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#2138048 - 08/24/13 01:28 AM 18 year old teacher needing help!
Abbie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/23/13
Posts: 3
Loc: AZ
Hi everyone! This is my very first post, so "HI"! smile

My question is:

I've been teaching piano for a couple years, but have only taught younger students (6-7 years old). I've been using the Music Tree curriculum and am enjoying it thus far. But, there is a boy who is 13 wanting to take lessons--and I just don't know where to start him or with what curriculum. confused He is a much older student, but knows nothing about piano. I'm afraid if I start him at beginner level Music Tree, he'll get bored. I just don't know what to do. How would you go about teaching an older child?

Can someone advise me on this subject?

Thank you so much!
Abbie

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#2138050 - 08/24/13 01:41 AM Re: 18 year old teacher needing help! [Re: Abbie]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5421
Loc: Orange County, CA
Welcome to the forum!

I teach a 13-year-old beginner as well, and she's using Piano Adventures with no qualms. You can always start the student with a familiar method, and then switch out when he gets bored. Just be a little more vigilant for signs of ennui.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2138056 - 08/24/13 02:00 AM Re: 18 year old teacher needing help! [Re: Abbie]
Abbie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/23/13
Posts: 3
Loc: AZ
Thank you for your reply!

Did you start your 13 year old beginner with the primer level in Piano Adventures? What level did you start her at?

I need all the help I can get! smile

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#2138077 - 08/24/13 03:06 AM Re: 18 year old teacher needing help! [Re: Abbie]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
I like Alfred Premier for that age, it's not babyish but it does give them what they need. Start with lesson 1A.

Basically a beginner is a beginner whatever age they are. Don't expect him to learn faster. Do expect him to blow his own nose. wink
_________________________
I am a competent teacher.


www.justfingers.co.uk
www.babysinging.co.uk

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#2138092 - 08/24/13 04:20 AM Re: 18 year old teacher needing help! [Re: Abbie]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
This issue comes up frequently ... and yet the most progressive solution
(for fear of boring the student with dull primers) is to find a piece of music that the student likes (and within reach) and steadily work
through the piece with the student (perhaps only two measures at a time).

It will be found, by using this approach, that the memory starts laking over, making sight-reading (which can be a bugg-bear) that much easier.

The road is that more jolly (and less stony) when the student is having fun.

regards, btb

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#2138097 - 08/24/13 04:32 AM Re: 18 year old teacher needing help! [Re: ten left thumbs]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5421
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
Basically a beginner is a beginner whatever age they are. Don't expect him to learn faster.

In my experience, kids who start piano later actually do learn faster. A lot faster. They actually remember what you taught them from the week before.

Of course, there's a lot of variation from individual to individual. The fastest learner I'm teaching now is 8, having learned piano for 3 years. He's already outplaying several older students who have been playing piano for more than 6 years.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2138098 - 08/24/13 04:37 AM Re: 18 year old teacher needing help! [Re: Abbie]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5421
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Abbie
Did you start your 13 year old beginner with the primer level in Piano Adventures? What level did you start her at?

No, she transferred to me already knowing how to read notes, so I started her in 2A. She's in 2B now, and moving swimmingly, much faster than my younger students.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2138121 - 08/24/13 06:39 AM Re: 18 year old teacher needing help! [Re: Abbie]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Snakeoil chaps ... you can't be expected to take piano lessons for 3 years and not be able to play "Happy Birthday" in the first week.

Too many teachers grab the loot, and couldn't care less about the
boredom factor ... which eventualy becomes so engrained, that the student adlibs excuses for not having to attend class.

The secret to encouraging progress is to have fun playing something the student LIKES!!

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#2138130 - 08/24/13 07:29 AM Re: 18 year old teacher needing help! [Re: Abbie]
emilypianist89 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/07/12
Posts: 82
I had a student of a similar age and we used Piano Adventures but the Old Beginner series, not the regular series. It was very similar to the regular piano adventures, but went at a faster pace.
_________________________
Pianist
Private Piano Teacher

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#2138199 - 08/24/13 10:32 AM Re: 18 year old teacher needing help! [Re: emilypianist89]
red-rose Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 177
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Originally Posted By: emilypianist89
I had a student of a similar age and we used Piano Adventures but the Old Beginner series, not the regular series. It was very similar to the regular piano adventures, but went at a faster pace.

This is what I have always done, and would recommend. (I believe it's called "accelerated piano adventures for the older beginner.")

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#2138201 - 08/24/13 10:33 AM Re: 18 year old teacher needing help! [Re: emilypianist89]
re22 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/04/11
Posts: 147
Originally Posted By: emilypianist89
I had a student of a similar age and we used Piano Adventures but the Old Beginner series, not the regular series. It was very similar to the regular piano adventures, but went at a faster pace.


I agree with this or Alfreds Premier while supplementing with familiar songs you new student enjoys.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher

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#2138236 - 08/24/13 11:50 AM Re: 18 year old teacher needing help! [Re: Abbie]
Amy B Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/12
Posts: 78
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Ditto on the PA Accelerated, or Alfred's Premier, with a slight lean towards Piano Adventure's Accelerated. I've used both with this age group with good results, and they really seem to like both of those. Also, I agree with what others have said about how fast the older kids learn. They learn quickly, and are generally pretty enthusiastic!!
_________________________
Shigeru Kawai SK6 (as of 10/22/12!!)
Ivers and Pond upright
MTNA, CAPMT

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#2138368 - 08/24/13 03:30 PM Re: 18 year old teacher needing help! [Re: Amy B]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5421
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Amy B
Also, I agree with what others have said about how fast the older kids learn. They learn quickly, and are generally pretty enthusiastic!!

That's because, in general, older beginners actually want piano lessons. Most younger beginners start piano because everybody else starts piano at that age, and that's why teachers have more battles with the ones who are learning piano against their will.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2138381 - 08/24/13 03:47 PM Re: 18 year old teacher needing help! [Re: Abbie]
Opus_Maximus Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 1478
For teens and adults, I like starting with the Bastein course for the older beginner

http://www.amazon.com/Older-Beginner-Piano-Course-Level/dp/0849750296

It moves much faster than the other adult courses, and starts introducing chords on the very first day, which gives people a sense of accomplishment.

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#2138425 - 08/24/13 05:49 PM Re: 18 year old teacher needing help! [Re: Abbie]
Abbie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/23/13
Posts: 3
Loc: AZ
Oh my! I wasn't expecting so many helpful people! smile

Thank you everyone--so I'm taking that the PA Accelerated and Alfred's Premier are usually the "go to" with teachers around here.

With these books, do you supplement with anything, or are they all that you do?

This has been SUCH a great help!

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#2138508 - 08/24/13 09:22 PM Re: 18 year old teacher needing help! [Re: Abbie]
emilypianist89 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/07/12
Posts: 82
Originally Posted By: Abbie
Oh my! I wasn't expecting so many helpful people! smile

Thank you everyone--so I'm taking that the PA Accelerated and Alfred's Premier are usually the "go to" with teachers around here.

With these books, do you supplement with anything, or are they all that you do?

This has been SUCH a great help!


I supplement with some early Bach, Clementi, Burgmuller, etc once they are at the end of Book 1.
_________________________
Pianist
Private Piano Teacher

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#2138609 - 08/25/13 02:27 AM Re: 18 year old teacher needing help! [Re: Abbie]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Such rigidity Emily (shades of David Copperfield) ... how excruciating to lumber through early Bach, Clementi ( who should have been apprenticed to a garbage collector), Bergmuller (don't know the gent), et al.

Working off these set books sadly underlines boredom and eventual dislike of the piano ... my watchword is "always keep the lesson bright and full of fun" .

Better get out of here before the bricks start dropping!

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#2138817 - 08/25/13 02:47 PM Re: 18 year old teacher needing help! [Re: Abbie]
red-rose Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 177
Loc: Cleveland, OH
:shrugs:
I just use the books (all of them - lesson and theory at minimum.) I can tell when a student starts getting bored and then I decide if they are going to have the dedication to work on, for example, a pop piece that might be a bit above their level, if that's what they want to add. I find the songs in the Faber series to be written well-enough and contain enough "recognized" songs (ode to joy, for example) that students don't get seriously bored as long as they are regularly practicing. I'm also a big fan of the "fun" books in the Faber series (playtime, bigtime, etc) and I think those are worth adding if the student would benefit from the easy arrangements of pop songs or classics. Just my personal opinion and experience - I'm not a fan of introducing beginners to larger works like Clementi or Bach ; I think that few students have the desire to work that hard and are more motivated by the more instant gratification of the shorter pieces.

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#2138956 - 08/25/13 08:01 PM Re: 18 year old teacher needing help! [Re: btb]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5421
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: btb
Bergmuller (don't know the gent)

I feel sorry for your students.
Originally Posted By: btb
Better get out of here before the bricks start dropping!

You should duck. Now.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2138974 - 08/25/13 09:04 PM Re: 18 year old teacher needing help! [Re: Abbie]
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1021
Loc: NJ
I use the Faber Adult Beginner for older children, especially if they've had music classes or can play another instrument. I teach chords from the second lesson on, which I find accelerates learning pieces. I immediately introduce music that they are interested in. I find that students really love Spanish music, girls love "pretty" music, boys love fast and furious music. They enjoy the Alfred Favorite Pop songs & Current Hits for Teens series. As the method books advance, they will learn classical music, in addition to what I supplement with. I always ask them what kind of music they like, and supplement with easy arrangements as soon as possible.

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#2139027 - 08/26/13 01:38 AM Re: 18 year old teacher needing help! [Re: Abbie]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
The advantage of studying Bach's WTC is that the outlines are mostly
of a single-note variety ... get the Treble right with the RH and then
merge in the bass with the LH.

Get a single Prelude and Fugue right ... and confidence takes a big boost.

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#2139119 - 08/26/13 09:17 AM Re: 18 year old teacher needing help! [Re: Abbie]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11422
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I think it's important to give a student a little of what he needs and a little of what he wants. Especially when they're teens, they start to form their own opinions on what music they like to listen to and what they imagine they can do on the piano.

I agree with going through a method book with them, but depending on the maturity of the student, you may want to try the Accelerated PA as others have suggested. There's a little less of the childish pictures and such.

Also, be sure to ask him what he would like to learn, if there are any songs on the radio he wants to figure out on the piano. This is a great ear-training exercise and of course, he'd be learning it by rote since his reading isn't as good yet. But that can make it fun in the meanwhile.
_________________________
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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#2139525 - 08/27/13 04:09 AM Re: 18 year old teacher needing help! [Re: Abbie]
musicpassion Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 905
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: Abbie
Oh my! I wasn't expecting so many helpful people! smile

Thank you everyone--so I'm taking that the PA Accelerated and Alfred's Premier are usually the "go to" with teachers around here.

With these books, do you supplement with anything, or are they all that you do?

This has been SUCH a great help!

In addition to the PA and the Premier, I also use the standard Alfred's "older beginner" in the situation you are describing. Some people like the new series better - I'd suggest you take a look at both and see which you like.

I supplement with a lot of books, but one of my favorites is the "Celebration Series"
_________________________
Pianist and Piano Teacher

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