Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Piano Teaching Links

Here are some websites I have found useful as I teach piano.

Piano Pedagogy: In my initial months of research before I began teaching piano as a home business, this website was the single most helpful. Her philosophy of teaching jibes very well with my own thoughts, and as a person who had never studied pedagogy, I greatly appreciated the hand-holding.

How to Teach Beginners (Suzuki): Demystification of the Suzuki books for those of us who do not have time to study the method in depth, but would like an overview in order to make our own decisions regarding the use of those excellent books.

The Practice Spot: A fun website with interactive games, practice suggestions and even tips on how to make your own music studio website. There is a lot here, and I have not explored all of it.

I have found several websites that provide free sheet music downloads, but I haven't yet found one I can recommend wholeheartedly. Very often I disagree with fingering, or feel that the simplification of classical pieces has not been done intuitively enough. I tend to rewrite a measure or two in almost every free sheet music download I print out (or my students bring to me). I expect I will eventually get frustrated with this process and use my new Finale software to write my own simplifications.

It has taken me years to figure out where I stand in terms of piano education philosophy, and while I am still working some bugs out, I feel like I have finally developed a method of sorts. For the record, the two series of books I use with consistency are the Faber books and the Suzuki books. As I become more knowledgeable in teaching piano, I find myself moving away from method books and spending more time poring over sheet music and books at the local music store, and asking lots of questions of the patient piano lady there (she is a friend I made a decade ago, while I still had time to participate in Bach choir).

I plan to expand my business a little more this year and am in the process of putting out advertisements. Last year I had eight students in my studio, including my own three kids. This year I will have slots for twelve students.

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