Method books on the commercial market have a certain lure because they attempt to conveniently package a set of step-by-step lesson goals through approximately six books that are divided into Lesson, Performance and Theory. A teacher can also choose Technique and Artistry to add to the mix. The basic program outlined in brochures includes branch-offs… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Going outside the method book track
Promises abound on the Internet about playing piano in a flash. Short cut promoters claim thousands of dollars are wasted on "traditional" piano lessons. A teacher in the Southwest advertises software that speeds up note reading. Children as young as two are glued to a computer that's attached to an electronic keyboard with far fewer… Continue reading Is there a short cut route to learning piano?
I was thinking about an adult student I currently teach in the Bay area who thumbed through her Faber Older Beginner Adult Accelerated Piano Adventures Method Book, and was instantly drawn to "Musette,"one of the many pieces contained in Anna Magdalena's Notebook. Transcribed to "G Position" by Randall Faber and reduced to a fraction of… Continue reading My Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook favorites, and why it’s best to play the real deal (Video)
I've been eyeing the forums lately at Piano World, and a hot topic is why students drop out of lessons, some after only a few months. A related thread had jabber about a circulating statistic that level 2 method books took a significant marketplace nose dive. What could it mean? I looked into my crystal… Continue reading Piano Lessons and dropout rates: How the initial interview is better than a crystal ball
For some unexplained reason, my earliest piano studies never included the art of phrasing. My primer teacher stressed naming notes, finding them, affixing correct fingering and counting out robotic beats. I knew nothing about feeling a melodic landscape; putting the vocal model center stage in my playing, and breathing through contoured musical lines. My pieces… Continue reading The Art of Phrasing at the Piano: Starting the process with Beginners (Videos)
Music Theory doesn't have to be drudgery If I turn the clock back to my early days as a piano student, I can say without a doubt that I absolutely HATED “Music Theory” or anything remotely related to it. And I can clearly thank my very pedantic teacher, Mrs. Schwed for this aversion. She made… Continue reading Music Theory and Piano Study: It doesn’t have to be drudgery
I have to thank "Lisa" for generating this idea for a new blog. Sometimes, the fountain runs dry until a student experience, teacher-related crisis, or musical event renew the supply. Let me think about this whole issue of picking and choosing the "right" piano teacher. (Applies to adult student-seekers as well) Hmm... I probably covered… Continue reading Scouting a Piano Teacher