Fletcher Students Learn Keyboard Basics In Music Class

Fletcher music teacher Sofia Isabella instructs her class on where to find the beginning of a C-major scale.

“Can you find the two bunny ears?” asked Sofia Isabella to students in her fourth grade music class at Fletcher Elementary School.

The school’s music room looked like a sea of keyboards — indeed, Isabella wasn’t referring to rabbits. “Bunny ears” instead were references to C-sharp and E-flat.

“Great job!” Isabella exclaimed. “Now, take your thumb and put it on the white key just below the left bunny ear.”

The fourth graders now had found the beginning of a C-major scale. Moments later, they were playing its first five notes. Moments after that, they were singing it.

This exercise has been, for many Fletcher students, their first introduction to playing the piano — something that Isabella believes is a great tool for students to learn and a “highly accessible instrument.”

Fletcher Elementary School music teacher Sofia Isabella helps a fourth grade student navigate a keyboard.

“The keyboard comes in all different sizes and shapes along with a very diverse price range,” Isabella, a first year teacher, said. “It is also a great instrument to begin students’ musical learning as the basic note structures can be taught along with vocal lessons.”

Learning the keyboard, she hopes, will be a new, lifelong way to open her students’ hearts to music.

“I am hoping the students will accomplish learning the notes on the keyboard in hopes that they will be able to play familiar songs, and most importantly the joy of playing music,” Isabella said. “Throughout this experience I hope that students will have a better understanding of how music is built. The use of the keyboard allows a greater degree of transfer to other instruments. As a singer, the first instrument I turn towards is the piano.”

The keyboard is one of several instruments that Isabella has introduced to students during her first year of teaching.

“Instruments can be expensive, so being able to put the instruments in the hands of students creates a joy in my heart, especially watching the students play the instruments in the classroom, alongside their favorite songs,” she said. “My hope is that this will be able to change one child’s vision of music and make a difference in their life so they can follow their dreams.”


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