More than one path up a mountain, perhaps? But yes, I wouldn't want to give the impression that mine is the only good way of doing things! Well, not always
Posted 11 December 2018 - 19:37
Many teachers do, LP, and never try anything else. I did the same when I first started teaching, all those years ago. But I've found using mainly black keys is more helpful for establishing a healthy technique in young players. I think it was Chopin who recommended starting with B major as a first scale, and there is plenty of research on the subject. I teach B major slightly later, because of the irregular LH fingering - but well before C, G and F majors. I no longer take much notice of the order in which scales etc appear in the various exam syllabi (surprise ), where it's assumed that more black keys= harder, and fewer = easier. Ergonomically the reverse is true for pianists.
I wonder why the setters of piano exams don't fix this. Other instruments don't start with C major but with the scales that best fit the instrument as players progress.
Posted 12 December 2018 - 11:19
That would be way too sensible for the exam boards, sbhoa. I'd love to rewrite a few piano syllabi: Grade 1 scales - RH B maj, E maj, Db maj; LH E maj + Db maj; E maj contrary, a chromatic sep, a contarary chromatic, and 1 octave arpeggi. This is what I do with my young students anyway. Important that they also play music in these keys ( even if they don't know it) rather than being restricted to a year or more of playing solely in C major before a single black key getting thrown into the mix.
I think string and wind beginners get a better start, as they don't need to do anything fundamentally very different from thier first lessons onwards. Whereas pianists may take up to a year or more before learning that the thumbs don't always stay on Middle C, that there are more than 9 keys, and that the black keys aren't there solely to help find the white ones. Oh, and that no real piano music stays in 5-finger position for any length of time.
Well Off Topic now, but hopefully in an interesting way .