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Understanding Key Signatures when learning the piano

Key signatures are a vital part in being able to read music correctly and play the right black notes in a piece. When piano students first begin learning the piano they will start off with easier key signatures such as G major that only has an F sharp. Then you will move onto D major that has two sharps- F sharp and C sharp, then onto A major that has three sharps - F sharp, C sharp and G sharp. Then you will probably have key signatures that have flats in them such has F major which only has one B flat, then B flat major that has two flats - B flat and E flat. You will need to become familiar with the way key signatures are written on the stave. A great way to remember the key signatures is think of a rhyme or phrase that you can say such as “Father Christmas Goes Down Escalators” - that spells out the beginning letters of F, C, G, and D - these spell out the shapes in the correct of E major. The word that spells out the order of the flats is “BEAD” which forms the key signature of Ab major. While this all may seem complicated, eventually you think nothing of it. It is important to have some degree of music theory knowledge to progress correctly at the piano, and any good piano teacher will introduce music theory into the piano lessons. Another way to become more familiar with various key signatures, is to play the associated scale with that key. Not only with this help finger strength and dexterity, it also helps reinforce the flats or sharps that are related to that particular key. If you are going to be starting up online piano lessons, it is a good idea to find a teacher who can also teach you music theory along the way - this is also a more cost effective way than getting a separate music theory teacher.

Matthew is a well qualified professional piano teacher from the UK. He holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Cardiff University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Music from the Open University. He has a real passion for playing the piano and likes to pass this onto his students. Matthew has had experience of performing piano music in a variety of styles from Beethoven to Coldplay in performances for musicals, bands and solo performances. Matthew is in high demand in the South Wales area as a wedding pianist. He has taught from his piano studio for over ten years, but has moved a great deal of his teaching online since the coronavirus pandemic. Matthew’s pupils very much enjoy their online piano lessons that can take place in their own home over a video call. Many of Matthew’s students have developed a love of the piano and have begun an exciting musical journey. Matthew charges $25 per half hour weekly piano lesson.

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If you would like to have a lesson with Matthew, please send an email to

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