Teaching piano

Discuss technical aspects of piano playing and recording.

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Teaching piano

Postby Anonymous » Sun Mar 23, 2008 10:00 pm


I'm planning on teaching piano for beginners. right now, I'm searching for lesson books, polishing my skills, planning how to go my lessons, etc.

I haven't taught before, but I have a good understanding. any tips/ideas/techniques I should know about? I have about, oh, lets say an intermediate-advanced talent in piano.

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Postby juufa72 » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:24 am

I suggest Alfred's Piano Library. The books start with the most simple music and gradually introduce new material. The very last piece in the very last book (Alfred's Level 6) is C.P.E Bach's Solfeggeito.

Some will say that you should have your students practice Hanon's drills. I think it is OK for while, then the drills become redundant and rather useless.
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Postby diminished2nd » Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:34 pm

I think you should start them out on some Rachmaninoff or Liszt. Great repertoire for somebody who's never touched the piano before ;)

No really though, I'd definitely suggest using Alfred's books. Use both the lesson and the repertoire book (I think it might actually be called the recital book or something). The former will give them the tools to play the more interesting music in the latter. That's what most of my teachers did, and as I look back on the books now I think they're set up very well as far as building blocks go.
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Postby demonic_advent » Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:33 pm

Try using Bartok's Mikrokosmos. Those early books seem very well suited to a complete beginner.

... that's about all I know in regards to teaching.

I think you should start them out on some Rachmaninoff or Liszt. Great repertoire for somebody who's never touched the piano before

... Actually ... When I first started lessons, I practiced with the exercise books for about 2 weeks, then dumped them in my closet, and insisted that my piano teacher teach me some Rachmaninoff.

... and he did.
I learned how to play the piano, by studying Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C# Minor. I know it's a bit unorthodox... but I learned a lot more through that then those stupid exercise books could teach. I actually recently went back to look at them, and found that I learned everything in there without ever touching them.
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Postby Anonymous » Tue Apr 01, 2008 4:30 am

Thanks everyone I think this is going to really help.

I think I will go with alfred's library in terms of lesson books. It's what I'm most familiar with since that's what I was started on when I started learning the piano.

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Postby AndyLeeG4 » Tue Apr 15, 2008 5:07 pm

In case you haven't already purchased books...

I grew up on Alfred, but I teach using the Music Tree series by Francis Clark (among others). I find it is much better for children's hands, and has a lot more opportunity for improvisation and transposing right from the get go. I really prefer these to Alfred.

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Postby avguste » Thu May 08, 2008 2:18 pm

I would also suggest the Alfred books.But in addition to that,I would recommend also teaching them by rote.
Basically they repeat what you doing.That way they don't have to worry about whether they can or not read all the music
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Postby pepasch » Sun May 25, 2008 8:03 pm

Why don't you try and learn how to teach from some one is good at it and is experienced?

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Postby fluterific00 » Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:32 am

The only problem I find with the Music Tree, is that they are not playing familiar songs. Although the duet part the teacher plays with the student does make the pieces in this method sound more interesting. The first book is really all I've taught in, though. However, Ive started the Music Tree Part I book with one of my students. They don't know all of the notes right away. Music Tree intertwines learning the names within each section.
Just because the students have had these books, I have also been supplementing the music tree method with teaching little fingers to play, other Schaum method books. I also find pieces that I believe they could play. There is a book of Animal Songs, and have had both my students play the Chicks piece. It's a five finger song, and they know all of the notes now, so I figured they could do it. And, they have. It's quite fun to watch them progress.

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Postby Paradisi » Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:22 pm

I've been teaching for a LONG time! Currently have 25 students. I get BORED when they're all in the same method book, so I use a few different series. It's also useful to put siblings in different books, so the younger isn't playing too much by ear (some of my students have amazing ears!)

I use Alfred's, Piano Adventures (Faber), and Hal Leonard's series. I also use Dozen a Day for exercises, and sheet music for more interesting pieces. Later on we add Hanon in, along with simpler classical pieces like Bach's Anna Magdalena.

Theory I generally teach from the songs - not a separate book. We also do flash cards during lessons.

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