduces bass clef notes C and F. You now know every note that you will learn in the primer level. The next step is naming the notes quickly.

Print the "M&M Note Name Challenge Worksheet" and ask parent to pick up some M&M's at the store.

Game Play
Ask your parent to place nine M&M's at the top of the "M&M Note Name Challenge Worksheet," and one M&M on the staff in the place of one of the notes you've learned. Drill treble clef notes C, D, E, F and G, and bass clef notes C, F, and G. Each time you name the note correctly you win an M&M.

Are you remembering to round your fingers?

Week 10
 Purple Cow    Subscribe to Unlock Tutorial

Purple Cow is your most challenging piece so far. Practice phrase-by-phrase and very slowly to master this piece. Sometimes it's hard to figure out how to play slower. Ask your parent to show you how. If it takes you two weeks to complete this piece it's okay. Most students need that much time to make it perfect.

Are you the best in the world when it comes to piano finger numbers? Let's test your skills with a game. Print "Piano Games for Kids | 10 Skill Building Games" and pull the Ladybug Ladybug worksheet from the pack.

Game Play
Fly like a ladybug, spinning your finger clockwise as you dive to touch the notes with the correct fingers. Ask your parent to check for correct answers.

Week 11
 Jack Be Nimble    Subscribe to Unlock Tutorial

Are you getting pretty fast at naming your treble clef notes (C, D, E, F, and G)? Print the "Ready, Set, Go! Note Name Speed Test," and grab a stopwatch and pencil. Time yourself naming 10 notes at a time, or name all 40 notes at once.

Ready, Set, Go! Note Name Speed Test I (Treble Clef/C Position)

Getting the notes correct at any speed is good. Naming 10 notes correctly in 10 seconds is very good. The fastest we've ever seen is 40 notes in 19 seconds!

Week 12
 Do Unto Others    Subscribe to Unlock Tutorial

Do Unto Others should be played "legato," which is an Italian musical term that means smooth and connected. To do this you need to hold each key down until it's time to play the next note. After you've practiced Do Unto Others for a few days, listen to the instructor's smooth and connected performance in the demonstration section at the end of the lesson.

Are you remembering to say your note names and rhythm phrases that we recommend?

Week 13
 Hop On One Foot    Subscribe to Unlock Tutorial

Recording yourself playing the piano helps you see and hear things that you're doing great, and not so great. Let's do that this week. Ask your parent to record you playing, Hop On One Foot, after you've had a few days to practice. Watch the recording to figure out what you could improve, and head back to the piano to make your performance perfect.

Are you remembering to round your fingers?

Week 14
 Lucy Locket    Subscribe to Unlock Tutorial

Let's practice your rhythm values this week with the Rhythm Connect! worksheet from the MMF All-in-One Primer. It's on page 18.

Technique Challenge
Try putting a quarter on the back of your right and left hand again this week. How are things going? Are you keeping your hands flat? Are you able to keep the quarters from falling off while you're playing? If so, way to go!

Week 15
 Jim Along Josie    Subscribe to Unlock Tutorial

Are you sticking to your practice schedule? A music practice record would help you stay on track. Choose which chart you like best and keep track of your practice time. You could even try to set a record!

Week 16
 Banbury Cross    Subscribe to Unlock Tutorial

Banbury Cross is your first 16 measure piece. Since it's a longer piece you may need an extra week of practice. It's okay. Just keep going with Banbury Cross and start next week's piece.

Week 17
 I Had a Little Hobby Horse    Subscribe to Unlock Tutorial

This lesson teaches 7 or 8 melody notes at a time. If that's too much of a challenge, try pausing the lesson and practicing 3 or 4 notes at a time. Next put the whole phrase together. When it's sounding great, continue with the lesson.

Are you remembering to keep your eyes on your music, rather than your fingers?

Week 18
 Let's Celebrate    Subscribe to Unlock Tutorial

Congratulations! This week you'll complete the MMF All-in-One Piano Primer, and you'll be ready to start Level 1A next week.

Print a music award certificate when you've successfully performed Snake Dance for your parent with a steady beat and no mistakes.