What is your favorite approach to teaching today’s kids? Traditional middle C? Multi-key? Landmark? What works the best for your students?
I prefer to use more than one method so that student’s can have adequate reinforcement of concepts. Middle C methods are great for confidence in reading but they don’t always provide enough ear training or improvisation so I supplement with my own activities. A combination of the Faber Piano Adventures and the Hal Leonard method seem to work well in my studio.
I have typically used the Michael Aaron books to get kids started. I know they are really old but I started on them and I kind of like how musical the little tunes are. It ramps up rather quickly so I supplement with other material. Of course, I like to move them on to more interesting material and easy classical works as soon as possible.
I prefer a strong landmark/interval approach primarily, but other than the Music Tree and Celebrate Piano, the other method courses simply don’t go far enough with this. Not all learners can handle a strictly intervalic approach tho, so I will pull in a bit of everything.
My method courses of choice are Music Tree combined with Hal Leonard, Succeeding at the Piano, and Celebrate Piano. I’ll use components of other courses for supplementary support.
Do you use all the books from a particular method with a beginning student (Lessons, Solos, Theory etc.) or mix and match from different methods? If you do combine methods, which ones pair up the best for you?
Thanks gtpiano for this thorough look at how you integrate different methods to each student’s benefit. You obviously have a great deal of experience teaching!
You’re very welcome.
Piano Pronto by Jennifer Eklund – pianopronto.com
It depends on the student. Students who I think will move slower get Piano Saffari. Normal starts use Piano adventures with a bit of Hal Leonard. My older starts have a faster moving method that I feel fits them better.
I like a combination of intervallic reading with some rote playing. I incorporate multi-key approach by teaching the Major and minor pentachords starting almost immediately. Historically I have favored the Music Tree and Hal Leonard methods. I have begun to like the Helen Marlais “Succeeding at the Piano” and I will try out Piano Safari asap. I used to teach Suzuki piano, but would start the reading as soon as the four twinkle variations were mastered. So, students were learning to read while learning to play by rote or by ear. I like to incorporate some Dalcroze when possible, and I love Michiko Yurko’s music theory games (Music Mind Games) and the new app Note Rush.
Most experts allows to learn Middle C first, although not so hard to master this one, this is a typical step to more learn of the ideas and some further steps. There are workshops that actually provides one on one brainstorm sessions a
Keynote presentations to enhance learners ability. Workshop and improvisation like those training events of http://smartleesecreative.com/training/ also tackles this.
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