PIANO LESSONS FOR THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED

LESSON NUMBER ONE CLICK ON LINK BELOW

Listen to my YouTube piano lesson Number One for the blind.  Click on this LINK.

LESSON NUMBER TWO CLICK ON LINK BELOW

Listen to my YouTube piano Lesson Number Two For the blind.  Click on this link.

LESSON THREE: Click on this M P 3 Audio link and listen to Piano Lesson Three for the visually impaired.  This link will bring up your computer media player and may or may not start playing automatically.

LESSON FOUR:  Click on the link below

This is the M P 3 audio file of lesson four.  Listen carefully, and practice these exercises.

LESSON FIVE:  Listen to the text below before you Click on the link below

This is the M P 3 audio file of lesson five.  Listen carefully, and practice the C chord in the root position and the G chord in the first inverted position.  In this lesson you will work with your right hand only.  The way you move your right hand fingers to go from a C major chord in the root position to a G major chord in the first inverted position is to keep your right little finger stuck on the G note, because G chord and C chord share the G note.  So, do not move your right little finger while playing the C chord.  Now, to move your hand from C chord to G chord in the first inverted position you are going to move your right thumb one white key over to the B note or B key which is to the left of middle C.  Next, place your right index finger which is finger number two, on the D note, or the D key which is to the right of middle C.  Practice moving your right hand from C major in the root position to G major in the First inverted position.  Just play these two chords back and forth until you can do it easily.

LESSON SIX:  In lesson six, we are going to continue with the C major chord, and the G major chord in the first inverted
position.  We are still working on the right hand.  You need to be able to switch your fingers back and forth between
these two basic chords.  Now, the song we are going to work on using these two chords is London Bridge.
This is a simple folk song that everyone has heard.  So, get ready now, and CLICK RIGHT HERE ON THIS
LINK.....

 

LESSON SEVEN:

In lesson seven you will concentrate on learning F major chord in the second inverted position.  CLICK ON THIS LINK RIGHT HERE.

Lesson seven part 2 is really the last or second part of lesson seven:  CLICK ON THIS LINK RIGHT HERE FOR LESSON EIGHT.

Lesson Eight:  Click on this link for lesson eight.

Lesson Nine:  Click on this link for lesson nine.

 

 

 

Welcome to John Axsom's Piano Teaching Website for the blind and visually impaired.  The inspiration for this website came from an E-mail by Diane Karabin.  Diane told me that she was able to learn some piano patterns from my original website.  I have done some internet searching and I have discovered that blind people can use text recognition software that translates text into speech.  A good website to learn all about text recognition software is at the following website.

http://www.netserv.net.au/doonbank/speech.html

 

This website will use midi files, MP3 files, and text to help the blind learn how to play piano.  What are we waiting for....let's get started.  There are 3 basic types of pianos.  The spinet is the small piano.  The console is a little bit larger than the spinet.  I own a console piano.  The spinet pianos do not have a very good tone.  The next piano larger than the console is the upright piano.  Upright pianos are large and sometimes they look ugly, but they usually have a good tone because the strings are longer.  The 4th type of piano is the grand piano.  Grand pianos come in a variety of lengths.  There is a 5 foot long baby grand piano, and then there are much larger grand pianos at different lengths.  Many people are purchasing keyboards today.  Some keyboards only have 32 keys, and then others have the full set of keys which is 88 keys.

I am going to be focusing on the normal piano keyboard that consists of 88 keys.  On a normal piano the first key to your left is called by the letter name of A.  This first key, A, is a white key.  The white keys of width and are flat on the keyboard.  The black keys are narrow and are raised up on the keyboard.  You can feel the difference.

I have watched several videos and DVD's of Ray Charles playing the piano and singing.  My observations tell me that blind people become connected to the piano keyboard by moving their hands in close to the black keys.  People who are not blind do not move their hands close into the black keys, but only if they have to for awkward fingerings.  If a blind person moves their hands right into the black keys then they can feel where they are at on the keyboard.  I noticed Ray Charles doing this.  I have experimented myself with this, and I can understand how this could really help a blind person to play the piano.  So the first thing the student should do is to feel with their left hand the first white key at the far left of the piano keyboard.  That white key is called A.  To the right of, A, is a black key.  This black key has two names.  It can be called B flat, or it can be called A sharp.  I will explain the difference between flats and sharps at a later time.

But, before we get to far off of our teaching goal, let's start out with all of the white keys.  The first one at the far left of the keyboard is, A.  The next white key to the right of, A, is B.  The next one is C.  The next one is D.  The next one is E.  The next one is F.  The next one is G.  The next one is NOT, H.  The next one after G is A.  You must understand that there are only 7 different musical notes for the white keys.  These white keys follow the alphabet:  A, B, C, D, E, F, G. 

Then the keys repeat themselves over again:  A, B, C, D, E, F, G....A, B, C, D, E, F, G....and so on.

I know I started explaining the keyboard in terms of the first white key on the left side of the piano.  And, I told you that the name of that key is A.  But, what I want you to do now is to focus on the black keys that are narrow and raised up. 

On a regular 88 key piano the first black key to the far left is a single black key.  It is actually part of a group of black keys that consists of 3 black keys, but because it is at the beginning of the piano the other two black keys are missing.  So, the first black key you encounter on the piano at the far left is the single, stand alone black key.

You must understand that the black keys are grouped into two groups.  The first group is the set of black keys that consists of two black keys.  The second group of black keys is the group that consists of 3 black keys.  The black keys give you your orientation to the keyboard.

Now, here is where we start to get real acquainted with the piano keyboard.  Play the first set of two black keys.  Now move to the right and play the set of three black keys.  The next set will be a set of two black keys, and so on.  That is how the piano is arranged.  The arrangement consists of two black keys followed by three black keys, followed by two black keys, followed by three black keys, and so on down until you reach the end of the keyboard at the far right.

I am now going to explain everything to you out loud with my voice.  Click anywhere on this line of text and it will pop up an MP3 audio file where I will explain everything again in detail, and you can actually hear me go through this explanation and it will become even more understandable than before. 

So, now you know that there are eighty eight keys in total on a full piano keyboard.  Of the eighty eight keys, fifty two of them are white keys, and thirty six of them are black keys.

The next piece of knowledge you need to know is how to identify each specific key on the keyboard.  Yes, there are eighty eight keys on the piano, but how many of those keys are called by the letter name of "A"?  The keyboard has eight different white keys that are called by the letter name of "A".  How can you tell the difference between eight keys that have the same letter name of "A"?  This is how you do it.  Start with the very first key to the far left on the keyboard and that first key we simply call "A" one.  Go up seven keys from "A" one, and you will come to the next "A" key on the keyboard, and we simply call it "A" two.  Repeat this process.  Go up seven more keys from "A" two and you will come to "A" three.  The next ascending "A" note is called "A" four.  The pattern continues.  The next higher sounding "A" key is called "A" five.  Next, comes "A" six.  Next is "A" seven.  And, finally we come to "A" eight..

So, the names of the eight "A" keys on the piano starting at the "A" key located at the far left of the piano simply follow a numerical sequence of "A" one, "A" two, "A" three, "A" four, "A" five, "A" six, "A" seven, and "A" eight.  To make this even more understandable, I would like to say that the "A" one, the first key on the far left of the piano is the lowest sounding note on the piano.  It is a deep, low pitched note that has a rumble sound to it.  The next "A" which is "A" two is an OCTAVE above "A" one.  The key or note "A" two is still a deep, low sounding tone, but it is a little higher than "A" one.  The key or note "A" three is an OCTAVE higher than "A" two, and it has a higher pitch than "A" two.  "A" four is an octave higher than "A3".  "A" five is an octave higher than "A" four.  "A" six is an octave higher than "A" five.  "A" seven is an octave higher than "A" six.  And, finally, "A" eight is an octave higher than "A" seven.

What I just explained to you is an explanation of how sound ascends.  it starts at a low pitch and ascends or goes to a higher pitch.  Going from "A" one to "A" eight is an ascending tone which starts with a low deep tone and then ascends to a high pitch tone.

Once you understand "A" one through "A" eight, then all you have to do is to use this same idea to specifically name the other keys on the piano.  For example, there are eight keys on the piano with the letter name of "B".  There is "B" one, followed by "B" two, followed by "B" three, followed by "B" four, followed by "B" five, followed by "B" six, followed by "B" seven, followed by "B" eight.  This same idea applies to the key named after the letter "C".  There are eight keys with letter name of "C":  C one; C two; C three; C four; C five; C six; C seven; C eight.

The other keys of the piano have only seven keys with the same letter name.  The key "D", the key "E", the key "F", and the key "G" have only seven keys with the same letter name.

A very important exercise for you to practice is to play each key one at a time in succession starting with "A" one and name the key out loud as you play the key.  This is easy to do when you start at the far left of the piano and go from the lowest tone to the highest tone.  The next exercise is a little bit more difficult.  Instead of starting at "A" one, start at the key that is at the far right hand side of the piano.  This key is "C" eight.  Start with "C" eight and go backwards.  Go from the highest sounding tone on the piano all the way down to the lowest sounding tone on the piano.  Play each key and name the key outloud.

For example, C, B, A, G, F, E, D, C, B, A, G, F, E, D, C, and so on and so on.

The third exercise is for you to go back and name the keys starting at the far left of the piano which is "A" one and to name these keys again as you play them one at a time, but this time, you must give the full name to that key.  For example, start out by naming the keys like this:  "A" one, "B" one, "C" one, "D" one, "E" one, "F" one, "G" one, "A" two, "B" two, "C" two, "D" two, "E" two, "F" two, "G" two, "A" three, "B" three, "C" three, "D" three, "E" three", "F" three, "G" three, "A" four, "B" four, "C" four, "D" four, "E" four, "F" four, "G" four, "A" five, "B" five, "C" five, "D" five, "E" five, "F" five, "G" five, "A" six, "B" six, "C" six, "D" six, "E" six, "F" six, "G" six, "A" seven, "B" seven, "C" seven, "D" seven, "E" seven, "F" seven, "G" seven,  "A" eight, "B" eight, "C" eight.

The fourth exercise is to repeat exercise three, but, do it backwards!  Start with "C" eight and play each key and say it out loud backwards.  For example, "C" eight, "B" eight, "A" eight, "G" seven, "F" seven, and keep on going until you reach the first key of the piano at the far left of the piano.

The fifth exercise is going to require you to get a stronger feel of the black keys on the piano keyboard.  Make sure you can really feel the two black key groups and the three black key groups.  In this exercise I want you to play "C" one.  Play "C" one and say out loud:  "C" one.  Remember "C" one is located to the left of the first set of two black keys.  Now, jump over to the next set of two black keys and play "C" two.  Do the same thing all over again, go to the next set of two black keys and feel that larger white key to the left of the two black keys, and play "C" three, and say "C" three out loud.  Now, do the same thing for "C" four, "C" five, "C" six, "C" seven, and finally "C" eight.

So what you just did was play all the keys with the letter name of "C'.  You played them in ascending order, from the lowest sounding pitch to the highest sounding pitch.  You had to feel the two black keys in each situation in order to find the white "C" key.

In exercise six, I want you to do the same thing, but this time, I want you to go backwards.  Start with "C" eight.  Play each key that has the letter name of "C", but go backwards starting with "C" eight and work your way back down to "C" one.  Do all of these exercises with your right hand and your left hand.  You want each hand to have the same ability, the same strength, the same skill.

Once you are able to recognize all of the keys with the letter name of "C", do the same thing with all of the keys that have the letter name of "D".  The "D" keys are located exactly in-between the two black keys.  Play "D" one through "D" seven.  Then go backwards.

Do the same thing with all the other keys.  These are time consuming exercises, but they are very necessary if you want to play the piano well.  If your hands can feel the structure of the piano, you will be able to play beautiful piano, I guarantee it.

LESSON ONE:  Click on this YouTube link and listen to the audio of Piano Lesson One for the visually impaired.  You may or may not have to click on the start button on the video screen to start the video.

LESSON TWO:  Click on this YouTube link and listen to the audio of Piano Lesson Two for the visually impaired.  You may or may not have to click on the start button on the video screen to start the video.

LESSON THREE: Click on this M P 3 Audio link and listen to Piano Lesson Three for the visually impaired.  This link will bring up your computer media player and may or may not start playing automatically.

LESSON FOUR:  Click on the link below

This is the M P 3 audio file of lesson four.  Listen carefully, and practice these exercises.

Lesson 5 Link

Lesson 6 Link

Lesson 7 Link

 

 

 

 

Sincerely,

John Axsom

 

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