A few weeks ago, I showed you how I take my piano apart and asked what you thought about including this in lessons. I decided to go ahead and give it a try! Last week, I took the front of the piano off before each student came to his lesson. It was fun to watch their eyes get big when they walked around the piano!
I would explain simply how the piano has strings and hammers to make a sound. Most are familiar with stringed instruments like guitars, so they quickly noticed that the piano was "the same." And they were all excited to find out that their piano has hammers inside! (Hence the title of this post...no, I did not let them use real hammers on my piano!! Yikes!)
I let them plunk some keys and watch the hammers, and then I would also show them the dampers on the strings and how those work when you strike a key and when you press the damper pedal. Lights came on at this point with a lot of students. Which is a good thing. :)
When I was done explaining everything and they were done exploring, I had them play a song that they know from memory and just watch the hammers strike. They seemed to enjoy it! Here are a couple doing it:
Then I had to put the front back on so that they would have a place to rest their books for the rest of the lesson. One student was sure she could just lay her book down, but I didn't know how well that would work. :)
It was a fun experiment!! And now I have all kinds of ideas for a group lesson along these lines...a piano tuner could come and show how he tunes the piano and some of the ins and outs of tuning. What student wouldn't like to see his tuning fork?? Whenever anybody learns any other instrument....guitar, violin, etc....they learn how to tune it. Why is the piano any different? Obviously they can't tune their own piano, but I think they should know how it works, anyway. What do you think?