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Some of my piano students come in the door, sit down and start playing away, anxious to show me what they can do. And since duets are a real mainstay of piano lessons these days frequently we jump right into those. All the books have duets even from the very first one finger song, and that’s because there is a thrill and a sense of accomplishment in creating music together. Parents are delighted when on the very first lesson they hear their child make beautiful music with the new teacher! And these are not gratuitous. The teacher’s part is background only, and modest, designed to highlight the students latest skill. We all feel accomplished!

At the very first lesson, and on the first song in the books that I use, the student plays one-finger ascending up the keyboard one note at a time. That’s it. Even little brothers and sisters who come along to wait can do it, and everyone is charmed because the teacher’s part under it is a delightful little ditty. This might not sound like much but learning to play piano means learning to control the fingers so they only hit one key at a time and this piece challenges kids to do that. Piano lessons are so much better than they used to be!

My students are excited to show me what they can do because the sense of success comes quickly and we celebrate that every time. Giving kids the chance to learn to play piano is such a gift of connection with others not only for the duets, but for the charming music they offer us all every time they play.

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