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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

Piano & Music Accessories
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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

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!


#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

#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

#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.

#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:


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.

#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:


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

#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

#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

Piano technique for all levels

#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

#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.)


#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.

#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.

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

Registered: 04/16/08
Posts: 49
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
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

#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

#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.

#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.


#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
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.

#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!

#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!

#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.

#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

#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

#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...

I teach not for business, but for opportunity to give another child the love for music.

#949978 - 10/26/08 07:43 PM Re: Teaching, some questions.
Gary D. Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 5036
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:

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.


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

And this is bad advice:

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

#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.

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

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 108
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.

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.

#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

#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

#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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