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Lesson Plan Ideas Music Lesson Piano Lesson Teaching Methods

Why Is This Called The Icky Chord?

A funny piano lesson plan for kids

This story/idea came about when I noticed the fingering of the first inversion of the V7 chord.  In the key of G, this would be the D7 with the F sharp in the bass.

It looks like this on the staff:

Screenshot 2016-03-03 14.12.58

And the fingering looks like this:

Icky-chord

I mentioned that it’s like you are picking up an icky tissue.  My students never laugh so hard!

icky-tissue

So, it’s now become known as the icky chord.  Which is a lot easier to say than the V7 in the first inversion.

By the way, this can be used for any V7 chord in this inversion in any key.

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Video 2 – Secrets of Successful Music Teachers is live

The second video in the free mini course discusses teaching using a “window of focus” as well as cool little fix to bring more customers to your music teaching website.  You can access it now by clicking here.

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Lesson Plan Ideas Piano Lesson

The Proper Height For Sitting At The Piano

There is a proper way to sit at the piano.  By being mindful of this from the start, you can ensure good habits for life.

I used to suffer greatly from carpal tunnel syndrome from typing on the computer with poor hand positioning.   Once I became conscious and aware of this, I have cured myself.  Well, it did take some massive reconditioning and even occupational therapy along with a cortisone shot to start changing my habit!  So, you see, habits can be tough to break.

Height of the seat at the piano is important as the arms need to be flat and level with the floor.  There should be no tension or bending at the wrists as it will cause friction and that is the cause of all the pain.  For my youngest students, I have to constantly remind them not to rest their palms or wrists on the edge of the piano or else the crocodiles that live under the piano will come bite them!

Another important note is how far from the piano should you sit.

Sometimes what looks like a low sitting position causing the wrists to “break” backwards is only because they are sitting too close to the piano.  Some of my young students sit with their belly almost up to the keyboard.  I always tell them that you can’t play like a Tyrannosaurus Rex! (they had short little arms.)

I’ve taught my son piano from an early age which can be a challenge as being father and teacher.  When he was 10, I sent him to another teacher, and the first thing he says when comes home was, “Suzan says that I need to sit further back from the piano.”

I couldn’t believe it!  I’ve been only saying that for the last 6 years!

Proper Sitting At The Piano
From Play Piano For Kids, Volume 1
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Blog Teaching Methods

Using Colors to Learn Music

One of the core concepts of my approach to teaching music to young children is the use of colors to represent pitches.  I’ve used this with great success on both piano, guitar and in reading music notation.

Those of you studying with me have already seen my piano covered with translucent tape and my guitar with colored stars up the fretboard.

Here’s a link to that highlighter tape that I use.  Thanks to my son’s first grade teacher Melissa for the great tip.

This pack will last you a long long time.