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#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: 2235
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 Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
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: 859
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 Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
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: 2235
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 Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
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: 859
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: 11935
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: 11935
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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