Teaching Piano

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Please help! I've been asked to teach a family of 8 children beginning piano. Here's my dilemma. I began taking lessons at age 10 and was proficient by age 16. So what's my problem? By age 12 I was getting bored with second year books and I wanted to play more advanced pieces. After a great deal of badgering, my mother found me a more qualified teacher. Unfortunately, I have the gift of playing by ear, and even though I could read notes, I never learned to count or sight read because I simply had the teacher play the piece for me. I could then learn the notes and memorize the piece in about two or three weeks. I am still playing piano by ear, but have taught myself to sight read a little better. How could I possibly teach these children something I never learned myself? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. K. Horn

-- Kimberly Horn (Kimmer2dad@hotmail.com), December 28, 2002


Kimberly, I think you will find the theory to be quite easy if you pick up a method series, such as Faber's piano adventures, and then review it yourself before hand. Even I had to "refresh" before I started teaching, and I realized that I knew more than I thought. With Faber's method, each page correlates, and reinforces the theory learned. Look it over. I think you will be more than qualified to teach beginning piano. And then, at the point where you don't understand the theory, you can recommend a new teacher. But for the beginning, you will do fine.

-- trudy shiba (trushiba@hotmail.com), December 28, 2002.

If you haven't got the basics of counting and theory firmly under your belt, I wouldn't recommend accepting these students. If you decide you do want to teach, I would suggest you take lessons or classes and learn those basics thoroughly, then do some observation of another teacher or have another teacher mentor you.

I think you've already answered your own question when you say "How could I possibly teach these children something I never learned myself?" The simple answer is - you can't.

-- Jason (jsifford@pianoped.com), December 31, 2002.

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