Learning = Challenges = Fun
This summarises my approach to piano teaching with all my students. I’ve taught students from age 5 to 55 and hope someday, to get the opportunity to teach senior citizens. Every age group is fun to teach, with different kinds of challenges and it’s nice having a mix.
Students are encouraged to ask questions and express their point of view. Classes for children have a lot of off-the-bench activities that make learning fun. I teach solo class (one student at a time) and therefore am able to adapt my teaching methods to suit students with different learning needs.
Piano class for my adult students is structured very differently, depending on their playing level and what they want to learn.
Working simultaneously with different methods
Piano class in my teaching studio covers 3 piano teaching methods. I use them in rotation, in an effort to help my students make connections between every aspect of music – playing, theory and aurals.
- The traditional method : My piano students learn to read written music and play the piano with commitment to musical goals. They learn playing technique, scales, theory and ear training (aural awareness). Students are taught simple techniques that help them teach themselves. I find that most students are able to learn simple pieces on their own within a few months of starting piano class.
- Rote teaching : This means watching me demonstrate a piece and copying me. Students listen, watch and imitate and this develops their aural skills and helps them get acquainted with the piano keyboard. It’s been a year since I’ve been doing this, and find it excellent for teaching playing technique. Not needing to read music focuses the students attention to aural skills.
- Learning backwards : Here students learn a piece or a small section, either by rote or by memorising the piece away from the piano, and play it. And then, write it down without looking in the book.
There’s a lot that gets done during piano class, so it’s a class for students who practise regularly. Older teen and adult students learn practise techniques, so they practise effectively at home, getting more done in less time.
Teaching material used in class
- Traditional piano method books
- Books with Western Classical, Jazz & Pop Repertoire
- Exam books & books on scales, theory & technique
- Exercises written by me to teach theory-cum-improvisation and playing technique
- Easy hymn arrangements written by me for my students only
Students may choose to appear for piano and theory exams through the Trinity College, London examination board, which are conducted in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. I am open to sending students up for examinations through any other exam board that they choose.
The class and teaching is not exam focused. Students appear for exams when they are ready, and can do this at the pace they are comfortable with – whether this is very fast, very slow, or somewhere in between.
Am I the right teacher for you
My teaching methods work to support education, personal growth and fun all at the same time. The pace of the class depends entirely on the student. Some students want a relaxed easy approach, and some want to go at a very fast pace and enjoy it.
If you are a student who wishes to learn to play the piano, who understands that it requires daily practise and that the joy of piano playing comes from the challenge of learning, then this is the class for you.
What instrument do you need at home
The best choice of instrument for daily practise at home is an acoustic piano. Some students learn on digital pianos with weighted keys, due to space or budget constraints, but they know it’s a second best option.
Many students start piano classes with a 5-octave keyboard, and invest a little later, when they’re sure their child will continue to be interested. And more importantly, when they’re sure they are committed to making time to do whatever it takes to motivate their child to practise daily.
For reasons relating to piano playing technique, piano teachers always recommend acoustic pianos or a good quality digital piano.
Supporting practise at home
Learning the piano requires daily practise at home. It starts with 5 minutes a day, for very young children, and slowly increases over time.
Young children need parent support, to help them set flexible practise schedules and implement them. As children grow up, the role of the parent changes, from being with them at practise time, to helping them monitor their own practise, and eventually, all students learn to practise independently.
Piano practise is a very solitary hobby, as students attend class solo and practise on their own. Therefore most beginner students need company while they practise, and occasionally, an audience at home, to listen to them play and show appreciation.
Where I teach
My piano teaching studio is at Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, and I do a combination of in-studio and online classes with my students from Bandra, Mumbai.
Please fill in the form on the 'Contact' page in this site, for further information.