Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.7 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Who's Online Now
130 registered members (Antihero, AaronSF, achoo42, AndrewJCW, 36251, Akaitsuki, Ankee, apianostudent, Arty Movie, anotherscott, 24 invisible), 1,658 guests, and 6 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 2 of 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Re: Teaching my 12 year old and some general questions [Re: Gary D.] #2826619
03/14/19 05:17 AM
03/14/19 05:17 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 572
UK
S
ShyPianist Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
ShyPianist  Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
S

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 572
UK
Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by ShyPianist
My son liked the realisation of “why” Middle C is called Middle C.

Indulge me: why is Middle C called Middle C? In other words, why does this make sense to you? Because of the mirror thing?

I was taught the same thing, and I do understand the concept, but did you know that in the time of Bach that in the top staff, the one we call treble today, 1st line was that C, the one we call E today? In other words, in Bach's keyboard music when you see the top line and think it is F, it's D. Everything is a line higher than what we read today.

If you use Thompson, white out most of the numbers or your son will read the finger numbers and it will kill reading.


Thanks Gary, yes I was looking at the book again yesterday and realised that every single note, pretty much throughout the book, does indeed have a fingering on it. I hadn't spotted that originally until I read what others had said about it, but yes I will do as you suggest because I totally agree that is not how I want him to learn. But as I said I intend to use a mix of material, I won't be relying on just one book.

Yes it makes sense to me because when you look at the grand staff "Middle C" is on the leger line that effectively joins the two together. So yeah I think the mirror thing is quite helpful for pulling the treble and bass clefs together rather than teaching them separately. It seemed to help when I showed him anyway, it was nice seeing the light go on, and it made him immediately less afraid of seeing the two clefs. I think I won't go into historic notation with my son just now although it's definitely fascinating for context. :-)

Last edited by ShyPianist; 03/14/19 05:22 AM.

Pianist, independent music arranger, violinist, mother
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: Teaching my 12 year old and some general questions [Re: AZNpiano] #2826623
03/14/19 05:26 AM
03/14/19 05:26 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 572
UK
S
ShyPianist Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
ShyPianist  Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
S

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 572
UK
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I also introduce transposition quite early on as a supplement to the plain C Position. That way, kids are NOT associating notes with certain fingers. It's the NUMBER ONE problem Transfer Wrecks bring with them to my studio--kids stuck in Middle C Position and/or C Position.


I also meant to say when replying to you AZNPiano that I was also planning to try that. It was one of the things in the description of the Robert Pace method I mentioned which appealed to me when I ordered that book (I do wish you could "look inside" more of these books without having to buy them first). The book has now arrived and there are aspects of it I really don't like, but I think there are some ideas in there I will use when I've had chance to study it a bit more.

This is all assuming that my son maintains his interest for long enough to allow me to do these things! I would be distinctly uncomfortable about taking on any paid pupil without a lot of experience behind me. How to get that experience without doing so is another matter (and another thread!).


Pianist, independent music arranger, violinist, mother
Re: Teaching my 12 year old and some general questions [Re: ShyPianist] #2826633
03/14/19 06:06 AM
03/14/19 06:06 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 12,298
B
bennevis Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
bennevis  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 12,298
Originally Posted by ShyPianist
Originally Posted by ShyPianist
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
[quote=Candywoman] Middle C is a good approach. After a few months, you can start moving the hand position away from middle C.

He's 12. Do you really need to spend a few months in middle C?


God no! I was thinking more like a week or two. I don’t really rate it as a long term approach for teaching practical skills (not least because it’s so boring!) but it does seem helpful for starting note reading for the reason I mentioned above.



Starting with middle C is a good approach, and notes can be learnt spreading out from it, like tentacles wink . And while using that as the anchor point in the first week or so, teach counting beats. Count everything while keeping the notes simple. (It's amazing how so many supposedly 'advanced' adults playing advanced pieces can't play any piece in time unless they've heard it on YT first.......).

I recently had a look at the kiddie beginner book that I - and all my peers in my home country - was brought up on (I believe it was the only beginner's primer available there at the time), to see whether it still holds up. It does, and if I was a teacher, I'd use that book with all my beginner students - child or adult. Why? - because it teaches one concept at a time while keeping the previously learnt stuff going, therefore doesn't overburden a beginner's mind. No-one is allowed to jump before he/she can stand. Looking through some of the adult beginner's primers which are popular in PW leaves me in no doubt as to why so many adult learners flounder.....

That is why no-one I knew as a student ever had problems with note-reading or rhythm (and everyone knew how to count beats, because they had to count beats from day 1) - and it probably helped teachers focus their minds because all students were expected to do ABRSM exams, therefore sight-reading and aural skills were expected and introduced from day 1. My teacher got me to sight-read each and every new piece before she said anything (no 'hints', no nothing) - unlike the way one or two teachers teach here. (OK, the first few 'pieces' were no more than three different notes centred around middle C, but I had to count beats and keep time while playing too). Nothing escaped her scrutiny, and nothing goes uncorrected before moving on. There was no way I could have relied on finger numbers to 'read' the notes because they were sparse and only at the beginning. Fingers were fingers and notes were notes, and my teacher made sure I knew that every lesson.

Oh, BTW, that book has lots of funny pictures, now in glorious Technicolor (they were black & white in my time) smirk .


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Teaching my 12 year old and some general questions [Re: bennevis] #2826641
03/14/19 06:48 AM
03/14/19 06:48 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 572
UK
S
ShyPianist Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
ShyPianist  Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
S

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 572
UK
Originally Posted by bennevis

Starting with middle C is a good approach, and notes can be learnt spreading out from it, like tentacles wink . And while using that as the anchor point in the first week or so, teach counting beats. Count everything while keeping the notes simple. (It's amazing how so many supposedly 'advanced' adults playing advanced pieces can't play any piece in time unless they've heard it on YT first.......).

I recently had a look at the kiddie beginner book that I - and all my peers in my home country - was brought up on (I believe it was the only beginner's primer available there at the time), to see whether it still holds up. It does, and if I was a teacher, I'd use that book with all my beginner students - child or adult. Why? - because it teaches one concept at a time while keeping the previously learnt stuff going, therefore doesn't overburden a beginner's mind. No-one is allowed to jump before he/she can stand. Looking through some of the adult beginner's primers which are popular in PW leaves me in no doubt as to why so many adult learners flounder.....

That is why no-one I knew as a student ever had problems with note-reading or rhythm (and everyone knew how to count beats, because they had to count beats from day 1) - and it probably helped teachers focus their minds because all students were expected to do ABRSM exams, therefore sight-reading and aural skills were expected and introduced from day 1. My teacher got me to sight-read each and every new piece before she said anything (no 'hints', no nothing) - unlike the way one or two teachers teach here. (OK, the first few 'pieces' were no more than three different notes centred around middle C, but I had to count beats and keep time while playing too). Nothing escaped her scrutiny, and nothing goes uncorrected before moving on. There was no way I could have relied on finger numbers to 'read' the notes because they were sparse and only at the beginning. Fingers were fingers and notes were notes, and my teacher made sure I knew that every lesson.

Oh, BTW, that book has lots of funny pictures, now in glorious Technicolor (they were black & white in my time) smirk .


Oh now you'll get me started in reminiscing (not a good idea, really!). I don't recall my teacher using a method book at all. We did a lot of work away from the piano, and LOTS of counting (ta, te, ti). The very first piece I remember learning was "Buy A Broom" from this Eleanor Franklin Pike book, and I also remember playing & singing something from the same book about Lady Caroline washing her hair in turpentine, but we definitely didn't go through the whole thing. I did a lot of Mikrokosmos too I think.

Last edited by ShyPianist; 03/14/19 06:49 AM.

Pianist, independent music arranger, violinist, mother
Re: Teaching my 12 year old and some general questions [Re: ShyPianist] #2826697
03/14/19 10:16 AM
03/14/19 10:16 AM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 860
South Wales
C
Colin Miles Offline
500 Post Club Member
Colin Miles  Offline
500 Post Club Member
C

Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 860
South Wales
Just a little comment here as someone who was, with the benefit of hindsight, badly taught as a youngster way back in the fifties, may I make a little comment here and a plea to all other teachers reading this - please try to INSPIRE your pupil. Find out what music really appeals to him or her.. Play it too him, point him towards the recordings. There is so much out there now.


Roland LX7

South Wales, UK
Re: Teaching my 12 year old and some general questions [Re: AZNpiano] #2826708
03/14/19 10:56 AM
03/14/19 10:56 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,217
C
Candywoman Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Candywoman  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
C

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,217
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Candywoman
Middle C is a good approach. After a few months, you can start moving the hand position away from middle C.

He's 12. Do you really need to spend a few months in middle C?


It all depends on what your teaching strategy is. For many of you, reading is the number one priority. For me, there are other things I'm emphasizing in the beginning in addition to the reading. Take for example, diminuendos. Many teachers would hold off on ending phrases nicely or even lifting the hand at the end of a phrase. Also, they might hold off on selecting a note that is the high point of the phrase. They aren't thinking about shaping the notes at all. But I emphasize things sounding good from the first lesson.

What's wrong with a student thoroughly understanding middle C position? Just seeing if you're going up or down on the staff takes a bit of time. Just knowing that your ring finger is number 4 takes some getting used to. Often students mix up 1 and 5 because they have played some pieces that required the left hand, and the numbers are reversed.

The OP is looking for a teaching strategy, which will be difficult for her to discover on her own. Teachers don't just impart how to read music. They also pass on an aesthetic.

Re: Teaching my 12 year old and some general questions [Re: Candywoman] #2826713
03/14/19 11:10 AM
03/14/19 11:10 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 572
UK
S
ShyPianist Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
ShyPianist  Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
S

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 572
UK
Originally Posted by Candywoman
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Candywoman
Middle C is a good approach. After a few months, you can start moving the hand position away from middle C.

He's 12. Do you really need to spend a few months in middle C?


It all depends on what your teaching strategy is. For many of you, reading is the number one priority. For me, there are other things I'm emphasizing in the beginning in addition to the reading. Take for example, diminuendos. Many teachers would hold off on ending phrases nicely or even lifting the hand at the end of a phrase. Also, they might hold off on selecting a note that is the high point of the phrase. They aren't thinking about shaping the notes at all. But I emphasize things sounding good from the first lesson.

What's wrong with a student thoroughly understanding middle C position? Just seeing if you're going up or down on the staff takes a bit of time. Just knowing that your ring finger is number 4 takes some getting used to. Often students mix up 1 and 5 because they have played some pieces that required the left hand, and the numbers are reversed.

The OP is looking for a teaching strategy, which will be difficult for her to discover on her own. Teachers don't just impart how to read music. They also pass on an aesthetic.


Yes, I'm interested in hearing about all approaches. Regarding the bolded bit above though, how did you teachers on here develop your own strategies? No one simply wakes up one day as an experienced piano teacher. I should imagine it was a combination of your own existing experience & knowledge, reading, experimenting and perhaps some mentoring if you have a suitable person available to you? This seems to be the expectation of the ABRSM too in their diploma syllabus. Or am I missing something?

In respect of your comments above Candywoman, yes I completely agree that musicality is important from the very beginning. However I would plan to develop that while at the same time using keys other C major because it must surely become mind-numbingly boring for you and your students otherwise? And I think you probably can expect a 12 year old to be able to take in more in one session than a five or six year old?

Last edited by ShyPianist; 03/14/19 11:12 AM.

Pianist, independent music arranger, violinist, mother
Re: Teaching my 12 year old and some general questions [Re: ShyPianist] #2826842
03/14/19 05:11 PM
03/14/19 05:11 PM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,217
C
Candywoman Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Candywoman  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
C

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,217
I have never in my life felt that C major is boring or that a minor is boring. Students do not get bored that easily if you have a defined strategy. It's like getting on a bus with a person who knows where they're going.

It's possible that a 12 year old could go faster than a six year old, but not guaranteed. There are a lot of details to cover, so it has more to do with the length of lesson, and whether or not they practice enough.

My teacher taught for 52 years. She spent one hour every week for two years helping me to learn pedagogy. I do what she said. Why mess with success? I've since then added some pop music to her methods but have largely continued her legacy. The proof is in the pudding. My students often stay for many years. It has to do with building the proper foundation in a logical, incremental way.

It's all well and good to spend quality time practicing with your son. But I think the best years to learn piano are from age 7 to 12. Your son is already 12, so why not use his best years to get the best results? Besides, you'd have a lot of fun yourself engaging with the new piano teacher. If I had no money, I would offer to do the piano teacher's housework during the one hour lesson. Right now, one mom is teaching me Spanish to allow her son longer lessons. He's seven and is really taking off. So he needs one hour lessons to do well. They don't have the money. Or maybe, your husband can mow her lawn. Or maybe you can cook fabulous gourmet food for the piano teacher.

Find the best teacher you possibly can by word of mouth.

Re: Teaching my 12 year old and some general questions [Re: Candywoman] #2826844
03/14/19 05:16 PM
03/14/19 05:16 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 572
UK
S
ShyPianist Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
ShyPianist  Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
S

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 572
UK
Originally Posted by Candywoman
I have never in my life felt that C major is boring or that a minor is boring. Students do not get bored that easily if you have a defined strategy. It's like getting on a bus with a person who knows where they're going.

It's possible that a 12 year old could go faster than a six year old, but not guaranteed. There are a lot of details to cover, so it has more to do with the length of lesson, and whether or not they practice enough.

My teacher taught for 52 years. She spent one hour every week for two years helping me to learn pedagogy. I do what she said. Why mess with success? I've since then added some pop music to her methods but have largely continued her legacy. The proof is in the pudding. My students often stay for many years. It has to do with building the proper foundation in a logical, incremental way.

It's all well and good to spend quality time practicing with your son. But I think the best years to learn piano are from age 7 to 12. Your son is already 12, so why not use his best years to get the best results? Besides, you'd have a lot of fun yourself engaging with the new piano teacher. If I had no money, I would offer to do the piano teacher's housework during the one hour lesson. Right now, one mom is teaching me Spanish to allow her son longer lessons. He's seven and is really taking off. So he needs one hour lessons to do well. They don't have the money. Or maybe, your husband can mow her lawn. Or maybe you can cook fabulous gourmet food for the piano teacher.

Find the best teacher you possibly can by word of mouth.


Candywoman, have you any idea how insulting that post sounds? Maybe read what I said about my own background and then read your post back. After having serious classical training for nigh on 15 years with some excellent teachers and reaching conservatory level (as I think most people here call it) are you seriously suggesting I would be incapable of teaching, full stop? Thanks a bunch.

Furthermore, he has asked me to teach him because it is hearing me play that has inspired him to want to learn. I am more than happy to give it a go with him.

Last edited by ShyPianist; 03/14/19 05:25 PM.

Pianist, independent music arranger, violinist, mother
Re: Teaching my 12 year old and some general questions [Re: Candywoman] #2826848
03/14/19 05:27 PM
03/14/19 05:27 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,232
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Online happy
8000 Post Club Member
AZNpiano  Online Happy
8000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,232
Orange County, CA
There are a few things wrong with your post, but I'd like to focus on this one line:

Originally Posted by Candywoman
I have never in my life felt that C major is boring or that a minor is boring. Students do not get bored that easily if you have a defined strategy. It's like getting on a bus with a person who knows where they're going.

It's not that a certain key is boring, but the danger of prolonged stay in ANY key (read: hand position) is that students start to associate finger numbers with letter names.

One of the most common problems I get from Transfer Wrecks is that, whenever there is a Bass C in the left hand, they just HAVE to shift their hand and use 5 to play the C. It's ingrained in their brain that C = 5. This includes kids who are already playing sonatinas. By that point, it's hopeless.

I've spent years deprogramming kids who learned incorrectly, and this is one problem that--if I don't get the student early enough--will not be resolved. I blame the methods that overrely on hand positions.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Teaching my 12 year old and some general questions [Re: Colin Miles] #2826850
03/14/19 05:31 PM
03/14/19 05:31 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 572
UK
S
ShyPianist Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
ShyPianist  Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
S

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 572
UK
Originally Posted by Colin Miles
Just a little comment here as someone who was, with the benefit of hindsight, badly taught as a youngster way back in the fifties, may I make a little comment here and a plea to all other teachers reading this - please try to INSPIRE your pupil. Find out what music really appeals to him or her.. Play it too him, point him towards the recordings. There is so much out there now.


Excellent point Colin and so very important. I used to hear my teacher practising (usually Chopin or Liszt) before my lessons (sometimes my lessons were very late as a result!). He told me stories about his concert days, talked about how I was a “5th generation pupil of Liszt”, and generally gave me the kind of musical foundation that no amount of money can buy. He passed away a few years ago sadly, but I owe that man a massive debt of gratitude. If I can pass just a small amount of that onto my children in any way possible I will be very happy.


Pianist, independent music arranger, violinist, mother
Re: Teaching my 12 year old and some general questions [Re: ShyPianist] #2826870
03/14/19 06:17 PM
03/14/19 06:17 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 12,298
B
bennevis Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
bennevis  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 12,298
Originally Posted by ShyPianist
Originally Posted by Colin Miles
Just a little comment here as someone who was, with the benefit of hindsight, badly taught as a youngster way back in the fifties, may I make a little comment here and a plea to all other teachers reading this - please try to INSPIRE your pupil. Find out what music really appeals to him or her.. Play it too him, point him towards the recordings. There is so much out there now.


Excellent point Colin and so very important. I used to hear my teacher practising (usually Chopin or Liszt) before my lessons (sometimes my lessons were very late as a result!). He told me stories about his concert days, talked about how I was a “5th generation pupil of Liszt”, and generally gave me the kind of musical foundation that no amount of money can buy.

Even in this day and age, I'm continually surprised that so many piano students have never heard the piano played very well, live, in front of them (preferably on the same piano they're learning or practising on), and never know what the experience is like - the physicality, the emotional impact and the sheer skill and control that goes towards producing beautiful and exciting sounds. Do their teachers just assume that their students will be taken by their parents to hear the great and good in concert halls? Or do they assume that experiencing live music-making is no different to listening to YT.....and after all, you can hear everyone from Clayderman to Liberace wink , maybe even Horowitz and Richter on good ol' YT, can't you? But how would a young and undeveloped musical mind know what great music-making is all about, and the difference between Gilels's Waldstein and that of a shallow hack's uncomprehending note-spinning?

I've written before - more than few hundred times - about how my first teacher inspired me, simply by playing - performing - a classical piece for me after every lesson. If she hadn't, I'd never have known anything about the great world of the classics out there, and just dutifully practised and played Minuet in G (by anon, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Paderewski.....) ploddingly with no joy or comprehension of what the music should convey.

Yet, I believe many teachers never ever play any great classical piece of music for their students, except the very pieces they shouldn't be playing - the ones their students are actually learning, before they have actually learnt them.....


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Teaching my 12 year old and some general questions [Re: bennevis] #2826875
03/14/19 06:32 PM
03/14/19 06:32 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 572
UK
S
ShyPianist Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
ShyPianist  Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
S

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 572
UK
Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by ShyPianist
Originally Posted by Colin Miles
Just a little comment here as someone who was, with the benefit of hindsight, badly taught as a youngster way back in the fifties, may I make a little comment here and a plea to all other teachers reading this - please try to INSPIRE your pupil. Find out what music really appeals to him or her.. Play it too him, point him towards the recordings. There is so much out there now.


Excellent point Colin and so very important. I used to hear my teacher practising (usually Chopin or Liszt) before my lessons (sometimes my lessons were very late as a result!). He told me stories about his concert days, talked about how I was a “5th generation pupil of Liszt”, and generally gave me the kind of musical foundation that no amount of money can buy.

Even in this day and age, I'm continually surprised that so many piano students have never heard the piano played very well, live, in front of them (preferably on the same piano they're learning or practising on), and never know what the experience is like - the physicality, the emotional impact and the sheer skill and control that goes towards producing beautiful and exciting sounds. Do their teachers just assume that their students will be taken by their parents to hear the great and good in concert halls? Or do they assume that experiencing live music-making is no different to listening to YT.....and after all, you can hear everyone from Clayderman to Liberace wink , maybe even Horowitz and Richter on good ol' YT, can't you? But how would a young and undeveloped musical mind know what great music-making is all about, and the difference between Gilels's Waldstein and that of a shallow hack's uncomprehending note-spinning?

I've written before - more than few hundred times - about how my first teacher inspired me, simply by playing - performing - a classical piece for me after every lesson. If she hadn't, I'd never have known anything about the great world of the classics out there, and just dutifully practised and played Minuet in G (by anon, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Paderewski.....) ploddingly with no joy or comprehension of what the music should convey.

Yet, I believe many teachers never ever play any great classical piece of music for their students, except the very pieces they shouldn't be playing - the ones their students are actually learning, before they have actually learnt them.....


You know if anything I feel more inspired than ever after this thread, despite the odd depressing comment. If there’s one thing I’m certain of when it comes to my son (and these days there’s not much, it must be said!) it’s that a dry, rigid approach is simply not going to work for him. What I am aiming for with him is to foster a lifelong love and understanding of music. He’s getting one angle from his guitar teacher and he can get another angle from me.

But more than that, I’ve seen enough of the results of bad teaching over the years to know how important it is to do things right. If I didn’t believe I had something to bring to this then I wouldn't even contemplate doing it. And I do think I have, to the point I’m thinking more than ever about working for that diploma because this thread is bringing a real underlying passion to the surface. So yes, he will be a guinea pig, but every single teacher on here had their first pupil once. In fact my late mother was my own piano teacher’s first pupil.


Pianist, independent music arranger, violinist, mother
Re: Teaching my 12 year old and some general questions [Re: ShyPianist] #2826893
03/14/19 07:02 PM
03/14/19 07:02 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 12,298
B
bennevis Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
bennevis  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 12,298
Originally Posted by ShyPianist
every single teacher on here had their first pupil once. In fact my late mother was my own piano teacher’s first pupil.

Join the club. grin

My first teacher - the one who weaned me off Love Story and on to the great classical masters - was 19, and I was her first student. She'd just acquired her teaching diploma from ABRSM, and my mother hired her because she came cheap.....

She knew exactly what she needed to do with me, a noob with no musical aptitude in a home with no music and whose only exposure to music was a few pop songs (from relatives' radio-cassette players) and movies (hence 'Love Story') - and she did it. thumb


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Teaching my 12 year old and some general questions [Re: AZNpiano] #2827158
03/15/19 11:51 AM
03/15/19 11:51 AM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 361
Texas
Dr. Rogers Offline
Full Member
Dr. Rogers  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 361
Texas
ShyPianist, I'm also a fan of John Thompson Modern. I think you made a good choice.

However, do please heed what AZNpiano said in his previous post. I find this to be the biggest drawback of the Thompson. What I do is associate the position with the chord, to get students thinking in terms of triads rather than hand position. I don't know how that approach holds up against modern pedagogical research (I acknowledge that I'm a pedagogical stick-in-the-mud, but like Candywoman, I stick with what works for my students and me).

Originally Posted by AZNpiano

It's not that a certain key is boring, but the danger of prolonged stay in ANY key (read: hand position) is that students start to associate finger numbers with letter names.

One of the most common problems I get from Transfer Wrecks is that, whenever there is a Bass C in the left hand, they just HAVE to shift their hand and use 5 to play the C. It's ingrained in their brain that C = 5. This includes kids who are already playing sonatinas. By that point, it's hopeless.

I've spent years deprogramming kids who learned incorrectly, and this is one problem that--if I don't get the student early enough--will not be resolved. I blame the methods that overrely on hand positions.


Austin Rogers, PhD
Music Teacher in Austin, TX
Baldwin SD-10 Concert Grand "Kuroneko", Baldwin Upright, Yamaha P-255
Re: Teaching my 12 year old and some general questions [Re: ShyPianist] #2827261
03/15/19 05:41 PM
03/15/19 05:41 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
South Florida
G
Gary D. Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Gary D.  Offline
6000 Post Club Member
G

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
South Florida
Originally Posted by ShyPianist

If there’s one thing I’m certain of when it comes to my son (and these days there’s not much, it must be said!) it’s that a dry, rigid approach is simply not going to work for him.

I can't figure out how your son will listen to you as a teacher, because I've had zero success with my own family, but maybe you two will be the exception that proves the rule, so to speak.

Dry/rigid is a recipe for failure with all students who are not 100% passive about accepting orders, and this is simply NOT typical of any of my students, of any age. And yes, you have to take the long view. Tremendous success for the best part of a year and then quitting means that a few years later next to nothing learned will stay.

Just make sure you have a secure back-up system for Thompson.

I do nothing with fingering for beginners. I tell them, "I don't care if you use your nose and toes!" That always gets a laugh, but I am 100% serious. I do start off with triads ASAP, very carefully with fingering, but that is by rote. Then the B scale, always, again careful of fingering only for this. I also ask for the correct fingering for all LH chords, but not for the RH. I let students choose any fingering, then when I'm 100% certain that they are reading, I refine that. The refining does not take long.

I'm pretty much a fanatic about smart fingering, but you have to do first things first. The principle is that no human being can track lines and spaces, letter names, fingering and counting at the same time. You have to layer things these things. You get one in place, then you add the next layer. The illusion is that advanced players are thinking about all these things at the same time, but we aren't. Most of them are already working as sub-routines, in the background, and we concentrate at most on maybe two things, like nailing down the fingering, meaning just push they right keys, then usually the basic rhythm. Each moment things fall into place, we move to the next layer. It happens lightning fast so it appears to all happen at the same time.

But it doesn't.


Piano Teacher
Re: Teaching my 12 year old and some general questions [Re: ShyPianist] #2827292
03/15/19 06:48 PM
03/15/19 06:48 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 572
UK
S
ShyPianist Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
ShyPianist  Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
S

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 572
UK
I really appreciate all this great advice, thanks so much. I am reading and considering absolutely everything.

This:

Quote
I can't figure out how your son will listen to you as a teacher, because I've had zero success with my own family, but maybe you two will be the exception that proves the rule, so to speak.


First of all, I have absolutely no idea either how this will pan out. If you’d asked me a couple of years ago if this would be a possibility I’d have said no way. But if there’s one thing about my son that I’m coming to know, it’s his capacity to suddenly throw a curve ball that catches me completely off guard. I’ve no idea if this will turn out to be me teaching him piano, per se, or more general musicality, or whether we’ll just end up bonding over a shared interest. If that’s all that comes of it for him that’s just fine by me. We’ve had a tough few years with him for various reasons and you have no idea how thrilled I am that he seems to be developing a genuine interest and aptitude for music.

As for whether I might be doing him a disservice by not looking for a proper teacher right away, at the moment I don’t think so. Firstly he has shown no interest so far in learning piano with someone else. Furthermore he already has a fantastic guitar teacher who he really looks up to and I think guitar will be his main instrument as he has very clear potential there.

But more to the point as far as this forum is concerned, his interest is spurring me on to go further into something I’ve been thinking about for many years, so for now I’m going with it with a wide open mind.

Last edited by ShyPianist; 03/15/19 06:55 PM.

Pianist, independent music arranger, violinist, mother
Re: Teaching my 12 year old and some general questions [Re: ShyPianist] #2827305
03/15/19 07:12 PM
03/15/19 07:12 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 7,234
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content

7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 7,234
Originally Posted by ShyPianist
But more to the point as far as this forum is concerned, his interest is spurring me on to go further into something I’ve been thinking about for many years, so for now I’m going with it with a wide open mind.

Reading this thread, it occurs to me you are really considering getting a pedagogy certificate. But if so, I hope it isn't only to teach your son. smile


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Teaching my 12 year old and some general questions [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2827308
03/15/19 07:15 PM
03/15/19 07:15 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 572
UK
S
ShyPianist Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
ShyPianist  Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
S

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 572
UK
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by ShyPianist
But more to the point as far as this forum is concerned, his interest is spurring me on to go further into something I’ve been thinking about for many years, so for now I’m going with it with a wide open mind.

Reading this thread, it occurs to me you are really considering getting a pedagogy certificate. But if so, I hope it isn't only to teach your son. smile


Haha, no, I’m afraid my son will have an unqualified teacher in training (unless it becomes clear he needs better than me, obviously) otherwise he could be waiting a very very long time while I pluck up the courage to go back into exam world.


Pianist, independent music arranger, violinist, mother
Re: Teaching my 12 year old and some general questions [Re: ShyPianist] #2827346
03/15/19 10:01 PM
03/15/19 10:01 PM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 90
M
mostlystrings Offline
Full Member
mostlystrings  Offline
Full Member
M

Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 90
Originally Posted by ShyPianist
how did you teachers on here develop your own strategies?

For me - seeking training in pedagogy, observing other teachers, accumulating experience teaching, seeing what challenges older and more advanced students end up with and adjusting earlier level teaching, dialogue with colleagues and mentors, reading people's ideas on internet forums...

Originally Posted by ShyPianist
I’ve no idea if this will turn out to be me teaching him piano, per se, or more general musicality, or whether we’ll just end up bonding over a shared interest. If that’s all that comes of it for him that’s just fine by me.

I applaud this mindset.

Page 2 of 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Moderated by  Ken Knapp 

(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Bechstein
Shop our Store for Music Lovers!
PianoSupplies.com is Piano World's Online Store
Please visit our store today.
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
What other piano textures can I use?
by OscoBosco. 10/23/19 04:06 PM
Youtube playlist - ABRSM Grade 1 scales and broken chords
by Grand Reality. 10/23/19 03:59 PM
Lang Lang Video - Bach WTC Prelude
by apianostudent. 10/23/19 12:58 PM
Ignore if not a coffee drinker
by Tyrone Slothrop. 10/23/19 11:51 AM
Your best practices for scoring improvs
by Abdol. 10/23/19 10:15 AM
What's Hot!!
Our August Newsletter is Out!
------------------
Mason & Hamlin Piano Factory Tour!

-------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics194,696
Posts2,882,625
Members94,725
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2019 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.1