Sunday, February 12, 2012

Just a little update

Here's a few things that have happened in February (so far.)

Didn't do much for Groundhog day; but we did make fun treats for dessert.

Little Mouse is a whopping 11 months old!! And is so close to walking on her own.

And I found this at a thrift store.  

I've wanted a piano forever, but there has always been a reason not to get one yet.  Well Princess M is now 6 years old and the perfect age to start lessons, so I've been on the lookout for something cheap.  I finally walked into the Re Store and saw this sitting there with 2 signs on it "$400" and "1/2 off".  So I asked if half off meant it was originally selling for $800 or if it meant they were selling it for $200.  She said it meant it was on sale for $200, and then the lady behind the counter said she'd sell it to me for $150.  That was about as cheap as I expected to find anywhere.  And on top of that, they were going to deliver it to my home.  So it was all moved in before Alex even got home from work and could talk me out of it.

We brought the piano tuner in and after tuning it and fixing all the sticky keys, he informed us that we really lucked out; because most pianos this old are not worth buying at all.  However this one has had all the keys refurbished as well as several other refurbishments inside that left this thing in fairly good condition.  Hooray!

And then when I was sitting down for the first time and playing a little tune, Princess M came and sat by me and asked if I could teach her how to play.  And I thought, "why not?"  I had never even considered teaching her myself, but to save around $60/month, it was worth looking into.  So I contacted my best friend, "Google", and found all kinds of free information on how to teach your kid to play the piano, which the best lesson books were, and some good sales on books at Amazon.  So I dropped over a hundred on books and am now teaching my daughter to play.  She's taking to it very well.

To make things even better, Alex expressed an interest in learning to play as well; and we stumbled upon a fantastic plan.  I give Princess M a lesson, and then when we're done, she turns around and teaches her daddy what she just learned.  Alex isn't progressing as fast as he could on his own, but what a wonderful gift he is giving to our daughter, by solidifying her lessons as she is teaching him.  And boy, does she LOVE being the expert, being in charge, and correcting his mistakes!  It's working out great so far!


Karen said...

what books did you buy? we got a piano and haven't figured out which books to get yet.

Anonymous said...

The "Piano Adventures" set of books (lesson, theory, technique, performance, etc.) came with the highest recommendation, and I can see why. It's really good at introducing one concept at a time and working on good posture and finger shape from the very beginning. There's also a good chart in the beginning that coordinates everything well.

We also bought the "popular repertoire" book to the Piano Adventures series, which is a book of popular songs they can play as soon as they learn all the notes in the scale. Although the songs are probably more familiar to you than to your kids (Lean on Me, Star Wars, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, etc.) But I thought it would be fun to get her playing real songs as soon as possible, so she'll feel that reward for learning.

We're also enjoying the "Music for Little Mozarts" set of books. (Just the "lesson" books and the "workbooks") They work like the Piano Adventure books only a little more cutesy with a stuffed bear and mouse learning the lessons in storybook fashion. With just a little planning you can coordinate them with the Piano Adventures so you're teaching the same concepts at the same time.

I'm also excited about a book from the "Teaching Little Fingers to Play" series called "Disney Tunes." which has arrangements of several Disney songs for the Primer Level (mostly gender neutral songs.) However, I don't like their main lesson book as much as the other two I mentioned. It moves a lot faster through the material, just teaching the notes and a little theory, but hardly any technique.

Hope that helps!

Sarah said...

This is SO great!! Our neighbor who give piano lessons moved and gave us her keyboard with weighted keys. While I really wanted a piano, we simply don't have the space (especially with baby number three coming!).
Thanks so much for the info, we'll see if we can fit piano into our rather busy homeschool schedule!