It is obvious that one demonstration speech cannot be enough to play the piano. However, I can teach you how to sit at the piano duly and how to start learning to play the piano so that you want to continue. Before starting, remember, that as Chinese proverb puts it, “A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step”. Also, be advised, that learning means “mistaking”, so watch and repeat after me: no experience can be gained without practice. We’ll discuss such issues as: 1) acquaintance with the piano and its main elements an terms; 2) learning the piano notes; 3) playing the octaves. So, let’s start.
First of all, you will need the piano. Look at it: the most contrasting elements are the keys, they are black and white. They comprise a keyboard. The keyboard usually has seven octaves and a minor third. The piano can be closed with the lid which covers the keyboard when the instrument is not being used. So, we open the lid and press the key to produce some sound. Move piano bench closer to the piano so that you can sit conveniently while playing the piano. Look down: there are three or two pedals under your feet, which are used to change the sound of a note. Raise your eyes: you see the music rack. It is right in front of you, and it is like a small shelf for carrying the music paper or sheet music etc. So, you sit, open the sheet music and put your hands on the keyboard. What should you do next?
The next step is learning the piano notes. Look at the keyboard. There is symmetry which helps us to differentiate the octaves and learn the location of certain piano notes. In order to make the process of learning the piano notes easier, we’ll denominate each white key with the letter. Traditionally, the first seven letter of the alphabet are used. Thus, starting from the left we assign white keys with the letters A-G. Black keys can be helpful in finding the corresponding white keys. While this is not the initial function of the former, we’ll start using them this way. Look at the keyboard attentively, and you’ll notice that groups of two black keys and three black keys repeat. So, if you need D, you can find it on the right from the group of two black keys; F is on the left of group of three black keys etc. Though it requires certain time to learn where different keys are, this will be helpful for sure. Also, besides white keys, there are black keys. They are identified according to the white keys which they border with. Thus, the first black key in the group of three will be denominated as F# or Gb. In this case, F# means sharp F, i.e. the black note F is half-tone higher than F which is on the left. Or, it can be identified as Gb (flat G), which means that black key is half-tone lower than G. You can use the guiding diagram in the beginning but then you have to learn all the keys without any hint. You should be able to identify the note simply by looking at the keyboard.
Third, we’ll learn to play octaves or scales. In piano music, octave means the interval between the two notes which is equal to twelve keys. To play an octave means pressing smoothly the keys in succession. The simplest octave (C major) means pressing only white keys, starting from C and ending with the C in seven notes. G major scale, for instance, includes G, A, B, C, D, E notes, then moving to F#, and proceeding in the same way. Scales should be learned as well as simplest songs. They are used to develop the ear for music, practice piano playing and prepare for more serious piano playing.
To conclude, we have considered the main issues which are needed to be learned by the beginner. Maybe, Chopin or Mozart still are unavailable for you, because such serious works require essential time, learning and training. But you can play simple music pieces. Thus, you will train and learn better the keys and octaves. By the way, don’t forget to practice octaves regularly: this develops you piano playing skills, exercises fingers and trains to deal with the piano.