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#962098 - 11/17/08 08:39 PM teaching pedal
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4649
Loc: South Florida
OK, here goes. How early do you teach it.

How do you teach it?

Do you have problems with very young ones?

For instance, my youngest students have to sit right on the edge of a bench or whatever they use in order to reach the sustain pedal. In some instances this places them a little lower than I would like, so that elbows are a bit below their wrists. I started when very young, and because I was very small, I had to sit on the very edge, with a pillow.

They all seem to "grow into it", so I've never seen any problems as a result.
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#962099 - 11/17/08 09:12 PM Re: teaching pedal
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5834
Loc: Down Under
Some teachers use a pedal extender. I think they're fairly expensive - there have been threads about them in the past.

I too begin teaching pedal pretty early. Don't have time now, but I'll weigh in on this later \:\) .
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#962100 - 11/17/08 09:20 PM Re: teaching pedal
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5281
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
\:D me and sotto voce. I read this title as if "teaching" modified "pedal" and thought maybe it was the brake on the passenger side in a car that's used for driver's ed!

Carry on -

Cathy
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#962101 - 11/17/08 11:15 PM Re: teaching pedal
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4649
Loc: South Florida
I never even considered pedal extenders, or whatever they are called, because then students are limited as to where (what instruments) they can play.
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#962102 - 11/17/08 11:55 PM Re: teaching pedal
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5278
Loc: Orange County, CA
I use pedal extensions A LOT for my students. I make my students sit quite high, and I would never ask them to sit at the edge of the bench just so they can reach the pedals.

Young students need to start using pedals within the first year of piano. They need to get accustomed to hearing the sonorities a piano can produce. Since kids start playing at a younger age than ever, pedal extensions are more than necessary.

It is also wonderful to see that many teachers in my area are starting to use pedal extensions. When you go to a piano festival or competition, you see a bunch of moms fixing the pedals. Funny sight.
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#962103 - 11/18/08 12:28 AM Re: teaching pedal
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4649
Loc: South Florida
 Quote:
Originally posted by AZNpiano:
I use pedal extensions A LOT for my students. I make my students sit quite high, and I would never ask them to sit at the edge of the bench just so they can reach the pedals.
I've never used them, but my students are not going to competitions. They play a lot of places that would never, in a million years, have such things.

For example, a six and a half year-old I'm teaching is going to play for his school around the beginning of December, and we've been preparing to make sure he is rock solid. Although he's younger than I was when I started, and a bit smaller, you might be suprised at how natural he looks. Believe it or not, when you sit on the very end, as he does and I did, you are not at all off balance. Its gets easier when you're bigger, of course, but the weight is rather well distributed if the feet are about shoulder width, with the right heel very firmly planted.

In a perfect world there would be perfect pianos everywhere, all with extenders. Still, I'm a fanatic about "no-pain-playing", so if there was any discomfort, anywhere, I'd not only hear about it but would immediately take steps to stop it. At least I hope so!
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#962104 - 11/18/08 02:44 AM Re: teaching pedal
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Once their feet reach the floor I use it wherever appropriate. If you teach arm weight it's easier. So often it's foot up with arm down and foot quickly down again. The foot with the arm helps synchronize.
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#962105 - 11/18/08 02:52 AM Re: teaching pedal
Sal_ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/08
Posts: 355
Loc: Lacey, WA
When do you start teaching it? AZN said within the first year. Is this for developmental reasons or does it relate more to repertoire?

How do you teach it?

I use the pedal often when I play, but was never taught more that what the pedal markings on the page mean. It's something I've just adapted to when playing for myself. (I know, this is something I should know more about as a teacher, but better to ask than remain ignorant, if in higher standing.)

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#962106 - 11/18/08 03:32 AM Re: teaching pedal
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4649
Loc: South Florida
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
Once their feet reach the floor I use it wherever appropriate. If you teach arm weight it's easier. So often it's foot up with arm down and foot quickly down again. The foot with the arm helps synchronize. [/b]
Pinochio pedal. Or Mr. Ed. Foot goes up with hand, down with hand. And does nothing.

This is what most students who come to me do, no matter how many years of lessons they have had. It's so easy to teach it correctly, and once people get it right, they never go back to doing it wrong again.
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#962107 - 11/18/08 04:36 AM Re: teaching pedal
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Pinocchio pedal! Great, I'll use that analogy.
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http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#962108 - 11/18/08 04:59 AM Re: teaching pedal
lotuscrystal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/22/08
Posts: 304
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
I teach pedalling technique in 'slow motion'...in order for them to co-ordinate effective technique.

As the hands come up, pedal stays down, just after hands go down, pedal goes up and down simultaneously on the exact note...this erases past harmonies, and catches the new one...

I find students can only grasp the process if practiced very slowly, then somehow, the ear and body work quite smoothly together, as it becomes second nature...usually only takes a week of two, once they appreciate the sound difference, their ear guides them as to the success/mistakes of their method efforts.

As for small children, it's a real challenge for them to use pedal at all, for the reasons you've mentioned above. I've never used a pedal extension. Not really my thing. In my opinion, if a student is too young to handle the pedal (ie, heal coming off floor, balancing on the edge of the bench, or foot hurting from the pressure of pushing down the pedal), then I just won't use it, until they're ready.

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#962109 - 11/18/08 05:11 AM Re: teaching pedal
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
 Quote:
Originally posted by lotuscrystal:
As the hands come up, pedal stays down, just after hands go down, pedal goes up and down simultaneously on the exact note...this erases past harmonies, and catches the new one...
[/b]
Surely it's hands down pedal up/down simultaneously?
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snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#962110 - 11/18/08 05:39 AM Re: teaching pedal
lotuscrystal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/22/08
Posts: 304
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
 Quote:
Originally posted by lotuscrystal:
As the hands come up, pedal stays down, just after hands go down, pedal goes up and down simultaneously on the exact note...this erases past harmonies, and catches the new one...
[/b]
Surely it's hands down pedal up/down simultaneously? [/b]
Yes, in my description however, I just also covered the moment the hands came up and that the pedal should remain down...following from there, we're saying the same thing...amazing how many students think hands come up, pedal comes up!...which leaves a huge hic-cup in the music...it's like drunk pedalling! *hic* lol

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#962111 - 11/18/08 07:10 PM Re: teaching pedal
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4649
Loc: South Florida
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
Pinocchio pedal! Great, I'll use that analogy. [/b]
And with two C's, ahem, two Cs. \:\)
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#962112 - 11/18/08 07:25 PM Re: teaching pedal
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4649
Loc: South Florida
 Quote:
Originally posted by lotuscrystal:
In my opinion, if a student is too young to handle the pedal (ie, heal coming off floor, balancing on the edge of the bench, or foot hurting from the pressure of pushing down the pedal), then I just won't use it, until they're ready.
Usually small kids are not ready for pedaling, as I teach it, until they have played for six months to a year. Some may need longer. However, now and then I get a very talented young one who playing something that needs pedal, and I would never tell them that they can't use it just because they have to sit more on the edge of the bench, as I did when I was young.

It's a judgment call. I'm sure you watch very carefully, on a student by student basis, to see who is ready and who is not. \:\)
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