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#1273129 - 09/22/09 11:15 PM Where to go from here with this student?  
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 133
PianoKitty Offline
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PianoKitty  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 133
US
I would love some advice from fellow teachers on what I should do with a particular student. This boy is 4 years old and has been taking piano with me for about 6 months (he had never taken lessons before). He is truly gifted! In that short period of time, he is already about to complete Level 3 of the Little Mozarts program by Alfred. At this point, I am thinking he needs something more challenging than this series, even though the series is made for children 3-5 years old. His technique is wonderful, including staccato and legato, and he has already internalized counting a steady beat. His note reading is wonderful; he can read the grand staff in Middle C position and C Position, and he has completed several of the Faber PreTime supplementary books (popular and classics). His sight reading is extraordinary...he often plays an entire piece straight through without any mistakes on the first try. Again...he is 4!

I'm wondering if, instead of continuing on to Little Mozarts Level 4, we need to switch series or do something different. Everything comes so easy for him, and I want to challenge him a little more. BUT - I don't want to overwhelm him. This child loves me as a teacher and loves playing piano and coming to lessons, because I make things fun and enjoyable, so I don't want to overwhelm him, but I do want him to reach his full potential. Any suggestions?


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#1273217 - 09/23/09 03:49 AM Re: Where to go from here with this student? [Re: PianoKitty]  
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,245
AZNpiano Offline
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AZNpiano  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,245
Orange County, CA
Try the Gold Star Adventures books from Faber/Faber. They are excellent. They have up to 2B published. I wonder when Book 3 will come out.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
#1273351 - 09/23/09 09:31 AM Re: Where to go from here with this student? [Re: AZNpiano]  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,155
Morodiene Offline
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Morodiene  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,155
Boynton Beach, FL
Take a look at Frederick Harris's Celebration Series (Perspectives is the most recent edition). These editions change every 7 years, but they just changed so it should last you a little while. You may also want to get the Teacher's Handbook which is a bit pricey, but very helpful. Perhaps the Preparatory level would be suitable for him, and I find this moves along a bit faster than most methods. I use this with students who are quick studies.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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#1273619 - 09/23/09 03:52 PM Re: Where to go from here with this student? [Re: Morodiene]  
Joined: Apr 2005
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Gyro Offline
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Gyro  Offline
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I would continue on step by step with
the Little Mozarts program and then
to the next conventional step up
from there, and so forth, never
trying to "accelerate" him in any
way. That's the perfect way to
burn a kid out.

And if you enjoy teaching this child
and he enjoys learning from you,
then I would be wary of publicizing
the fact that he is gifted. When
parents hear that word, they'll
pull him out and put him with
a teacher with a bigger reputation,
and an ego to match, who will then
proceed to destroy his talent.
Furthermore, a parent can come
to deeply resent a situation where
their child has a special bond
with a teacher, and will remove
their child from that situation.


#1273624 - 09/23/09 03:59 PM Re: Where to go from here with this student? [Re: Gyro]  
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,702
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Minniemay  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,702
CA
The Prep level of Celebration Series is still probably too advanced for him. I would keep him going through the end of the prep course, then consider moving him into something else like Piano Adventures or Celebrate Piano. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!


B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano
#1273999 - 09/24/09 08:28 AM Re: Where to go from here with this student? [Re: Gyro]  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,155
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Morodiene  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,155
Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted by Gyro
I would continue on step by step with
the Little Mozarts program and then
to the next conventional step up
from there, and so forth, never
trying to "accelerate" him in any
way. That's the perfect way to
burn a kid out.

And if you enjoy teaching this child
and he enjoys learning from you,
then I would be wary of publicizing
the fact that he is gifted. When
parents hear that word, they'll
pull him out and put him with
a teacher with a bigger reputation,
and an ego to match, who will then
proceed to destroy his talent.
Furthermore, a parent can come
to deeply resent a situation where
their child has a special bond
with a teacher, and will remove
their child from that situation.



There is a huge problem with making broad generalizations based on the experience of one person. Just because something wasn't right for *you* doens't mean it's not right for another. A teacher who has experience in dealing with many different personality types can say that your prescription does not apply to everyone. I have had those students who were bored because they weren't challenged enough, and would have quit had I not gotten them into more complicated and engaging music.

It is fine to talk about your own experience, but then present it as your own experience, and not as "all children will hate piano if you teach them more difficult music" or any other such nonsense.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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#1274008 - 09/24/09 08:34 AM Re: Where to go from here with this student? [Re: Minniemay]  
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,651
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Overexposed  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,651
The Faber series "My First Piano Adventures" would be suitable. Sounds like he has already learned the content from the A and B books...so I would recommend starting with Level B books for review, then moving to Level C books. Good luck!

#1274211 - 09/24/09 12:50 PM Re: Where to go from here with this student? [Re: Overexposed]  
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 133
PianoKitty Offline
Full Member
PianoKitty  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 133
US
Thanks for all the advice. The more I think about it, the more I think I'm going to go with the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach. He loves music and loves playing all of the fun pieces in the PreTime and LM books, so I think we'll go on to Level 4 and then transition from there into the PA series, which I think has better music and is a bit more challenging with playing "out of position" than the Alfred series. I'm excited to have such a young student with such great promise, so I don't want to break him LOL!


Private Piano Instructor
Member, Music Teachers National Association (MTNA)
#1274486 - 09/24/09 07:51 PM Re: Where to go from here with this student? [Re: PianoKitty]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 89
EDWARDIAN Offline
Full Member
EDWARDIAN  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 89
New York, USA
I think you are wise to continue on to Level 4 and Piano Adventures. If you want to supplement with more challenging pieces or something a litlle different, try Kabalevsky's pieces for children. They are charming. Also Jane Hergo's Five Finger Frolics can be fun.

Good luck. Your student sounds delightful.

Joan


Joan Edward

Private piano teacher, 20+ years
EDWARDIAN45@hotmail.com
#1274762 - 09/25/09 08:04 AM Re: Where to go from here with this student? [Re: EDWARDIAN]  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,155
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Morodiene  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,155
Boynton Beach, FL
Much can be learned by giving supplemental material, and it's great for the kids since you can choose pieces they will really enjoy. Sometimes the music in the method books is a little wanting.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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