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for the Blind

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Need Help Playing Piano

I am an Occupational Therapy Student doing my fieldwork in low vision. I have a client who would love to continue playing her piano but is having trouble seeing her sheet music. Her vision is very poor and sheet magnification does not help. Does anyone have any ideas?

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Re: Need Help Playing Piano

I learn by ear, though I am now looking for something to teach me too. I can see light, and my keyboard can teach how to play the songs on it, but for me it has to be very dark and it has to be close to my eyes.

Re: Need Help Playing Piano

I think there are programs you can buy for the PC along with a keyboard that would teach you though Im not sure how that would work for somenoe who is blind.
Donald The Blind Webmaster
The US Blind Resource Directory

PS to my last replyRe: Need Help Playing Piano

My email address is and my name is Ann.

Re: Need Help Playing Piano

To the person who suggested you tube videos, which youtube videos do you recomend for someone wanting to learn how to play piano by ear? I am a blind person trying to teach myself how to play piano. If you could help me by giving me some research tips for you tube, it would help tremendously.

Re:Need Help Playing Piano

I don't like the idea of labeling the cs. what if she's over at a friends house and really wants to play, but cannot because of the obstacle called her piano is labeled? A great majority of us don't label pianos. I Use the keys, I know it's a c or a doe because next to it is 2 black keys where as the f or fa has three black keys before the gap. and, for octives you listen to how high it is.

but on to sheet music, braille might be the best solution or well ear works if she's good at differentiating between notes, if no, then braille might be for her.

Re:Need Help Playing Piano

I'm sorry I'm so slow to see this thread here...
There are several resources you can use to get further along.

First, do suggest learning braille music. The Library of Congress has a large library of braille resources she can avail herself of if she reads braille. They also have other formats, such as lrge print and audio.

More immediately, you should know about Bill Brown's audio tutorials.
He has whole courses and individual song tutorials for the piano (he also has guitar and other instruments). These are fabulous. In the case of the songs, you learn the song, then memorize it. So, it takes the place of sheet music, and also helps in the process of learning to play by ear. I've been combining his tutorials with an instructor, and find this to be the speediest and most cost-effective way to learn a new piece.

Third, have you checked out the technology options from Dancing Dots?
They have several options for dealing with sheet music. You might look at the Lime Lighter, which displays music in a magnified way, and lets you change it to white on black, change the magnification, and lets the music scroll at the tempo you set. But she'll need to be able to see well enough for it to work for her.

They also have a product, which I use, which lets you scan a piece of sheet music, then read it back with speech (talking computer with JAWS) or braille it out. It's called Goodfeel.

Re:Need Help Playing Piano

I am totally blind and have been playing piano since I was five. The first teacher I had taped my lesson so I could listen to it later, but I did not benefit from that. My teacher I have had since I was nine would tape my music for me, telling me what notes to play. She would run through each hand separately and then put them together. Later when I was older, she started teaching me my music by ear rather than using tapes. That worked well for me for recitals, but when I took a music class in college, I had to find another way. This summer, I learned to read braille music and it was much easier to learn it. In order for the client to be most effective, I recommend learning braille music along with playing by ear.

Re:Need Help Playing Piano

I have low vision and while I played by ear and by note before I lost my vision, now I just play by ear. However I have, "helped myself out" by putting raised dots on all the "C's" on the piano so that I can easily find my place if I get lost. I also keep a bright light over the piano. I can't explain it but this keeps me oriented and helps when I do try to look at the words to a song that has been blown up (I have never found music notes large enough). Hope this helps.

Re:Need Help Playing Piano

I am totally blind and have been sense birth. I play piano by ear and have never learned to read music. Even if a piano teacher isnt specialized in teaching the blind, if the teacher is patient and cares, it really helps. There's also really helpful YouTube videos that say which notes and chords to play and when to play them.

Re:Need Help Playing Piano

Braille is an option then there's playing by ear or memory

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