Any suggestions for a beginning piano teacher of an 8 yr. old : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

Hello. I am a beginning piano teacher and have taught an adult (she's 21) over the summer months. (May-Aug) . She will be leaving soon to get her Master's degree. Anyway, I will begin teaching an 8 year old student (She's actually related to me, she's my 3rd cousin). We're not really "close", so hopefully, the "teacher-student" relationship will work out okay. I was wondering if any piano teachers out there had any suggestions for me. Was there anything you wished someone would have told you when you first started teaching. I have made up a "Studio Policy", and have bought her method books (Alfred's Basic Level 1A: Lesson, Recital, & Theory. I am really excited! But also, I don't want to make any major mistakes. I remember the first piano teacher I had and she wasn't very accomplished or a good teacher (she didn't care if I practiced, passed me off on songs I didn't know, etc.) I want to challenge my new student, but I don't want to expect too much from her either, where she gets discouraged and quits. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thank you for your responses.

Thanks, Beginning Piano Teacher

-- Beginning teacher (, August 01, 2002


I'd go buy some additional repertoire, even if you just lend it out. I think you'll enjoy the MUSIC found in Hal Leonard's Piano Lessons Book 1 and Faber & Faber Piano Adventures Primer Level. The Hal Leonard comes with a CD that will surely motivate for $7.95 (book AND CD), and contains tracks for improvisation.

Since a latté can cost up to $3-4, parents should NOT complain about spending an initial $35-50 dollars for their child's musical education. Beginners benefit from MANY different pieces with a variety of "hand positions", keys, sounds, and moods. Alfred is fine when mixed with other method books, but is limiting when used by itself. Of course using multiple books means that you will have more planning to do! Good Luck! Come over to for an active piano forum ~ "THE PIANO CLUB".

-- John Bisceglia (, August 03, 2002.

I'd like to also suggest that you consider the Warner Bros. series entitled LOONEY TUNES PIANO LIBRARY. I am one of the arrangers in that series and they are LOTS of fun and the students really love the titles and teachers love that the arrangements are pedagogical sound. There are approx. 20 books in the series at all levels (1-4) that match the levels in all major piano method books -- including Alfred, Faber/Faber and Bastein, etc. The series is mixed with a variety of musical genres. They range from light jazz, Broadway, movie titles, pop/rock standards and even some Backstreet Boys, N*SYNC and Britney Spears. The books are also available with fully orchestrated audio CD and MIDI floppy disks. Here is a link to one of the titles:

*** Foghorn Leghorn's Hot Hits *** ( upc=ELM01042CD&type=print&mscssid=584V5LW351439GM4UG8U3P4556NJCJV5)

Hope this helps. I'd love any feedback on how you and your students untilized the books. Are there any other types of books you'd like to see available that might assist you with your musical endeavors?

Have a great summer!!! Jerry Ray

P.S. Can you stand just one more "shamless plug"... ? Here's a link to a Christmas CD I arranged and recorded recently that many people/teachers have used as Christmas gifts for students, student awards, friends or family. Hope you enjoy.


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-- Jerry Ray (, August 14, 2002.

Give your student what you missed from your first teacher. It is not what music you assign her, is how much care, enthusiasm, passion, and thought you give on the student and the music she plays. Children are different from adult. They have to enjoy YOUR lesson before they enjoy playing any great music. They will enjoy playing any music if they enjoy your lesson. Any beginner music are unknown music to kids. Don't be hesitate teaching them any music in the book. Playing them in an interesting way. Children can accept simpler music more than adults. They like music sound fun more than sound good. Wish you to be one of the teacher that has great inspiration on your student. I always remind myself that if there is anything my student cannot do is because I have not give my best. Good Luck

Good luck

-- ellena yong (, August 15, 2002.

I would recommend staying away from any od that focuses on positional reading (placing hand in "C position", "G position", etc.). I think this really hinders their notereading ability. I have a transfer student who cannot play ANYTHING without first placing her hand in C position (we are working on that!) I use Music Tree, which utilizes an intervalic approach. The student learns to read a few landmark notes, then to read and recognize intervals and to figure out notes based on their interval from the landmarks. I think it is is an excellent approach; after all, isn't that how we "experienced pianists" read music? Another suggestion is to teach your student how to practice. Kids just do not know how on their own. I demonstrate and walk my students through practice techniques at their lessons. Or assign a specific practice sequence in their notebook for them to refer to. Good luck!

-- Laurie (, September 24, 2002.

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