Piano Improv for Kids | Four Steps to Success

July 9, 2013

By Kristin Jensen at EarTrainingandImprov.com

Children love creating their own songs and teaching them how to improvise is easier than you’d ever imagine. Here are four simple steps you can follow to get your child or student started:

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Step 1: Right Hand Experiments.  Locate the highlighted keys and play each one in order. First go up then come down. Now play around with different sequences. You can play the keys in any order to find a simple tune that sounds good.

Diagram1

Step 2: Learn the First Chord. Your left hand will play the chord in the diagram below. Find the highlighted keys and then use your thumb and pinky to press them at the same time.

Diagram2

Step 3: Learn the Second Chord. This chord is easy! Leave your left pinky where it is and move your thumb one key to the right. Now press these two keys at the same time.
When you’re ready, practice moving your thumb back and forth to alternate between the two chords.

Diagram3

Step 4: Play Your New Song. Now you’re ready to combine the left and right hands to create your very own song. Press and hold the first left hand chord while your right hand improvises. Your right hand can use one of the short tunes you created in Step 1. Now move your left hand to the second chord. Play and hold Chord Two and let your right hand improvise another short sequence. Continue your song by switching back and forth between the two left hand chords, allowing your right hand to improvise. Finish your song by playing Chord One.

Now that you can play this fun piano improv activity, teach it to your child or student. They’ll have a blast and be even more excited about continuing their music studies!
There are huge benefits to teaching your child or student how to improvise. Music creation is an ideal medium for creative expression and kids’ confidence skyrockets when they realize that they really can create their own impressive songs. When you teach kids how to create music, they quickly internalize the theory concepts you’re teaching and want to stick with their instrument.

Visit EarTrainingandImprov.com for more tutorials on how to teach kids to create their own music.

by Kristin Jensen

Kristin Jensen is a piano teacher who specializes in teaching kids to create their own music. She loves developing games, composition activities and other creative methods for accelerating musical learning. Visit EarTrainingandImprov.com for more of Kristin’s music teaching tips!

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