in Piano Teaching
True Story 1-- Enthusiastically, I walked into the spacious home for the first time.
There a 10 year old young lady sat at the piano. As I asked whether she would play something her eyes teared, her mouth
turned down and the silence was deafening. Hmmm. As I Looked through the notes and previous teachings a story
of confusion presented itself. Her father, beside us, a real working musician wondered together with me
how his daughter could "buck the family tradition" and appear to be turned off to music? Together all of us
sat awkwardly waiting for awhile and we
were rewarded: she played something! (Hooray!) With doubts about going forward, her father asked about my teaching.
I explained that the way that piano is presented at the beginning is really crucial to someone's progress. That if the piano
is presented in one way, the result will be confusion and will end the way it had with his daughter. However if it were presented
in another way, piano would become easy and the results would be entirely different. Now this is a true story -- at the end
of lesson #1, this student's attitude did a 180 degree turn. By the end of lesson 2, she was happily on the road to new adventures
and excited about the prospect of playing music with her Dad. She is now accessing her knowledge her previous
piano lesson experience and moving forward in spirit and to greater musical adventures.
What changed? What was the magic about this dramatic turnaround?
Simply,piano teaching demands accurate calibration of frustration levels and how to present the material to get around
True Story Continued! --
Another brand new student waited just down the road the same day.Yes...both these students had the same teaching experience.
The parent called me after listening to her daughter and decided they needed a change. This student's attitude was
easily retrievable. Having had 4 great lessons the parent says she doesn't have to ask her student anymore to practice...that
she willingly sits down and does this.
Lessons Learned below--
Attitude of your student counts for so much in piano
teaching. Although it is said "change is a good thing" --we want to avoid that in the first year piano
student/teacher relationship. Since attitude is everything - if we lose their positive attitude to confusion in the
1st year of lessons, that's usually permanent. So let's see...do you remember a teacher that made a difference for
you? (Got one?) With music it is especially true that the teacher makes a difference. Why? Tuned in music teaching is
about possibilities. For example, selections that appeal to different musical taste, chances to improvise and
compose, and opportunities to perform. Saving money is very much part of this equation. A piano teacher's
committment is to your child growing in love with their music.
A happy camper for a piano student means that you didn't have to press the redo button.