Methodology

This is probably not like any piano lesson you have seen. I teach private lessons within the framework of a class. Every week each student will play the piano for me and will also work on theory and do some other type of activity including music history, ear-training, and  sight-reading. These are technical musical skills. They can be tedious but are extremely important to developing musicality.  Once you develop those skills, they become more interesting.  Every once in a while I throw in a fun day.  On fun days everyone plays his  piano lesson but then gets to put the theory aside and play a music game or watch a movie.  “Movie??” “What?” This may seem odd to some of you, but I am able to show kids old movies with great music that they would otherwise not hear, for example big band music, jazz or show music. These movies are sometimes black and white, have a slower pace, and have less background noise than our current options, so you probably would not make them part of a family movie night.  I have carefully selected these for a musical purpose and explain that to my students. I ask them to listen for certain details including instrumentation that they are not used to hearing. Music appreciation will impact them forever. It shows them how music is a part of their lives. It has to transfer to real life or it won’t stick.

The friends that my students meet at piano lessons are their music friends. It is a different link. They watch others play the piano and help with theory. They encourage their pal when a piece is tricky and are impressed when that pal leaps a hurdle. There is an underlying sense of competition because most of these kids are competitive, but we really stress that everyone has his own path. They are nice kids.  They get it and and want to see their friends succeed.

Some days it is very quiet and everyone is working diligently while other days are noisy and silly.  Every day they learn.

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