The importance of books in piano class

How many books does a piano student really need?

And why should students need more than one book? Student families often hesitate to invest in piano books. Some question the need to purchase anything other than the lesson book or the examination book. And some even think that the examination book is the lesson book! 

This post answers common questions new piano students have about the need for many books when learning the language of music. Continue reading The importance of books in piano class

Is poor piano posture holding you back?

Are you a piano or keyboard student who struggles with stiff fingers, that won’t move fast? Do you have difficulty joining notes? Do you experience either hand, arm, shoulders or back pain when playing? If you do, then this post will help you.

Good piano posture from the beginning helps students progress quicker, as their fingers move better. So they later play challenging pieces with ease.

Pencil Drawing of poor piano posture

Continue reading Is poor piano posture holding you back?

Piano Technique Concerns with Beginner Students

Many beginner level piano students struggle to learn. They find easy playing difficult, because they play the piano with poor technique.

Beginner level piano students need to have some basic understanding of the purpose of good piano technique. This helps them understand when it’s time to take their difficulties to their piano teacher.

Here’s a post that, I hope, explains all of this, in brief. Continue reading Piano Technique Concerns with Beginner Students

5 Thoughts to help you find the Piano Teacher that’s best for YOU

Families new to piano lessons can find the search for a new piano teacher quite confusing. I write this post to help these parents and students who have difficulty assessing which piano teacher or lesson format is the best for them.

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The topics covered in this post are :

  1. Solo Piano Lessons
  2. Group Piano Lessons
  3. How to make the most of your pre-enrolment interview
  4. The purpose of Teaching Terms & Policies
  5. When budget is an issue

Continue reading 5 Thoughts to help you find the Piano Teacher that’s best for YOU

Respect and Effective Learning in Piano Class

Would you study Geography to prepare for History paper?

This is exactly what a couple of my students did, and the parents were upset. Really upset! That their child was so irresponsible and did not take the trouble to check what was scheduled before revising.

Something similar happens frequently with piano practise at home and piano parents often don’t understand the subject. So they think things are going well, when they might not be.

Students sometimes spend quite a bit of time at the piano experimenting with new stuff, or playing through pieces they enjoy. This is wonderful as it means the student it exploring and enjoying the instrument and this is necessary. Continue reading Respect and Effective Learning in Piano Class

Remedial teaching in piano lessons

The changing face of piano lessons

My early years as a piano teacher were about teaching music. My young students got music concepts easily. They ran rings around me those first few years, until I had enough teaching experience. Because they could remember what was taught even without practise and I’d get fooled into thinking they’d done their work!

They were flexible thinkers and asked questions when they couldn’t understand. I had a few students with learning issues later, and I wrote a post about them –  ‘Coping with the overscheduled child in piano class’.  But mostly, it was just about teaching music.

It’s so very different these days, as a lot of beginner level piano teachers now need to be skilled in remedial  teaching. Because the percentage of children who struggle with learning and comprehension grows each year. Teachers in different parts of the world often notice the same trend. Continue reading Remedial teaching in piano lessons

The missing link in piano practise at home

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