Piano teachers teaching in localities where interest in piano lessons is just developing often encounter a lot of students who have an examination mindset. With many, this mindset can be so fixed, that these students will not practise anything unless it is clearly evident that it is part of an examination syllabus.
Many piano teachers here in Navi Mumbai work with students where examination goals are the only motivating factor for learning. Until achievement changes things and makes the student start to love practising. Students here in India LOVE examinations, so it works really well with most. Unless there’s a goal mismatch.
A goal mismatch is when the examination oriented student wants to achieve high goals, but doesn’t enjoy the learning process that is needed for this to happen.
A goal mismatch can lead to a lot of student-teacher discord, because the students feelings are in conflict with his/her goals. Continue reading 3 Steps To Preventing A Goal Mismatch In Piano Class
PS : TOG & SEP are my short-forms for playing hands together and hands separately.
Sight reading a new piece it’s always TOG,
Bit by bit else you’ll have to slog.
Go through the motions on days that it’s tough,
Because small bits of practise will make smooth out of rough.
Continue reading How to learn a new piano piece
The light-bulb moment
April 2019 was a month of breakthroughs in piano class. Some of my students had been struggling with things that should have been easy for them, and it took them months to reach that light-bulb moment when everything just fell into place.
A solution so simple and easy to understand, and yet, something that these particular students could only understand after a lot of struggle.
The practise of LEARNING.
Continue reading Piano practise : The idea of ‘practising’ learning
A letter to the piano student who fears failure and therefore just won’t try.
Dear Student, I’m asking you to make an effort.
I’m not asking you to succeed, but to just go through the motions to start with.
Because I know that success will follow.
Because I know, that someday you’ll move on and be independent in learning music. Continue reading Because I know that success will follow
Apply apply, no reply?
If you’re the piano student who listens, follows instructions and basically does what your teacher asks you to, and are getting nowhere, then this post is for you.
A student like this came to his piano lesson the other day. He’d been practising at home, but it really didn’t sound like it, as not much had been accomplished during that time.
Just one practise session at class and there was a difference in the quality of his practise. In terms of his posture, hand shape, playing gently rather than banging on the keys, and playing smoothly. A section with mistakes that had been corrected in the last piano lesson was still troubling him and we worked on it slowly and carefully and he played it correctly in pretty much one go.
So what happened differently at piano lessons?
Continue reading The missing link in piano practise at home
The set-up and placement of the piano at home may be the cause of disturbances during practise, or the cause of infrequent practise.
In most Indian homes, the piano is placed in the hall-cum-living room. Unlike with the violin or guitar, the pianist cannot just take his/her instrument to another room when there are guests. So learning to get quality practise done often means learning to manage disturbances.
Read on, to learn how to work minimise practise disturbances and work around them. Continue reading Minimising Piano Practise Disturbances
Your piano teacher says you’re not doing well
This is a student who wants progress. He/she is an older student, teen or adult, who is not content to learn lots of beginner level repertoire. Who comes to class having put a lot of effort into what is currently being worked on. But this student isn’t doing well at all.
Because, daily practise of anything other than the latest new piece or concept is sketchy, this student hasn’t actually mastered any of what has been taught in earlier lessons. Continue reading The biggest practise mistake piano students make