TOUCH VS. MINI KEYS VS. STANDARD PIANO KEYS

I have been asked many times about the pros and cons of piano keys that children use….size and weight primarily. The Anybody Can Play PIANO uses an onscreen keyboard with mini sized keys. These require no finger strength to use so are easy for tiny hands to use. Depending on the size of the screen, the keys also vary in size from one device to another.

At this point the object of the teaching is for matching color to color as well as the pattern of fingers used in the song. These little hands are going to grow, so even using the same size keys, they will essentially not be the same size keys as the child grows.

I do recommend using a small MIDI controller or keyboard with the app when the child is able to recognize the screen pattern on the attached keyboard. That’s when the dot games come into play…. marking the keys on the keyboard or key strip to match the keys on the screen… taking dots off when ready….

When using an attached keyboard, the child is pushing down on the key, so is learning the first step for playing on a real piano. Most young students prefer the mini keys when they are only 3-4 years old. However, many play on standard sized keys with no problem.

Children tend to play the piano with straight fingers....or even with their hand in a fist while attempting to stick out the finger that is to be used. To begin the process of a correct hand position we have “Star Fingers” - flat hand, palm side down on a table. At first just tell them keep their hand in the Star Finger position, then drop down the finger that needs to play on a key. They will tend to curve the other fingers in order to do this. Later, to turn those Star Fingers into Piano Fingers, put Star Fingers on the table, then pull in the fingers, pretending there is a teeny tiny balloon under the hand pushing it up. Viola! “Piano Fingers”! Play games tapping piano fingers on the table.

Even playing the game Star Fingers/Piano Fingers it generally takes until age 4-5 before children are conscious of a good hand position on the piano keys. Some fingers are weaker than others, but there are all sorts of game type exercises to help with that issue. I had a 12-year-old Down Syndrome student who could practically smash a tennis ball with her finger tips and keep all her knuckles in position while doing it! Not too many students get that strong!


Anybody Can Play PIANO APP

To subscribe to the Anybody Can Play PIANO app in Windows 10 click here.
First week is free - $1.99/mo to continue.

EZPianoNotes

EZ Piano Notes (an Apple App) features Busy Buzzy Bumblbee for enhancing the learning of notes. To subscribe click here. First week free - then $1.99 total cost.