“The E is my first note I learned,” he explains. “It’s like a B-flat.” But as you age, you need more and more of the right notes to produce your favorite music — such as when it comes to playing an E. When you’re a teenager, it’s an E-flat; when you’re older, it’s an E in the key of D major.
He points out that he was an E major when he was a child at an all-boys private Christian school. But there are a couple notes before the E, and when he was a teenager, I believe, he had a problem with them. (Which, as we learned, is why he doesn’t use the E on a daily basis.) “But then I discovered I was E minor, with an E in the key of A minor, and an E in the key of C major, which I learned at the piano and then at home,” he says.
If a child needs to learn a note, they have to know it. E is a natural note. It exists. It is something you are just born with.
But it’s often assumed that everyone should learn what everyone knows.
“If you need to know a note, you have to know it,” says Stokke. “E is a natural note. It exists. It is something you are just born with. It’s something you have to know by heart, but that doesn’t mean it’s correct.”
Many adults may not agree that it is, but if a child does, then we should allow them to learn it.
So if you want to teach a child how to play a certain note that they already know (say E major), there are still guidelines. You must give a child the right note at the right time. That means that you have to know the right interval from the E sharp to the G sharp, and from that on (for you and your child), you can’t switch keys. “There’s no way around that,” says Stokke. “You have to have that knowledge. The other thing is that you have to teach them that the key is not different to any note in music.” If they ask your student to play the B flat and then the B-flat, you don’t have to ask them to play the E-flat and then the E-flat to the E, because he knows how to do one — and he’s also learned to
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