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Topic Options
#949924 - 04/02/07 08:34 PM Teaching, some questions.
Marianne Dashwood Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2
New member here. This is an amazing site. I am so glad that I found it out! \:\)

I am going to graduate highschool soon, and I am planning to open up a small studio in my home. I own a grand piano, and my family will be moving into town and I will be closer to my future students homes.
I just want to start out with some young beginners maybe between 4 and 10.

Can anyone give me some good advice as to what books it will be necessary to purchase before starting out? How should I advertise myself? How long should I make me lessons? How much should I charge?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks.
_________________________
"Can the soul really be satisfied with such polite affections? To love is to burn - to be on fire, like Juliet or Guinevere or Heloise..."

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#949925 - 04/02/07 09:05 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
Ken Knapp Offline



Registered: 04/18/06
Posts: 2224
Loc: Pennsylvania
Hi Marianne!

Welcome! I am not a teacher myself, but this topic has come up in this forum from time to time. I looked around and found a few links to threads that discuss this topic. You can probably find others by doing a search. These are what I found:

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/27/1083.html
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/27/892.html
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/27/894.html

Hope this helps.

Ken
_________________________
Ken

Piano Organ Depot
http://www.pianoorgandepot.com
Hammond Organ Technician
http://www.tonewheeltech.com
Vice President - MITA, International
http://www.mitatechs.org
http://www.facebook.com/MITATechs

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#949926 - 04/02/07 10:17 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
Marianne Dashwood Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2
Wow! Thank you!
_________________________
"Can the soul really be satisfied with such polite affections? To love is to burn - to be on fire, like Juliet or Guinevere or Heloise..."

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#949927 - 04/03/07 11:17 AM Re: Teaching, some questions.
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7355
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Marianne, the art of teaching is not the same as the art of musicianship. To help yourself become a better teacher, the study of pedagogy (the art of teaching) is a must. There are lots of excellent helps out there for you to draw on.

"A Piano Teacher's Legacy" by Richard Chronister
"Practical Pedagogy" by Martha Baker-Jordon
Marianne Uzler's "The Well-Tempered Keyboard Teacher")
Frances Clark's "Questions & Answers"

to name a few.

Best of luck and keep posting questions.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#949928 - 04/03/07 01:49 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
sarabande Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 1597
Loc: Mo.
Welcome! Hope you stick around and post your opinions on the topics here. Even getting ready to start teaching means I'm sure you have a lot of ideas on how you want to teach and how kids should be taught already. You might have some neat ideas for teaching you can share the rest of us haven't thought of as everyone has different ideas. Check the link I provided on "The Teaching Studio" in one of the threads Ken Knapp listed. It's an article on setting up a studio and getting started teaching.

Again welcome!

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#949929 - 04/03/07 02:08 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
drumour Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/05
Posts: 856
Loc: Scotland
Yes, I know it's a quibble - and I'm sorry - but surely pedagogy is the science of teaching not the art of teaching. Just as technique is the science of instrumental playing or singing.


John
_________________________
Vasa inania multum strepunt.

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#949930 - 04/03/07 04:51 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7355
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
That quibble would make for an interesting and inspriring thread, John \:D
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#949931 - 04/03/07 04:56 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
Ken Knapp Offline



Registered: 04/18/06
Posts: 2224
Loc: Pennsylvania
I've featured this topic, so everyone feel free to post all the links and helpful advice you can think of for aspiring teachers. Besides being a resource for current teachers, this forum has huge potential for nurturing and mentoring future teachers.

Ken
_________________________
Ken

Piano Organ Depot
http://www.pianoorgandepot.com
Hammond Organ Technician
http://www.tonewheeltech.com
Vice President - MITA, International
http://www.mitatechs.org
http://www.facebook.com/MITATechs

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#949932 - 04/03/07 05:12 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
sarabande Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 1597
Loc: Mo.
Wikepedia defines pedagogy as "the art or science of being a teacher."

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#949933 - 04/04/07 10:11 AM Re: Teaching, some questions.
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7355
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Talk about sitting on the fence! \:D
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#949934 - 04/04/07 03:55 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
drumour Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/05
Posts: 856
Loc: Scotland
Could we start a campaign to ban (and I never would have thought myself a lexico-fascist) "Wikepedia defines" from these forums. People refer to it as an authority, which it certainly is not - it's just folks like you and me who may or may not get it right.


John
_________________________
Vasa inania multum strepunt.

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#949935 - 04/04/07 04:22 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
sarabande Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 1597
Loc: Mo.
 Quote:
Originally posted by drumour:
Could we start a campaign to ban (and I never would have thought myself a lexico-fascist) "Wikepedia defines" from these forums. People refer to it as an authority, which it certainly is not - it's just folks like you and me who may or may not get it right.


John [/b]
OK, I'm sorry \:D . I know it is not a great source. I just saw it when looking up the spelling for my other thread and threw it out there as food for thought. - Nothing seriously intended by it.

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#949936 - 04/21/07 05:54 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11798
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Well, it is both and art, and a science. The science comes in with the teacher's understanding of the craft of teaching, and the art comes in the quest creative repsonses a teacher must make with each individual student.

Back OT, as far as method books go, I have started using Faber & Faber's My First Piano Adventures with the young ones, and I really enjoy it. I also like their Adventures methods, and Hal Leonard's as well. They both avoid the 5 finger patterns until later, so students aren't stuck putitng their hands in Middle C position (which inhibits reading, imo). It's good when you have several beginners to use different method books so you don't get sick of the songs. \:\)

I second the list of books that John VD Brook listed, but I would add to that, "The Perfect Wrong Note" by William Westney.

Best of luck to you!

PS: I would also look into joining your local MTNA chapter.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#949937 - 05/07/07 09:18 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
moz Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 3
Loc: canada
hi i am a piano student but i have a serious issue with my right thumb,let me explain:as soon as i hit a note with it my index blocks and my wrist starts to hurt,that problem slow down a great deal my advancement in my studies would anybody be kind enough to give me some advice .i'm so depressed that i even think about giving up my studies.

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#949938 - 05/07/07 09:26 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
w_scott_iv@yahoo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/29/05
Posts: 1120
Loc: West Virginia
Moz,
Sounds like carpal tunnel. I have had it for years and at its worst it can make playing piano impossible. Go see a physician and he/she will give you simple treatments (exercises/stretches) that should solve your problem. It is, however, important to pay attention to what your body is telling you before you do serious damage.

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#949939 - 05/19/07 06:13 AM Re: Teaching, some questions.
Mr. Teatime Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/18/07
Posts: 3
Loc: London
This is a good thread, the book recommendations are particularly good.

Is there anything specific to the UK, in terms of guide books for teachers just starting out? I'm asking because it's possible those books mentioned above might refer me to other american books for students to use, which would be hard for me to get hold of.

Thanks,
jon

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#949940 - 05/20/07 11:39 AM Re: Teaching, some questions.
Doc99 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/20/07
Posts: 37
Loc: Jacksonville, FL, US
 Quote:
Originally posted by w_scott@verizon.net:
Moz,
Sounds like carpal tunnel. I have had it for years and at its worst it can make playing piano impossible. Go see a physician and he/she will give you simple treatments (exercises/stretches) that should solve your problem. It is, however, important to pay attention to what your body is telling you before you do serious damage. [/b]
Moz, You probably may want to read one or both of these very good books on RSI. Your problem can become extremely severe if left untreated.

It\'s Not Carpal Tunnel Syndrome! RSI Theory & Therapy for Computer Professionals

Dr. Pascarelli\'s Complete Guide to Repetitive Strain Injury: What You Need to Know About RSI and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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#949941 - 05/27/07 09:33 AM Re: Teaching, some questions.
WadeCottingham Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/26/07
Posts: 32
Loc: Dallas, TX
Marianne,

Any book or video about teaching, by Frances Clark, will help and inspire you. There's a video by Jane Bastien that shows an extremely organized studio and many tried and true teaching techniques.

I love Alfred books for teaching. I usually start a young beginner with 5 Level A books - Lesson, Theory, Notespeller, Activity, and Technic.

Best wishes teaching piano!

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#949942 - 06/01/07 02:09 AM Re: Teaching, some questions.
swingal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 1094
Loc: England
I have a feeling about young children and their suitability to be taught the piano. I'm not a teacher but a parent/grand P/great-grand parent.

I suppose it is a good idea to be able to diagnose the success/probability factor of teaching piano playing to children. Do you teachers have a 'suitability level' that you feel about the teaching of children. If so, what happens next when you observe this developing ? Just curious.

I was taught by my mother because I had the use of the family piano and was always tinkling on it from an early age, say 5. My mother showed me how to find the correct notes for a simple tune.

There were 3 children and I was the only one that showed the interest in playing; 'by ear', same as my mother did. I have never learned to read music and so I'm a jazz player.

I only make this point, because I rather have the feeling that the art of music is something deep inside the mind and senses that you either have or have not got.

My wife and I had a family of five and although music would ring through our house 24/7 and apart from teenage pop stuff, these five never showed any desire to take piano playing at all.

I wonder sometimes if the children got too much music in the house. But whatever the reason, none showed the inclination to seriously learn the piano.

So many times I have seen children being taught the piano only to drop it eventually.

Perhaps this is a calculated factor and is taken as inevitable. But isn't that possibly rather destructive, by the very act of teaching children before they have shown spontaneous initial interest instead.

Finally, I think the ones, like me, who play by ear purely, rarely loose interest and keep at it. I know lots of adults of all ages that have been taught the piano formally and even reached good grades yet drop the whole thing, sooner of later.

You rarely find a ear player doing that.

Alan

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#949943 - 06/01/07 03:00 AM Re: Teaching, some questions.
moz Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 3
Loc: canada
i think that to be a good piano player first of all you have to be mystified by the intrument,i mean,myself when i see a piano ,i do not perceive a a box that makes sounds.i rather see a perfect peice of machinery that deserve a lot of respect,and needless to say that if you wanna learn it.you have to keep in mind that the instrument deserve respect like it was a living thing.to answer to your question the true musicians feel in some way the attracktion to music.the instrument you choose depend largely on your personnality as a person.

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#949944 - 06/02/07 05:51 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
swingal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 1094
Loc: England
moz. How very true what you say. Though I have not felt a mystification personally. Probably because it was always in my life as far back as I can remember.

I have a very strong mental and physical bond with this instrument. In fact every time I come on this forum to converse and read I want to get back to the piano.

I have huge respect for the pianos I have owned up to and including the one I now own. It is perfect in my view and I love it like I do a women.

Alan.

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#949945 - 07/06/07 09:49 AM Re: Teaching, some questions.
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11798
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Swingal:
I think that children stop taking lessons for any number of reasons, and not necessarily due to not liking the instrument. Many children are encouraged to take on way too many activities, which leaves little or no time to simply play and relax, let alone work on a discipline such as music. I try to warn my student's parents if I feel a child has too much on their plate, and sometimes this means they quit piano, sometimes they quit something else, or don't take on something new. Either way, the child benefits.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#949946 - 08/31/07 02:32 AM Re: Teaching, some questions.
bukopaudan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/06
Posts: 506
Loc: USA
hello! Congratulations on becoming a teacher--I don't think I'd have the will or patience to do it, hehe. That's great though, I admire you. I'm not a teacher, but I loved these books that I started with, so here they are:

The John Thompson Piano Books
The Faber and Faber Books:
- Nursery Rhymes
- Rock and Boogie (I think)
Master Theory Lvls I-III (and more)

Those I pretty much used in my first year or so and then I went on to Sonatinas and Classical pieces.
_________________________
"Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable." -Leonard Bernstein

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#949947 - 08/31/07 03:50 AM Re: Teaching, some questions.
pianoexcellence Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/14/07
Posts: 753
Loc: Abbotsford, BC, Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
Marianne, the art of teaching is not the same as the art of musicianship. To help yourself become a better teacher, the study of pedagogy (the art of teaching) is a must. There are lots of excellent helps out there for you to draw on.

"A Piano Teacher's Legacy" by Richard Chronister
"Practical Pedagogy" by Martha Baker-Jordon
Marianne Uzler's "The Well-Tempered Keyboard Teacher")
Frances Clark's "Questions & Answers"


Great books john...

I'd also add Abby whitesides "indespensables of piano playing" (with a grain or 2 of salt)

max Camp "teaching piano"

and "for all piano teachers" don't remember the author, but published by Frederick harris. Really old fashioned, but straightforward text on teaching.

to name a few.

Best of luck and keep posting questions. [/b]
_________________________
Music is the surest path to excellence

Jeremy BA, ARCT, RMT
Pianoexcellence Tuning and Repairs

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#949948 - 09/09/07 08:55 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
Cindy O-H Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/08/07
Posts: 33
Loc: Northeast Tennessee
Marianne,
Hello I am new here also. However I have been teaching piano for about 20 years. I begin teaching private piano lessons when I was 15! I thought I was doing well until I went to college and majored in Music Education. WOW! I have to agree about the pedegogy study. I helps tremendously, however not necessary or for everyone.

I have used the Bastien Series of books primarly. I find the students (especially younger) enjoy the pics and pages. That is just a personal preference. There are some series that are just as good. See if you local music store will let you borrow one Primer book from each series to take home and look over. Make your own judgement. Then end result is what matters, not what roady you took!

Also don't forget about your bookkeeping for the IRS etc. Good luck

* I love the book "The Music Teachers' Survival Guide"
this was a great one for me.

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#949949 - 09/25/07 05:19 AM Re: Teaching, some questions.
Minaku Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/07
Posts: 1226
Loc: Atlanta
I wanted to chime in. I noticed everyone here uses different methods, but the common ones are Alfred, Faber and Faber, Thompson, Bastien, sometimes Hal Leonard.

Me, I use Frances Clark's The Music Tree (Time to Begin is the primer book) but there needs to be some dedicated study of pedagogy before teaching students using Music Tree. Still, I love it. I can fill in any areas where the Music Tree falls through (among one of them is the amount of music provided, though the Side by Side series alleviates this somewhat) and the students I have started on Music Tree all have a good grasp of basic skills.

I do find that it is rare to see other people using The Music Tree, and I sort of understand why more don't use it simply because of the knowledge one must have prior to using it. In some places it may be more difficult to get this series than the rest, and after the primer level the activities books take a drop in quality. But what I like the most about it is that it tries to avoid all the major beginner pitfalls. The students I have taught using Music Tree are all wonderful, lovely students with no particular attachment to any one position.

Alfred has in recent years come out with their Premier Series, which has taken a lot of ideas from Music Tree. It's been completely revamped. It's quite a good series, and more accessible than the Clark. I'd look into those also.

Edit: One other book to read is Bastien's "How To Teach Piano Successfully". It is a great resource. I refer to it, as well as Frances Clark's "Questions and Answers".
_________________________
Pianist and teacher with a 5'8" Baldwin R and Clavi CLP-230 at home.

New website up: http://www.studioplumpiano.com. Also on Twitter @QQitsMina

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#949950 - 09/26/07 05:22 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
MA Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 302
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Minaku,

Are you aware of Frances Clark's Musical Fingers series? What do you thnik of it comparing with The Music Tree?

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#949951 - 09/27/07 04:19 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
Minaku Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/07
Posts: 1226
Loc: Atlanta
I do know of the musical fingers series, but I haven't given it a good thorough look like the others. When I go back to the sheet music store I'll take a look and play though some examples.
_________________________
Pianist and teacher with a 5'8" Baldwin R and Clavi CLP-230 at home.

New website up: http://www.studioplumpiano.com. Also on Twitter @QQitsMina

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#949952 - 09/27/07 05:08 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
jazzyclassical Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/26/07
Posts: 154
Loc: California
Hello Minaku,
I'm a brand new member and wanted to ask you some questions about the Music Tree method. I've been teaching for about 5 years now and have used traditional methods beginning with the Alfred's method, which I used growing up...the switched to mostly Faber Piano Adventures, which I'm not completely in love with like everybody else.
I've been intrigued by the Music Tree Method for a while now but have not tried it out because it is so different from those other methods I am used to.
However, I share the same opinion as you and do not want my students to be limited by position playing. My question is, what are the necessary skills that a teacher must have to switch to this method? Is it simply reading the Clarke and Bastien pedagogy books or are there workshops that might be offered? How did you begin using these methods, what did you use before and why did you stop using it?
Also, does anybody else here have an opinion or some pros and cons about position playing?
Thanks!
_________________________
Kawai acoustic piano
Casio PX-350

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#949953 - 09/27/07 05:59 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
jazzyclassical Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/26/07
Posts: 154
Loc: California
The Frances Clark book, Questions and Answers is currently out of print! How unfortunate! I wonder if I could find it at the library?
_________________________
Kawai acoustic piano
Casio PX-350

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#949954 - 09/27/07 08:25 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
Minaku Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/07
Posts: 1226
Loc: Atlanta
You might be able to find it at the library. Check out university libraries, as they're more likely to have it. Preferably a university with a pedagogical inclination.

The Music Tree, like anything else, takes a good deal of dedication and understanding of how the method is built before teaching from it. If one teaches solely from the book itself the learning will be sparse and I'm pretty sure the student will get bored.

I would say in order to teach using The Music Tree, one has to be quite knowledgeable about intervallic reading, kinesthetics of playing, sightread well, and have a good sense of what it takes to be play piano properly. The method is also given to group classes, which I find is wonderful.

Before I started teaching using Music Tree I had to go observe classes at my university (Carnegie Mellon). The first thing my professor had me do was learn a specific exercise called "drop-up-move". This is extremely difficult for the student to master, and it does take a bit of thought on the teacher's part to get the exercise down.

First, we take the second finger of the hand and place it on C with a good "piano hand". Keeping the second finger curved with the fingertip contacting the key squarely, drop the wrist down, letting the weight of the drop depress the key ("drop"). Second, keeping the wrist loose, let it come up, while still holding the key down with the finger ("up"). Third, shift the entire mechanism to the right by one key ("move"). Repeat.

The shortest it's ever taken me to teach this to a student was three weeks. It is an extremely difficult exercise, like I've said, but we start with these wrist dropping exercises, and by proxy 3-2-3-2 + wrist drop exercises first simply because they are the most difficult. So, here is where knowledge of kinesthetics would help out the most.

The Music Tree spends about 3-4 units in freeform prereading, so the teacher has to be quite comfortable with intervallic reading to teach it. After that the method branches out into 2-line staffs and teaches seconds. When I teach seconds I make sure students understand seconds up and seconds down, both on the piano, by ear, and on the paper (the ear training is the fun part). We translate this to the book. Seconds down means we go backwards in the alphabet. Seconds up means we go forwards. Etc. with 3rds, 4ths.

I totally forgot! The prerequisites to Music Tree are important. First, the child MUST start learning his alphabet from G backwards. Second, finger numbers must be learned and continually enforced.

I've made this massive post and now I'm short on time because I have to go teach, so if you have more questions please feel free to PM me and I will happy to answer them.

PS: I hate hand positions. Nothing annoys me more than giving a student a new piece of music and getting asked, "What position does this start in?"
_________________________
Pianist and teacher with a 5'8" Baldwin R and Clavi CLP-230 at home.

New website up: http://www.studioplumpiano.com. Also on Twitter @QQitsMina

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#949955 - 09/27/07 10:13 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
jazzyclassical:

The Questions and Answers book by Frances Clark is still listed on her website - Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy $25. I bought one at Christmas last year. Did you try there? It is a great book worth having a copy on hand.

Try e-bay or amazon?

And, I just have to add that I love teaching 5 Finger Hand Positions as it is the precursor to 6ths, 7th, and octaves. From 5 finger positions we can teach hand expansions to navigate to close lying positions...for instance the I-IV-V chord exercises (I-IV-I-V-I)

The 5 Finger positions give us 5 of the 7 letter names of the scale, why would we think this is not important to know? I think it is very efficient and effective and I have been using it for many, many years with no regrets. It makes fingering choices easier and when you want to teach intervals, the hand is useful for counting distances and direction of any size.

Always, my lesson one is about A-B-C-D-E-F-G and backwards G-F-E-D-C-B-A (retrograde)and finding all the keys of the same name and sound on the keyboard based on the groups of 2 black notes and 3 black notes and their white note "neighbors". Keyboard orientation comes before seeing the music staff in my mind.

Nice to get acquainted with you today! Keep posting!

Betty

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#949956 - 09/27/07 10:43 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
Xill Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/26/07
Posts: 48
Loc: MTL
I Marianne, it's my tenth year of teaching in a private school right now, and I've seen around 25-30 students a week on average. I would strongly recommend you do not force your teaching methods on the students, but rather build your methods around their strong point (like reading / hearing etc...) and what they like the most. Or course they all have to go through a first preliminary book, but the most "intelligent" ones can sometimes start directly with the first WTC prelude. I do not use any technique books after that besides some exercises I feel they may need (depends on the student)

The most important thing is to make them love not only piano but music as a whole. You want to make musicians, not only robotic pianists.

Once they love it and the technique/reading is in place, then you can make them do "miracles", like get them to play Beethoven sonatas after 3 years at age 10 and so on.

I also recommend playing a lot in front of your students to show them where they have to get at eventually and why they want to practice. Im not forcing them to practice their scales (besides the first ones) without having having a piece that place them in context (technique for the sake of technique can be one of the reasons why they would quit eventually).

Yet after 3-4 years all my students have quite good dexterity compared to other teachers who force technique on their students and make them learn less pieces.

All my students learn to do jazz also to give them a more free and creative challenge after playing some harder classical piece.

I teach them the chords theory as soon as the first technique book is done and even if they only understand like 10%, dont worry, after a year or two they start to hear chords and circle of fifth, etc...

Of course, some are hopeless too... Dont waste your energy on them, just be patient.

Well, maybe something in this messy post can help you.
_________________________
"The quantity of intelligence carried by the sounds must be the true criterion of the validity of a particular music." Iannis Xenakis

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#949957 - 09/28/07 04:57 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
jazzyclassical Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/26/07
Posts: 154
Loc: California
Thank you Minaku I am going to get the teacher guide for the Music Tree and study the Clarke website. I'll probably have lots of questions but I'll try not to bug you too much!! \:\)

As a fairly new teacher, I would like to say that this forum is great, even though I've only been a member for a day! I am so happy that there is a place like this for piano teachers, because I often feel alone in the teacher world. And often I feel that my questions will go unanswered and that I just have to figure them out myself by trial and error.
Thanks to everyone for their suggestions too! It's really cool to hear what other teachers are doing. I find in the method books there are strengths and weaknesses. So I guess the task is to find the one that suits you and the students best.
_________________________
Kawai acoustic piano
Casio PX-350

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#949958 - 10/08/07 02:14 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
song of my heart Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/08/07
Posts: 1
I've had a few different teachers. Just remember to keep it fun. I left my first teacher because I got bored. The other two teachers move out of state, but I loved them and loved playing with them.

I try to keep it fun for my students. I always try to take the last five minutes of the lesson and play a "note game" where they close their eyes and I play a note or an interval etc. and they try to guess it. Not only do they have fun, but it is good ear training as well.
_________________________
When those hammers hit the strings, the world just melts away.

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#949959 - 10/17/07 09:15 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
Prospero Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/14/07
Posts: 305
You might check out this link:

http://pianofundamentals.com/

It is an online textbook for teachers (and students) that discusses effective practice methods. It is interesting, much of it is confirmed by my own experience, and it is free.

Good luck with your teaching.

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#949960 - 10/24/07 10:54 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
Hi and welcome Marianne!

I would recommend to check out and attend some Suzuki Piano Basics workshops to learn how, IMO, to learn to teach young children WELL.

Not to say that any other method or books mentioned are not effective or valid. They may certainly be for those that are comfortable with teaching piano this way. Really it is something that you need to experience and find out what is right for you, like I did.

Doing a search on Suzuki Piano on this site will give you lots of info.

Here is the link to their website if you are interested in Suzuki workshops:

http://core.ecu.edu/hist/wilburnk/SuzukiPianoBasics/

For info on what to charge, studio policies... etc. Do a search on this forum, a lot of talk regarding these subjects have been discussed in length.

All the best to your endeavor! And again welcome to PW!
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation

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#949961 - 11/08/07 02:01 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
mechinese Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/30/07
Posts: 5
Loc: Oklahoma City
I'm fairly new to teaching as well. I started teaching young beginners at 14, under the tutelage and supervision of my private instructor (I taught for her). I majored in Piano Performance, taking four pedagogy courses, and now am a piano teacher at my old middle/high school (it's a magnet college prep school). I teach privately on the side. Observing other teachers has benefitted me greatly, but this will only help if you have a knack for understanding concepts quickly.

I don't have a lot of advice, but seeing as how I have a little experience, I'll share with you what I know now. I want to go back to school to get my education degree. While I can relate to my students and explain things, I feel I'm only effective in the smaller picture (lesson to lesson). I feel that if I don't have formal training, I can't lay a proper foundation.

Anyone can instruct. I can instruct a student where middle C is. Heck, my boyfriend can do that. He plays guitar. But to teach someone is to stimulate their mind and perspective to see everything musically.
_________________________
- Marye

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#949962 - 01/07/08 12:59 AM Re: Teaching, some questions.
keithmusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/18/07
Posts: 129
Loc: Atlanta, GA
I recommend the Faber series as it seems to be the most popular currently. Their technique books also give proper technique tips.
As for proper technique, and I hate to promote here, but I have a pdf booklet, Advanced Piano Secrets, that spells out much piano technique that will turn beginners into strong players and keep your students around for years due to their steady success and confidence in recitals.
Here is the link: http://www.keithphillips.net/AdvancedPianoSecrets.htm
_________________________
Keith Phillips

www.keithphillips.net
Piano technique for all levels
www.keithphillips.net/AdvancedPianoSecrets.htm

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#949963 - 01/24/08 12:59 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
Margo Largo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/01/06
Posts: 10
Loc: Southeast U.S.
Ihave really enjoyed this thread. Am mostly new to these forums and am thinking of teaching lessons out of my home starting later this spring, mostly adult students. I will be sure to check out the resources mentioned here.
_________________________
"In life one must decide whether to conjugate the verb to have or the verb to be." --Franz Liszt

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#949964 - 01/24/08 02:56 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Welcome to the forum, Mechinese,

I like your sentence: ...."But to teach someone is to stimulate their mind and perspective to see everything musically."

Yes, there is something happening during piano lessons! It's the inner experience! (Not just the turning of pages in a method.)

Betty

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#949965 - 03/06/08 11:02 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
mindyw Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 13
Loc: Iowa
I have to get my 2-cents in before reading all the posts...

Yeah!! You want to teach piano! I hope you fully enjoy it!

I would second the book "The Well-Tempered Keyboard Teacher". It will give you a great oversight into beginners through pre-college.

I would also HIGHLY RECOMMEND you find and join a local music teachers association. You can find one near you via website www.mtna.org. This was one of the first things I did and I have never regretted it. I have learned, borrowed, begged, and stolen (not really, they offered) ideas from the teachers in my local group. The support you gain from teachers you have been there, done that is tremendous. If your group turns out to be not so fabulous, come join mine. You don't have to be a career teacher to join, you have to be willing to continue to learn and to strive for excellence in what you teach.
I can't remember if you are student age or not, but if you are, you can get a student rate to join.

I could go on and on about things I didn't do and now do and wish I did earlier, but I won't. If you want me to, let me know.

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#949966 - 03/06/08 11:12 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
mindyw Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 13
Loc: Iowa
Of course, some are hopeless too... Dont waste your energy on them, just be patient -quote from Xill

Well, that can open a whole new can of worms.

Yes, there are going to be some students that you are not successful with. It may be either you, them, both, parents, etc. But I'd like to make two points: 1) You never know how that student will be affected by you time sharing the love of music with them, although seemingly discouraging. 2) You, the teacher, can always learn from the experience.

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#949967 - 04/22/08 03:34 AM Re: Teaching, some questions.
Jelena Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/16/08
Posts: 49
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
 Quote:
Originally posted by mechinese:
I'm fairly new to teaching as well... I want to go back to school to get my education degree. While I can relate to my students and explain things, I feel I'm only effective in the smaller picture (lesson to lesson). I feel that if I don't have formal training, I can't lay a proper foundation. [/b]
What an astute observation! I would suggest you look into getting your Master's in piano performance/pedagogy. ASU School of Music (Arizona) has a phenomenal program - I'm doing my doctorate here now. Once you get through THIS program, you'll know so much more about teaching piano/music specifically than if you go get an education degree because it is not targeted to piano at all. PM me and I'll give you more info so we don't cramp th space at the forum with it. :p :p
_________________________
Musically yours,
Dr. Jelena Vladikovic
Adj. Professor, Grand Canyon University, College of Fine Arts & Production
Founding Teacher, Royal Conservatory Music Development Program
Member, College of Examiners: RCM/Royal Conservatory MDP
Center Representative, Royal Conservatory MDP

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#949968 - 05/20/08 02:49 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
alglasser Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/21/07
Posts: 69
Loc: Rhode Island
Hello, Alan. I am an Alan to and also an "ear player", though I have had 5 years of college level study.

Your question of how to judge if a new student will be a success is interesting. MOST of my students in the past have been self motivated and WANTED to learn to play. A far lesser percentage have been "encouraged" by well meaning parents to kake lessons and a small handful have been referred for piano lessons by well meaning therapists or school teachers as a way to help a child with ADD or other learning issue. Good kids, all, to be sure. Needless to say, the students that were internally motivated tended to stick with it and I've taken my share with me from elementary school to college. That is REALLY rewarding! I like to get a sense of WHY the student is taking lessons. If the answer is, "my MOM wants me to", the warning flags go up just a bit and the same for when a parent tells me it is for therapy for the child. My policy has always been not to drop a student but if he/she isn't making progress or is not really interested, I tried to talk to the parents and explain that perhaps another area might be more rewarding.
I explain that piano lessons are just one of many options for their children. If it works out and the child "clicks", that's great. But some children are good at boy scouts, baseball, soccer and the like and it is MY job to see if piano is a good fit. If not, it's the parent's job to keep trying to find a match.

I have to go back and see if I can find your post again because you made another point that I wanted to discuss but anyway, hope this is helpful.

Alan RI AL

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#949969 - 05/29/08 08:46 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
pianocruisers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 52
Loc: Northern Virginia
Good for you in your teaching endevours. I've been teaching for almost a year so I'm still new to this. I like all the ideas for books on piano pedagogy...I think I'll go find one and buy it.

One thing to remember is never let the parents of your students make you feel less of yourself if they notice that their child may not be understanding something. That has happened to me a few times.

Be CONSISTENT!! It will eat you if you don't. Parents will refer you to others that they know who they probably talk to and will talk about the lessons. If you do one thing to show favor it can come back to haunt you.

I have learned that parents are not always crazy about a teacher with ten degrees, they want their kids to enjoy themselves, but also learning. Just because maybe one of your students may not play perfect rythm or counting at a recital or messes up, doesn't mean you aren't a good teacher.

Children also never feel less of themselves when they make mistakes. They do not listen to you play beautifully and feel that they can not meet up to you, infact they will ask you how to play what you play so they can do it.

You can't spend the whole lesson at the piano. Play games with music theory...I do matching with note cards of the staff and notes of the clefts.

When the kids get frustrated in something, take a break and let them practice songs they know they can play, or add a different book with songs they can play. When they feel it's too easy, they will tell you. Doing this gives you the ability to work on other things, like posture, fingering, rythem, and learning to play legato and very staccato.

My gosh, I love teaching. If you ever want someone to talk to PM me!!!!
_________________________
I teach not for business, but for opportunity to give another child the love for music.

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#949970 - 05/31/08 04:34 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
msmozrt Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/31/08
Posts: 1
Loc: Costa Mesa, CA
I just wanted to give you well wishes as well! I'm in my 15th year of teaching and the most important thing I've learned is that you have to keep things fun for your students.

Expose them to all types of music and really let them steer their own musical path. Their happiness and love for particular styles of music always trumps my personal agenda.
_________________________
~Jen

www.pianopronto.com

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#949971 - 06/09/08 11:58 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
Maggie Music Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 1
Loc: Willits, California
Marianne,
I teach 15 to 20 private student a week, have for years, after gaining a master's degree in Education and teaching public school music for twenty years. I do feel that one needs some background other than just playing with one teacher who may or may not have been good! It takes more than just interest and you will have much to learn. The books mentioned above will certainly help. Teaching is a different skill than performing and takes great patience and knowledge.

But on the issue of what method books to use, I have used them all and found many lacking. What I use now and LOVE is the Faber and Faber, "Piano Adventures", starting with 7 or 8 year olds. They have all the books Wade mentioned above but unless you are going to teach hour long lessons, using too many books, Lesson, Theory, Technic, Activities, etc. you will never get them all in, in a half hour to 45 minute lesson. A young child can't handle too many books and besides, that would be a huge cost to the parent. I use only the Lesson Book plus the Performance Book for each level. The lessons include technique and theory and the Performance books are coordinated to give lovely additional pieces which reinforce the lessons. If you teach well you will be augmenting those with some exercises of your own devising for technique and always speaking of the theory behind each piece as you go.

I personally feel that 4 years old is way too soon to start unless you have an exceptional child (and of course every parent will tell you his/her child IS exceptional! You can do some readiness that young with concepts such as high and low, fast and slow, loud and soft that young but I feel they need to have reading rather under their belts. To teach music symbols on top of their study of letters and numbers is too much abstract thinking for a 4 or 5 or even some 6 year olds.

This is my first posting, just joined yesterday, and I apologize for the wordiness. Best wishes in your studies.

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#949972 - 06/11/08 12:27 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
jhanson_30 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/27/07
Posts: 7
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
Hi All --

Another resource that you should definitely check out is Randall and Nancy Faber's website: www.pianoteaching.com . It has a teacher's guide to the Piano Adventures Primer that is fantastic and the videos that accompany each piece have tons of great ideas. Even if you don't end up using the Faber books with your students, there is much to be learned on their site. Check it out!

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#949973 - 06/12/08 10:46 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
jhanson_30 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/27/07
Posts: 7
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
After posting yesterday, I had another idea for a resource that I highly recommend. Frederick Harris just published their new Celebration Series PERSPECTIVES -- a set of Repertoire, Etudes, and Student Workbooks spanning all periods, in 11 levels. The Handbook for Teachers that accompanies the series is FANTASTIC -- every piece in the repertoire and etude books is included, with practical and immediately useful information for how to teach each piece. There are also suggestions for student practice at home and optional creative activities that build on concepts from the pieces. I would buy the Handbook for Teachers first, then as you have students in each level, you can buy the repertoire and etude books. Even experienced teachers will glean a lot from this book!

Best wishes for your teaching!

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#949974 - 07/16/08 12:39 AM Re: Teaching, some questions.
albmus Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/04/08
Posts: 6
Loc: Indianapolis, IN
Minaku: It's wonderful to find someone who uses Music Tree. It was when my students started asking, 'What position do I put my hand in' that I began to use it.

My students became better readers when they used Music Tree. I also found that I myself became much more adept at transposing non-C instruments' parts at the keyboard.

I eventually stopped using MT, because I felt that Book One greatly lost the momentum that Time to Begin had. I used Faber now, but I cross all the 'position' #&%*@ out (is that "word" allowed? )
_________________________
Organist/Choirmaster; Piano Instructor since 1987
I believe that a teacher’s greatest gift is to empower the students to do what the teacher can do, eventually without the teacher.

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#949975 - 08/18/08 08:27 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
Leslie Fox Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 11
Loc: San Diego, CA
There are lots of wonderful posts here on a topic I find so fascinating! I'd just like to add, that whatever method you use, be sure to analyze it's strengths and weaknesses. No method can be all things at all times. (So long as your students like the book, and you enjoy teaching from it - it's highly likely it's a good choice!) Multi-key methods (based on "positions" such as C, F, G, etc) will benefit from sight-reading practice that requires students to get OUT of positions so that they don't think "the fifth finger is G" all the time. Intervallic approaches benefit from flashcard drills, as students get so proficient at reading intervals, they're not as sharp at quickly identifying note names. These are just examples - the big picture is . . . watch for weaknesses that might arise in your students study and don't rely solely on a method book. There are many wonderful methods on the market, but not one that is perfect for every student!
_________________________
Leslie Fox, Keyboard Editor
The Neil A. Kjos Music Company

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#949976 - 10/05/08 03:13 AM Re: Teaching, some questions.
Jelena Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/16/08
Posts: 49
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
OK, I can see the original post is old and, perhaps, the person who started is not even here any more. However, for that person and everyone else, there's a great book on piano pedagogy: The Well Tempered Keyboard Teacher, by Marienne Uszler, Stewart Gordon, and Scott McBride-Smith. It's insanely expensive, but very good for teachers who are just starting out, or getting ready to do so. I found it to be just barely OK, but that's because of my very extensive teaching and performing experience. For the teaching "freshmen" (and women!) it would be an invaluable resource!

If you get Border's membership, card, or whatever they call it, you can get it with coupons they send and save a lot! I got mine for $60, and the median price in all places on the internet or regular shops is about $100!
_________________________
Musically yours,
Dr. Jelena Vladikovic
Adj. Professor, Grand Canyon University, College of Fine Arts & Production
Founding Teacher, Royal Conservatory Music Development Program
Member, College of Examiners: RCM/Royal Conservatory MDP
Center Representative, Royal Conservatory MDP

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#949977 - 10/26/08 07:02 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
pianocruisers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 52
Loc: Northern Virginia
I just found this website for piano pedagogy, it has some interesting things on there...hopefully it's helpful information...

http://www.serve.com/marbeth/pedagogy.html
_________________________
I teach not for business, but for opportunity to give another child the love for music.

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#949978 - 10/26/08 07:43 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4785
Loc: South Florida
There are some good ideas there, but I find it a bit of an "information overload".

By this, I mean that I can follow everything because I already know it, but I do see some mistakes that need to be corrected:
 Quote:

Imperfect time with perfect prolation is 3/4 (2 beats, each subdivided into 2).
There is a line right below it. This is not a true mistake. It's a typo. The site needs to be proofed.

Another:
 Quote:

C - Eb - Gb - - minor
Here the flat was not removed from the diminished triad right above.

And this is bad advice:
 Quote:

So, in the "Moonlight," rather than play white-note C, you play C#, which is the black key nearest, on the right.

You can get a simplified arrangement of this piece at your music store (not a pop sheet + CDs store, but a regular music store) or on-line at a store. This will be in a different key, which will simplify your learning. It probably will be fore-shortened, but this might be a good trade for ease of learning and quicker gratification.
While it is true that Beethoven uses many B and E sharps, a much larger problem is why he uses F double sharp (as in measure 34), and from experience I can tell you that learning something famous in a key one half step away from the original is a bad idea unless you are positive that you have a wall that will ALWAYS prevent you from getting to the original key and composition.

As I said, there are some good ideas here, but if this site is truly useful, people visiting it will not only use the tips but also mention mistakes that need to be corrected!
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#949979 - 10/26/08 10:25 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
pianocruisers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 52
Loc: Northern Virginia
Oh, I didn't read that part. They had a part on the different age levels of the kids and stuff that I thought was pretty interesting...but I'm only going into my 2nd year of teaching so I'm still learning.
_________________________
I teach not for business, but for opportunity to give another child the love for music.

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#949980 - 11/10/08 08:00 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
sunslight Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 106
Loc: Provo, Utah, USA
that's interesting Gary. A pedagogy book teaching prolatio imperfectum? gee--do they get to the Guidonian hand also (actually that's not so bad, especially for transposition of the hexachord)? solfeg is great. --I haven't seen any one mention Kodaly?

I read this thread with great interest. I will be a new teacher, soon.

I've taught voice, choral conducting, but only my son, at the piano. (he was playing mov. 3 of the Beethoven, Op 14 (moonlight) at age 10.
He'd take lesson from a beginning teacher, then I'd listen and show, reinforce ideas, how to play, at home.

New to piano teaching at age 60, am I too old?

I'm trying to absorb everything that's being said for the beginning teacher.

As a coach, I think I'm pretty good. But good musicanship, performer doesn't equate to a good teacher. I need all the help I can get. Everyone with all the experience, please keep posting ideas--for the young teacher as well as the older, beginning teacher.

There does seem to be an overload of books out there for the beginning student. For the advanced, you might as well throw away Hanon, if you want to get anywhere, and even Czerny.

As the person who began this thread is young, she has much ahead of her. For me, I have much behind me, to give away--such as learning of Rachmaninoff from Gina Bachauer (a student of his).

I play, I know music. I try to make the piano sing as well as be an orchestra, especially if I'm doing something like the Rach. 3rd. But how do I convey what I know to the beginning student? I think I helped my son. I always never said, "no." but would mitigate that with "almost, try it like this." then show him.

--regarding technique, hand positions? I didn't even know there is a teaching method of finger hand position--I guess that shows how lacking my experience is.

To me, a simple melody, whether it be in c or pentatonic--just play, I'll help & we'll figure out what to do to make it right. --my son never knew he was learning theory as well as learning to compose on his own.

But I'll have students soon. So, I need like the young lady who started this, all the pedagogical information I can get. Or is there a way to get advanced students and be more of a coach, vs. teacher?

I think I have lots to share, after 56 yrs of music. Even flat-fingered technique, when, where and why, as well as arched. So please, all keep posting.

I'm trying to learn, so I can give away.

Bob
_________________________
__________
Estonia 190, high-gloss ebony, fully touchweighted and wonderful.

A painter paints his pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence.

PTG member. BA in music theory; graduate work in musicology, voice & piano major instruments.

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#949981 - 01/06/09 11:42 AM Re: Teaching, some questions.
musicteacher541 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 11
Loc: Murray, UT 84123
Hi Marianne, good thing that another music teacher will be added to our list. I recommend these sites not only to you but for other your music teachers out there who are searching for some music teaching resources.
_________________________
Music Teachers Helper : a great software to ease your music studio management worries

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#949982 - 01/14/09 09:34 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
teacher-in-training Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 24
I also am a new piano teacher...just started this year. My teacher recommended a really great book-How to Teach piano Successfully by Jane Bastien. I got my copy off of amazon, but they have it other places to. It is a very practical book...setting up studio, tips for first lessons, etc. It even has a chart comparing all the different method books. It helped me a lot. \:\)
_________________________
Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. Psalm 33:3

Part-time piano teacher
Church Pianist


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#949983 - 01/17/09 06:18 AM Re: Teaching, some questions.
joshuadenaro Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/16/09
Posts: 17
Loc: Australia- Qld
i would recommend sitting in with your own teacher while she/he teaches other students and see how she/he does it. i know that helped me a lot when i first started

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#949984 - 01/17/09 07:41 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
D Dillon Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/12/09
Posts: 14
Marianne, this is such a huge topic that I hardly know where to begin.

Like Wade, my favorite teaching method is Alfred's Basic Piano Library. For students age 7 and younger, I use the preparatory lesson books, the ones with levels like A, B, C, etc. For older students, I use the basic lesson books with levels like 1A, 1B, 2, 3, etc.

Once students learn to read notation, they really enjoy contemporary sheet music. Some level 1 sheet music that my students have really enjoyed are "Victory Bells", "Ancient Temple", "The Shark", "Festiva", and "Mist On the Lake". A great online source for ordering lesson materials is www.pianoatpepper.com.

When students progress to the intermediate level, you will need to be familiar with classical music at that level. A good source, though it can be a bit overwhelming, is Jane McGrath's "The Pianist's Guide to Standard Teaching and Performance Repertoire." I have been working on a database of repertoire that is searchable by composer and/or level, but it is not nearly complete, or I would offer you use of it.

Tuition varies depending on the area and a teacher's education and experience. I find that it is easier for parents and for me when the tuition is the same every month, so I calculate the number of lessons that will be offered between June and September (not including holidays and vacations), multiply that number by the tuition amount for each lesson, then divide it by 10 months. For example, I charge $40 for a 45-minute lesson. So I would multiply $40 by $35 lessons ($1400), then divide that amount by 10 months to come up with a monthly tuition of $140. this means that some months will have 5 lessons, and some may only have 2 (December?), but the monthly tuition amount is always the same. I do not offer refunds for missed lessons, but I do try to offer makeup lessons when possible. I also teach during the summer, but I calculate that differently, because so many students go on vacation during the summer.

Another suggestion, but one that will take a lot more preparation, is to have a website on which the students' performances can be posted for their friends and relatives to see. This gives them regular motivation to try and perfect their pieces as much as possible. If you like, you may visit my site at www.pianodreamsstudio.com.

I hope this helps. I will write more if I think of other suggestions.

Teaching music to children is a wonderfully rewarding experience. I congratulate and with you much success and joy in this incredible journey.
_________________________
Dillon

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#1173690 - 04/03/09 07:59 AM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: D Dillon]
musicteacher541 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 11
Loc: Murray, UT 84123
Hi Marriane,

I have also faced these concerns during my early years in the profession. I am also a private music teacher doing business just beside my house.

Those years are indeed hard for me. I even thought of giving up because I was not able to earn much money. I have faced problems in track payments, lesson schedules, and sending invoices to my students. Until the time that my friend introduce to me this music teacher's software. This website has indeed helped me in many aspects of music teaching. It also offers some credible resources and tips for music teachers.

Take some time to visit and learn how you may also gain from it.
_________________________
Music Teachers Helper : a great software to ease your music studio management worries

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#1195901 - 05/08/09 10:24 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
paulette Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/29/09
Posts: 17
Loc: Virginia, USA
Good for you! I have taught piano for many years! I really enjoy it and plan to continue. You would be wise to find a piano or music teacher's organization in your area. Then you would be able to find out about fees and where to find students etc.As to materials.I really like the Faber Piano Adventures series.

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#1213520 - 06/07/09 06:45 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: jazzyclassical]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
To get the Frances Clark book, go to www.francesclarkcenter.org and click on the store. You should be able to get it there. I just bought one in April at the MTNA convention.

Re: Musical Fingers This is a set of technique books, not a core method series.

Anything to do with the Music Tree series is now published by Alfred since they bought the license a few years ago.

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#1241509 - 08/01/09 12:37 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Morodiene]
TXPianoTeacher Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/17/09
Posts: 9
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
I second the list of books that John VD Brook listed, but I would add to that, "The Perfect Wrong Note" by William Westney.


In addition to being a private piano teacher, I was also a student of William Westney for a couple years at Texas Tech before changing majors, and have a signed copy of "The Perfect Wrong Note", but have not been able to make it through the whole thing for some reason. I suppose I should give it another go.

PS: While I haven't been able to finish his book, I am not trying to demean him as a musician or teacher, as he is excellent at both.

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#1241523 - 08/01/09 12:52 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: musicteacher541]
TXPianoTeacher Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/17/09
Posts: 9
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: musicteacher541
Hi Marriane,
Until the time that my friend introduce to me this music teacher's software. This website has indeed helped me in many aspects of music teaching. It also offers some credible resources and tips for music teachers.

Take some time to visit and learn how you may also gain from it.



I am also a private piano teacher, as posted above, and found "Music Teacher's Helper" to be a very interesting and informative website. As my husband and I run a studio together (I teach piano, especially the young ones, he teaches adult piano and voice), we have found several resources that help us with the business of running a studio. First, "The PracticeSpot Guide to Promoting Your Teaching Studio" by Philip Johnston, and also "The Independent Piano Teacher's Studio Handbook" by Beth Gigante Klingenstein." They have helped us immensely.

For example, as per the PracticeSpot book (for which there is also a website, by the way), we passed out flyers to the neighborhood and held an intensive two-week piano workshop for free, at the end of which we gave a small concert. I ended up teaching three students, and picked up two permanently after that. We also auctioned off piano and voice lessons at a local silent auction and got students who were very interested, and while they may not continue, will be great word of mouth.

I would also encourage you to have a web presence. As our culture continues to be more and more inundated with technology, it benefits the new private teacher to have a website full of studio information, etc. We also post a blog on our website, and the articles are not only interesting, but increase our visibility using keywords to help bump us up in Google listings. We have definitely gotten business off of our website.

Finally, regarding business, we put magnets on our car advertising our studio, and we have gotten calls and responses from that. Also, make business cards and never neglect to carry them around. You never know who you might meet that will strike up a conversation about music and end up wanting more information.

Regarding teaching and instruction books, I try to change things up. I have some VERY young ones (the youngest was 3 when she started), and for those, I like the "Music for Little Mozarts" series. For all older ages, I love the "Dozen A Day" books for exercise and technique. They are interesting and creative and cover a broad range of exercises. I tend to switch out lesson books frequently as we are only a year old, and I haven't really found a FAVORITE favorite yet. I also make sure to incorporate theory (notespelling for the very young) and history into every lesson. We are also in the process of purchasing some percussion instruments to help kids learn rhythms getting away from a metronome and piano for a minute.

One thing I picked up from another teacher: If you have an electric keyboard that makes different sounds this is great. Lay out a bunch of different pictures on the floor, and then play something on the keyboard and ask the student which picture it makes them think of. You can play sad things, happy things, royal things, rainy things, etc. It's a great little game.

Hope this helps and good luck with your studio.

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#1260097 - 09/01/09 04:08 AM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: TXPianoTeacher]
musicteacher541 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 11
Loc: Murray, UT 84123
There are, indeed, a lot of very helpful resources and information that music teachers may find on the internet. It is just that we must learn how to use them to become effective teachers and to make our music teaching career productive and sustainable.:)
_________________________
Music Teachers Helper : a great software to ease your music studio management worries

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#1347359 - 01/12/10 01:17 AM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: musicteacher541]
ILoveMusicTheory Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 24
Loc: Illinois, USA
I can barely believe it's been 15 years since I started teaching piano and guitar! I started after earning my music degree from a Chicago college. I'm now an extremely successful (wait-list!!) but a trite bit overloaded teacher w/my own Studio in the Chicago suburbs. All my best to you as a new teacher!!

Stuff I've learned:

--Yeah, I use Faber but all the methods lack in some huge way. Always be ready to supplement with your own innovations/worksheets/other books.

--Come up with a firm, easy to understand Studio Policy with a liability waiver that parents sign & return. You can have a look at mine at kimberlysteelemusic.com/policy.html and you are free to paraphrase it.

--Make sure you have a website. Better if it's your own name like MariannesAwesomePianoLessons.com or whatever. I swear, 50 percent of my new students are coming from my dot com these days.

--Make it funny. I have always incorporated humor into my lessons, silly voices, funny snippets of popular music thrown into Music Theory demos, et. al. They love it.

--Joining the MTNA can help. It costs around 100 dollars a year but it's tax deductible. If only to meet some other teachers and network at the very least.

--HAVE RECITALS. OMG so important. Mine are 2x a year and not mandatory. Nevertheless, 75 percent of the students participate.



Edited by ILoveMusicTheory (01/12/10 01:19 AM)
_________________________
I'm an independent piano & guitar teacher from Illinois.


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#1401804 - 03/23/10 05:06 AM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
Dror Perl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/20/10
Posts: 272
Loc: NY
Hello All...New member as well ! and i agree its a great website ! so much info !
i'm new to the website...but definitely not to piano or teaching piano.
to the question asked: good luck with the studio, i want to attack the question from a different angle, whaever books you got,and i saw that you got plenty of suggestions, make sure that you don't get locked into the same books and bore yourself and your student to death...keep it fresh, thats the important thing, find always new music, find different music for different students, bring them music that they like in addition to whatever method books you use to teach the fundementals, transcribe music of their choice to them, with them, you probably get the drift...

as for the advertise part...craigslist and flyers at the music stores and supermarket can't heart

how long...i think that no longer than 45 min..and you got to remember to be sensitive to it, each lesson has its own momentum

as for how much to charge...that depends on where are you located, i think that probably in every state the market is very different.

good luck!

Dror Perl. Pianist, Composer, teacher, author of the coming soon COLOR piano books series. www.SheerPiano.com, www.myspace.com/120674416, look me up on facebook

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#1402707 - 03/24/10 11:41 AM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: jazzyclassical]
Weedy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/23/10
Posts: 19
Loc: Alberta Canada
Marianne,

I am new here as well and since I have been in the teaching business for about 2 or 3 hundred years I thought I would share a bit of a different take on what it is to be a great teacher.

First I have to agree with all the advice you have received in this thread. You can never stop learning. Now having said that I will share my story as a first year band teacher that will give you a bit to ponder.

My first year teaching I was teaching at 3 different school. On the first day of classes just before my first class the Principal took me aside and gave me this advice. In a gruff and assertive voice He said, "In my school teachers to do not teach math, they don't teach science, nor do they teach language arts or physical education and I sure as hell hope your not going to teach music!". Well I was stunned to say the least. I had just graduated with a Bach of Music Education and had been chosen to take over a very large and successful Band program. Who was this hick telling me not to teach music? So I asked him what do you want me to teach if not music? He responded with a one word answer, "Students", and walked away.

Now with 30 years of hindsight behind me it was the single most valuable lesson a teacher could be taught. Over the years my PrinciPAL was proven correct many times.

Over the years I have been reminded over and over of this lesson that no matter how much we strive to learn teaching methods, techniques and become better musicians we must never forget that we are really not teaching music or piano we are indeed teaching students.

Over the years music has really not changed much and really the most interesting and rewarding aspect of being a music teacher is not teaching music or piano, but your students. They are far more interesting and surprising than teaching music theory.

In 30 years when you look back you will not remember the music taught as much as you will remember the students.
_________________________
Gehres Weed
Music Teacher's Office
Music Teacher's Games

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#1411685 - 04/05/10 06:07 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Vildbas Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/05/10
Posts: 12
Loc: Sweden
Hi!

I'm looking for "A Piano Teacher's Legacy" by Richard Chronister.

Can't find it on any serios european homepage... Were have you bought your book?

Emil, Sweden
_________________________
Visit my homepage! Lots of weird music by me smile http://f1-game-download.com

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#1411806 - 04/05/10 09:55 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Vildbas]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
www.francesclarkcenter.org

There should be a link to the store.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#1418254 - 04/16/10 12:38 AM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
tdow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/13/10
Posts: 203
Loc: Canada
So exciting that you are choosing this profession right out of high school!

You're asking some big questions - but as someone who also started teaching young here are my most important suggestions below. I never expected to be able to teach full time, but now, 10 years later, I run a studio of over 300 students....so if you have the desire it can be done!

1) Advertising yourself: It is really important when you're first starting out (and are competing with other more experienced and well-known piano teachers) to choose a niche market. Decide what area of piano teaching you are passionate about and direct all of your marketing to this target group. Once you've identified this group, select areas where these people congregate and centre your advertising here.

2) Try offering a period of free lessons. Our studio regularly holds "one month free trial lessons". It costs you nothing but your time and people WILL phone as it's fairly substantial to offer this. Then, wow them with your amazingly engaging lessons and they'll be hooked!

3) Charge the going rate. Nobody wants cheap lessons as it carries a negative connotation. Don't charge more, don't charge less. Word of mouth will accomplish much of your advertising if you are delivering what you promise. Don't sell yourself short with charging a nominal fee. Show confidence in your abilities.

4) 30 minute lessons are perfect for beginning students ages 4-15. Teens or beginning adults do well wtih 45 minutes. Unless a student is an advanced player, anything longer than that becomes too much for both the teacher and the student.

There is much to know when starting a new studio - but if you decide what kind of program you are going to teach, advertise this program to a niche market, and deliver fantastic lessons you'll be well on your way to having a successful business.

Good luck!
_________________________
Piano Teaching Resources with Personality
www.teachpianotoday.com
http://www.pianogeekweek.com

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#1423659 - 04/24/10 11:26 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: tdow]
Brinestone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 352
When do you teach 300 students? I'm finding that I can't start teaching until 3:00 because my students get out of school at 2:45. I must stop teaching, at least for a while, at 5:00 so I can make and eat dinner. I could probably teach a few more lessons in the evenings if I didn't have young children and a small house.

But 300? Do you teach at a music school? Do you teach them in groups?
_________________________
Piano teacher since 2008, member of NFMC

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#1423678 - 04/24/10 11:48 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Brinestone]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
Tdow runs a studio and is not the only teacher.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#1423688 - 04/25/10 12:02 AM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Minniemay]
Brinestone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 352
Phew! That makes sense.
_________________________
Piano teacher since 2008, member of NFMC

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#1454350 - 06/10/10 11:47 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: D Dillon]
melodian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/10
Posts: 52
Originally Posted By: D Dillon

Another suggestion, but one that will take a lot more preparation, is to have a website on which the students' performances can be posted for their friends and relatives to see. This gives them regular motivation to try and perfect their pieces as much as possible. If you like, you may visit my site at www.pianodreamsstudio.com.



I just browsed a couple of performances there and from what I've seen it seems that your students play well and I think it is great that you have your site displaying their fine playing . I'm relatively new to teaching so it is of special interest to see what pieces/arrangements are chosen for performance. Thank you for the link as an example.

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#1470521 - 07/08/10 01:43 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5276
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: Marianne Dashwood
New member here. This is an amazing site. I am so glad that I found it out! smile

I am going to graduate highschool soon, and I am planning to open up a small studio in my home. I own a grand piano, and my family will be moving into town and I will be closer to my future students homes.
I just want to start out with some young beginners maybe between 4 and 10.

Can anyone give me some good advice as to what books it will be necessary to purchase before starting out? How should I advertise myself? How long should I make me lessons? How much should I charge?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks.


I'm new to this thread but am troubled by a few things. Someone who graduates from high school is thinking about becoming a piano teacher and is asking for which method books to use?

My initial question would be, what makes the original poster think she is qualified to teach to begin with? Shouldn't she already have a good idea of what books to use if any?

I've had a few bad teachers in my life, all with advanced musical degrees and here is someone graduating from high school ready to open a studio. What am I missing here?





_________________________
website

mp3\wav files

AvantGrand N3, CP5

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#1476428 - 07/18/10 07:44 AM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
anamarme Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/21/10
Posts: 10
Welcome to the world of teaching! I believe lessons should be only as long as the student can handle. For little ones ages 4-8, I always make them 30 min two times per week and older ones, one hour long, once or twice a week depending on what the parents want. The cost depends on where you live and ongoing rate. 10 years ago I use to charge $30 per hour in Broward County....now I charge $25 in north Florida and I know there are many who charge more and some less. I have the students purchase their own books (exercise book, theory, song, lesson, and extra song book of choice). I stopped teaching years ago cuz students just don't study like they use to..time is much more limited these days. I have taken on one student again and it has brought back so many memories of why I loved it. Good luck!

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#1525688 - 09/30/10 02:48 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
David Sprunger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/07
Posts: 162
Loc: Oregon, USA
I'd like to throw in my 2¢ - one thing that makes sense from a business point of view is that you need to make sure your students pay at the beginning of the month for a full month. The new policy also needs to state that if they miss a lesson, they will receive a makeup lesson if there's time available. If YOU miss a lesson, you obviously have to make it up no matter what.

Back when I had a full teaching schedule, (60 students!) it took me about a year to come to this policy. Without it, I found that students would be a lot more apt to miss their lessons and then expect me to sit there was nothing to do for 30 minutes plus find a time to make their lesson up.

Like one of the earlier posters said, you have to have confidence in your abilities, and there's nothing wrong with having good policies like this.

Your piano students will respect you for it.
_________________________
David Sprunger - Learn to play piano by ear using the revolutionary technique of "Rhythmic Patterns". Piano Lessons Homepage here - includes library of piano lessons for beginners through advanced piano and keyboard players.

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#1575498 - 12/12/10 05:51 PM piano software for reading standard repertoire [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
Bruce Pennington Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 6
Hi, this is Bruce Pennington out here in Colorado Springs, CO. I just joined the website and am enthused about learning some new things for my students and myself.

My big search now is to find a software setup to read anything from the standard rep., that I can find as a MIDI file then play along with it. Of course, I'll need to adjust the tempos for varying degrees of difficulty. It would be ideal to have the software give an accuracy rating.

Synthesia has something like "Guitar Hero" but I haven't heard anything about the program using standard notation yet.

Any ideas?

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#1575528 - 12/12/10 06:46 PM Re: piano software for reading standard repertoire [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
Canonie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 1941
Loc: Australia
Yes, start a new thread for this question on the ABF. There is not enough activity on this thread, but over there are some real Nerds who are very helpful with this sort of technical stuff.

And
_________________________

Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
Alex Ross.

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#1575679 - 12/13/10 12:23 AM Re: piano software for reading standard repertoire [Re: Canonie]
Bruce Pennington Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 6
Sorry, I'm not very proficient at this kind of thing. What is ABF and how to I lind to it?

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#1575728 - 12/13/10 03:35 AM Re: piano software for reading standard repertoire [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
Canonie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 1941
Loc: Australia
Sorry, I'll explain better. It's another of the subforums in Piano World. You'll find it under Most Popular Forums (button at top) and it's full name is Adult Beginners Forum.

Once there, choose New Topic button near top of page and create a new thread, give the thread the title "piano software for reading standard repertoire" and you'll get lots of responses. There's nothing at all wrong with posting here it's just that I know that it doesn't get much traffic these days. The only reply you've had so far is me, and I have no idea how to answer your question frown

I hope that helps smile
_________________________

Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
Alex Ross.

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#1575853 - 12/13/10 10:23 AM Re: piano software for reading standard repertoire [Re: Canonie]
Bruce Pennington Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 6
Once again, let me apologize. I'm not a beginner, I've played jazz piano all over the US and even alittle in Europe. I've taught Jazz at the college level. I've changed from playing gigs for a living to teaching and alot of piano tekking.
Most of my jazz piano students including myself do not read as well as we would like. So I'm looking for a way to put real piano music into a computer so that we can attempt to read real music in time (more or less)and have the end product evaluated. Something I think would be a useful tool.

I know the best way to improving sight reading skills is to work at it in a real situation ie., accompanying at church, dance classes, etc.. Many of us poor readers don't have that opportunity, even getting together with another pianist of similar reading skills have trouble getting together.

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#1622517 - 02/17/11 10:44 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
pianoeagle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 218
Loc: Texas
Hi Marianne -

Before you get started, I would recommend doing a market analysis. Call at least 15-20 teachers in your area and find out how much they charge, what type of instrument they teach on, what their training/education in music is, what their requirements for incoming students are, and what associations they are affiliated with.

Compare yourself with their qualifications and start getting some ideas on how your pricing can compare with theirs - i.e. if they have a Masters in Piano Performance, they'll be able to charge a lot more than you will.

Then, speak with a number of parents and find out how much they'd be willing to pay for lesson and what their expectations for their kids would be, given your qualifications. If you find out that parents in your area are only willing to pay $125 a month for lessons, and the average teacher charges $100-$150 a month, then why would you ask for $190 a month? You'd be pricing yourself out of the market.

Really understand what your potential 'customers' would want, and that'll answer all of your questions.
_________________________
Children's piano instructor
Member NGPT, MTNA/TMTA/PMTA, NFMC/SJFMC

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#1622549 - 02/17/11 11:52 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
keysmccarthy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/15/11
Posts: 1
Loc: Ireland
Hi. New to the forums here. This is actually my first post shocked

Just thought I'd swoop in and agree with you Bruce. I'm a piano teacher and I get my students to pay 4 weeks in advance, this way if they don't show up to a lesson, they have paid for it anyway, so you aren't sitting doing nothing for 20 minutes (or however long) and not getting paid for it.

A few friends of mine also teach, and one in particular, gets her students to pay at the end of each lesson. But she is always going on about them not showing up and the hassles of sorting out money every lesson, etc. In my opinion, if the pupil has already paid for the lesson, they are MUCH more likely to show up. Otherwise, you leave them the opportunity to just not "feel" like going to their piano lesson and "pulling a sicky".

I teach for 20 minute lessons, as thats all Ive ever known. But I find it to be just the right length of a lesson, as over that amount of time, from experience, the kids start to loose concentration and not really listen to what you are saying, making the end of the lesson a waste of time and money.

However, I live in Ireland, and thats the standard lesson time for every teacher I know over here, I wonder is the status Quo different were other people live? smile


keysmccarthy

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#1661107 - 04/16/11 06:41 AM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
PianoLessonGirl Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/15/11
Posts: 17
Loc: Indiana
Hello,
I'm a bit young to be giving advice, but I've been teaching piano for about three years and can tell you how I've done that. I only charge $7.00 per half hour and people are happy to pay it. I don't have that many students due to school but could easily have more at that price. There will be a fair amount of turnover. I have a new student's parents sign a contract stating they will lose their money for the lesson if no show-no call. I start students out with Bastien Piano Basics for the Young Beginner. I learned on it so it is comfy for me to teach out of. Hope this helped.
Dakota
_________________________
My newest page is: www.pianolessongirl.net/top-ten-motivational-inspirational-songs-ever/
I am creating my own piano lesson system that I hope will be 'cutting edge':)
Enjoy the travels on your musical journey.
~Piano Lesson Girl,
Dakota

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#1683070 - 05/23/11 12:43 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
NeilOS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/06
Posts: 617
Loc: Los Angeles
Other posters have given some good advice regarding books. Here's another one that you may not have thought of: Teaching Piano In Groups. Even if you plan to teach individuals, there are many useful teaching strategies here that work with individuals, i.e., how to teach note reading, rhythm, etc. My blog has many other resources that you might find useful.

My best advice: Remember that you are dealing with individual beings, each with a different set of learning abilities. Some will be more aurally gifted; others will be more visual or tactile. So, try to incorporate a variety of teaching strategies into your lesson plans.

Best of luck.
_________________________
Concert Pianist, University Professor, Private Teacher in Los Angeles
Blog: http://www.pianoteacherlosangeles.com/

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#1719038 - 07/22/11 10:19 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
TonalHarmony Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/22/11
Posts: 73
Loc: Texas
I suggest using the John Thompson's Modern Course For The Piano, Teaching Little Fingers To Play. It is a book in which the pieces progressively get harder. I recommend it as an excellent start for beginners of any age.

As for the length of the lesson, I believe that varies on the skill of the student, and the progress they make each week. I recommend times of 3O, 45, and 60 minutes.

The price depends on your choice. I know of a teacher who charges $80 for 45 minutes. Really, it depends on the skill of the teacher.

As for advertising, I'm not quite sure. My former piano teacher gained her students by friends and through friends.

Best of Luck,

Joy


Edited by TonalHarmony (07/22/11 10:22 PM)
_________________________
Currently playing:

Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata
Mozart Sonate
Mozart's 21st Concerto Mov.3
Maple Leaf Rag

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#1719098 - 07/23/11 01:01 AM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
christineka Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 331
Loc: Utah
I highly recommend the piano teachers' yahoo group to learn a lot about teaching piano. Their top recommended methods teach music with the landmark/interval method. The popular ones are: Celebrate Piano, Music Pathways, and Music Tree. I've taught a few kids with Celebrate Piano and Music Pathways. Both are great methods, but Celebrate Piano is geared toward the 6-8 year old. I'm very impressed with Celebrate Piano. My son is 8 years old, has played for a year and a half and can play in the key of F# major without flinching. He can even do it while reading the piece in the key of D flat. He can transpose better than I can and play lots of accidentals better than I can. He will be starting with a new teacher in the fall, who uses Artistry at the Piano. (Since she developed and wrote it.) I've heard glowing reports of how awesome Artistry is. I'm looking forward to learning more about it. Remember to buy the teacher's manual for any method you want to use. Also, offer lessons longer than 30 minutes. After a year, kids need longer lessons to be able to learn everything. Learning piano isn't just about playing the notes on the piano, but learning basic musicianship, composition, ear training, transposition, and so on.
_________________________
Christine *mom* to
4 daughters, 2 sons
*1912 Lindman Player-Piano*

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#1727354 - 08/05/11 04:01 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
JoshWheeler Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/18/09
Posts: 12
Loc: Santa Clarita, California
Just to chime in with a lot of the all ready great advice -

Marketing

Website - definitely a must have now days
Facebook Account - great way to extend your network digitally as well
Business Cards - yup
Schools - let them know you exist, if parent's ask they may have a list they distribute
Music Stores


Methodology

I use four different methods for kids and the Alfred Adult All in One. I've found that certain children do better with different methodologies. As soon as it's practical and there's an interest, add additional music and excersises. I've found that my older child students gain a renewed interest when they don't feel that they're in a "kid book" any more.

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#1747699 - 09/06/11 07:38 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
mrscostco Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 29
Loc: Texas

I'm interested in teaching piano & voice again after several years hiatus (I've been teaching elementary music/choir in the meantime). However, it seems as if there's a piano teacher on every block here in Dallas, but it's still what I would love to do, and we're in no position to move. I'm thinking of trying to advertise and see if I can cultivate some interest, but I'm already feeling discouraged and a bit intimidated. Does anyone have any advice specifically for teaching in what seems to be a saturated market?
_________________________
B.M.Ed.
M.M.Ed.

Elementary Music/Choir Teacher

Estonia L190

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#1755712 - 09/19/11 11:40 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: mrscostco]
Joe Valmonte Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/19/11
Posts: 7
@MrsCostco - Contrary to popular opinion, saturation is Excellent! People that move away from saturation and competition don't know how to express their value.

That is the perfect time to clean up and make a splash!

It's all about confidence and positioning.

The short answer: See what everyone else is doing...and do the opposite. You can do it!

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#1756820 - 09/21/11 06:18 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
mrscostco Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 29
Loc: Texas
@Joe: Thanks for your encouragement. That is an interesting way to look at it! smile
_________________________
B.M.Ed.
M.M.Ed.

Elementary Music/Choir Teacher

Estonia L190

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#1782628 - 11/03/11 07:34 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
pianomcl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 104
Loc: Texas
I totally agree with Josh - a good website is absolutely necessary! As far as I'm concerned, internet presence is the name of the game.
_________________________
Matt McLaughlin
piano - composition - theory
Austin, TX

http://www.pianoblog.com - The Famous Piano Blog

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#1785631 - 11/08/11 11:23 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
Glowry Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/14/11
Posts: 38
Loc: Banned
I think music is a best way to less our depression, tension, pressure & all and piano is one & only instrument which is create a beautiful environment of joy & happiness I know because I an also a good piano player lolz....

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#1796257 - 11/26/11 12:33 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: mrscostco]
lovelandpiano Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/13/11
Posts: 13
There is always a need for good music teachers... you just need to be different and get your name out there. A great website is a must.. that is how I get the majority of my students. I have doubled my studio size this last year, and grown 400% in the last two years... and that's with the crummy economy! I learned a lot about website design, search engine optimization, metatags, and more from www.musicacademysuccess.com. It is a coaching program designed for music school owners to improve and build their schools. I built my website on my own, with no previous experience, and I am now #1 in the Google rankings for my area. This is HUGE, and it is worth the investment in Music Academy Success right there. I have also made substantial improvements to the studio and have become a much better business owner and teacher. I would definitely recommend checking it out!
I wish you the best and hope you find your niche. Let me know if you have any questions or want to discuss ideas... I'm always looking for better ways to do things!
karen smile

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#1806852 - 12/15/11 06:45 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
trhmusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 41
Loc: Texas
Marianne,
I have been teaching for 12 years. I love using the Alfred series for children! I know I saw several posts about them, there are several to look at. They also have a series for young children called Little Mozarts. That curriculum is set up like a story line with characters named Mozart Mouse and Beethoven Bear learning the piano as they go. The teachers kit comes with a stuffed bear and mouse, I have the bear sitting on the low end of the piano and the mouse sitting on the high end of the piano, this visually helps children in knowing the different ends and you can ask them if the sound is low like a bear or high like a mouse.

Not every child is going to learn the same way, so it is a good idea to try out a few different methods and see what you like most and what strengths or weaknesses are in each. Don't think you have to stick to just the books in a curriculum either, teachers often supplement with different kinds of music that the students are interested in learning. (I do Disney, Christmas, Pop, etc...)

I hope this helped!

Tracy Hall
www.trhmusic.org
_________________________
Tracy Hall
Piano Teacher
http://www.trhmusic.org
"Bringing the joy of music to the next generation"

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#1826001 - 01/16/12 04:07 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: swingal]
Miss Pam Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 1
Loc: Seattle, Washington
"I rather have the feeling that the art of music is something deep inside the mind and senses that you either have or have not got."

I think music is equivalent to reading. No one says that you are a reader or not a reader. We expect everyone to read. It is just that some enjoy it more than others. I think that everyone should learn music. Not everyone will become musicians, but all will benefit from it.

"So many times I have seen children being taught the piano only to drop it eventually."

There are many reasons to stop something. As a kid, I quit piano at least twice, once because my teacher made me hate it. If she had been my first teacher, I never would have gone back to piano. Perhaps it isn't the student but the teacher? I don't take lessons now, partly because of cost and partly because I don't need lessons to learn at this point in my life. The point I'm making is that learning music should be motivating. I teach children from age 3 and they love their lessons.

"I wonder sometimes if the children got too much music in the house."

Are you serious? Is there such a thing as "too much music"?

I think it is very sad that you never learned to read music. There is so much music out there that you will never be able to play and so much more to music than just jazz. You obviously have an affinity toward music, why limit yourself to just one area? I teach my students how to play by ear as well as how to read. Both skills are important!

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#1839104 - 02/05/12 04:35 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
johnsmithlikespp Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/04/12
Posts: 1
Hi everybody!
Picking up from what Josh was saying a few months ago, I just found this webpage which seems a fine way to advertise ourselves. www.jukeboxlessons.com
I’ll be back in a couple of months to comment on the results.
Cheers

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#1839840 - 02/06/12 09:54 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Miss Pam]
Theme&Variations Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/10
Posts: 135
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Miss Pam
I think music is equivalent to reading. No one says that you are a reader or not a reader. We expect everyone to read. It is just that some enjoy it more than others. I think that everyone should learn music. Not everyone will become musicians, but all will benefit from it.


What an interesting way of putting it; I like it!
_________________________
Private piano teacher since 2003
Member:
ASME (Australian Society for Music Education),
ANZCA (Australian and New Zealand Cultural Arts),
KMEIA (Kodály Music Education Institute of Australia).

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#1843721 - 02/13/12 10:03 AM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: jazzyclassical]
Ray Parkin Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 1
Loc: Wigan, England.
Hello everyone!
I too am a new member, although I have been teaching for 40 years! - I only discovered this forum today, and it looks good.
At the moment I use The Music Tree but only the first two books (Time to Begin, and Book 1). Towards the end of Book 1, I begin to introduce The Russian School of Piano Playing, and also pieces from Mikrokosmos (Bartok). I also use some Rock pieces by David Helliwell (only available on the web: www.mdmusic.com) and various other pieces by various composers.
I find that this "diet" avoids two pitfalls: hand position problems, and only learning one kind of music. It gives the kind of mixture of repertoire which is progressive, whilst having sufficient variety in style to keep pupils both interested, and open to different kinds of music.
Does anyone else use The Russian School, or Mikrokosmos? - I haven't noticed them mentioned here, but I have not had time to look at everything yet! I would be interested to hear how others get on with them.

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#1883669 - 04/21/12 01:20 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
primavolta.co.uk Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/24/12
Posts: 5
Loc: UK
Spend time building up your resources, your 'toolkit' so to speak. To market your tuition we started out with local leaflets and a basic website. Aim to focus on keywords on your website so that Google picks it up and focus on using them well in your home page. Think about how to retain your early pupils. Feel free to look at www.primavolta.co.uk for ideas.

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#1895349 - 05/11/12 12:30 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
frankeric Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/24/11
Posts: 50
Loc: colorado
In my 60yrs on this planet I've learned that everyone has to make a living. However really good music teachers do it for the love of seeing a person progress not making money.
IMO

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#1898927 - 05/18/12 12:49 AM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
Mozart'sGal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/17/12
Posts: 82
I found this thread rather interesting, as I myself plan to begin teaching in a couple years in much the same age group.

This is great!


Edited by Mozart'sGal (05/18/12 01:40 AM)
_________________________
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Student of 5 years

“It’s not what your are, it’s what you don’t become that hurts.”
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#1921314 - 07/01/12 03:08 AM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
Dipsy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/17/12
Posts: 320
I've just been asked to teach a 5 year old girl the piano ( I already teach her older sister). If anyone has any suggestions for resources/activities/music to help with this I'd be very grateful. She enjoys art and seems unable to concentrate for longer than about 10-15 mins.

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#2027292 - 02/05/13 06:35 AM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
rocklandpiano Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/26/13
Posts: 19
Are you looking for a good piano teacher? Great! Nothing can be more rewarding than learning to play the piano.
Plus, there are many real benefits to playing piano.
Players often talk of the stress relief of playing their piano and about “getting lost” in the experience for hours.

There are three keys to having a successful experience with piano lessons.

First, you need a good instrument in proper working condition.

Many people have failed at lessons due to a poor instrument, mistakenly thinking that they “just didn’t have the knack”

Next, you need a firm commitment to faithfully go to lessons and practice at home.

Give yourself at least a year or two. There will definitely come a time when a tricky exercise or difficult new song will frustrate you and make you (or your child) want to give up.
But imagine the sense of accomplishment that you will get when you finally master that troublesome piece of music.


The third key to succes is finding the right piano teacher.

But, not all piano teachers are created equal. Some teachers specialize in teaching children; others prefer adults.
Many take on beginners while a few focus only on advanced students. Some teachers use a classical-based curriculum, but others teach jazz and pop music.
Armed with the right questions, you’ll be able to filter through the choices and find the best piano teacher for you.
_________________________
Piano players in Monsey, New York have relied on Charles Flaum since before 1990 for piano tuning, piano repairs and sage piano advice. Monsey, a family oriented village in Rockland County, is full of piano lovers with cherished pianos in their homes..

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#2029647 - 02/09/13 03:59 AM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
rocklandpiano Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/26/13
Posts: 19
I looked around and found a few links to threads that discuss this topic. You can probably find others by doing a search.

http://www.pianosupplies.com
All the Best.


Edited by Ken Knapp (02/09/13 05:46 AM)
Edit Reason: REMOVED ADVERTISING LINKS
_________________________
Piano players in Monsey, New York have relied on Charles Flaum since before 1990 for piano tuning, piano repairs and sage piano advice. Monsey, a family oriented village in Rockland County, is full of piano lovers with cherished pianos in their homes..

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#2253800 - 03/29/14 02:04 AM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
Biffcooper Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/28/14
Posts: 2
Loc: 73 Via Pico Plaza, San Clement...
Film youtube videos to help your students remember what they learned after each lesson!
_________________________
www.beachcitiesrockclub.com

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#2259365 - 04/09/14 09:44 PM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
BostonTeacher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/18/14
Posts: 40
For complete beginners I have been using the Piano Adventure series. I think they are better than Thompson and Alfred, and the other similar ones, but all in all I'm not happy because you are really limiting your students to play only music in C. At the beginning it's useful because they can't read well so they rely on finger numbers and they can start playing very quickly but once they're used to playing in C position , the right hand stays there for the preparatory and good part of level 1... It's very difficult to make them transition after more than a year being stuck in this hand position.
I try to only use the preparatory and level 1 books and once they're on level 1 I start introducing pieces such as Denes Agay The Joy of First Year Piano, which has pieces in different positions but as I said, even then, it takes a lot of time and resistance to get used to other positions.
I've been wanting to find a better way to get them started. At the very beginning you can pretty much get them used to whatever system you think it's best but which one to choose when there are so many?
I really admire the Russian school because they are able to transpose very easily.


Edited by BostonTeacher (04/09/14 09:46 PM)

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#2259578 - 04/10/14 09:12 AM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: BostonTeacher]
Chrisl Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/14
Posts: 176
Loc: Chicago, IL
Originally Posted By: BostonTeacher
For complete beginners I have been using the Piano Adventure series. I think they are better than Thompson and Alfred, and the other similar ones, but all in all I'm not happy because you are really limiting your students to play only music in C. At the beginning it's useful because they can't read well so they rely on finger numbers and they can start playing very quickly but once they're used to playing in C position , the right hand stays there for the preparatory and good part of level 1... It's very difficult to make them transition after more than a year being stuck in this hand position.
I try to only use the preparatory and level 1 books and once they're on level 1 I start introducing pieces such as Denes Agay The Joy of First Year Piano, which has pieces in different positions but as I said, even then, it takes a lot of time and resistance to get used to other positions.
I've been wanting to find a better way to get them started. At the very beginning you can pretty much get them used to whatever system you think it's best but which one to choose when there are so many?
I really admire the Russian school because they are able to transpose very easily.


Exactly! I was using Alfreds for a couple mos. before starting lessons. It does stay in middle C for way too long! My teacher has me using that exact Agay book bostonteacher mentioned, for this exact reason. And in fact, I'm now just starting to use other hand positions, and to be honest, it's still hard to move my hand and know where I am.
_________________________
Yamaha P105, Ravenscroft275, Sennheiser HD650

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#2316204 - 08/16/14 10:43 AM Re: Teaching, some questions. [Re: Marianne Dashwood]
Silver Keys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/21/13
Posts: 91
Loc: Upstate N.Y.

I'm not a teacher, but thought I'd add my 2 cents. My teacher started me on the John Thompson books together with "Dozen A Day" and "Fingerpower". The latter two consist of short technical exercises. As I've progresses we've dropped the Thompson and I now mostly work on pieces, supplemented with Dozen A Day and Fingerpower.

Btw, +1 to the "mystique" of piano. Had it ever since I was a kid.


Edited by Silver Keys (08/16/14 10:48 AM)
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So much music and so little time!
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