Guest post by Karen Marshall
I was first introduced to singing rounds as a very young child at Primary school…
It was much later in life that I realised their potential for instrumental use. I can remember being quite miffed that – even though I learnt three instruments – I’d not played one round during any of my instrumental lessons.
I try to incorporate rounds into my piano teaching along with using them constantly in my choir and whole school singing assemblies (I work as a music specialist in a Primary School along side piano teaching).
Continue reading Using Rounds in Piano Teaching
I am sure that most piano teachers will be alert to the fact that some pupils coming to lessons are anxious. This post will look at some reasons for that, and offer some suggestions that might help normalise lessons.
The article is written for any player who has ever said – and any teacher who has ever heard – the words:
“It was perfect when I practised it at home this morning…”
Clearly, in order for student and teacher to make the most of any piano lesson we all want to move beyond this point!
Continue reading Piano Lessons: Dealing with Anxiety
Sheet Music Review
The current decade is proving to be a significant one for beginner tutor books, with new publications appearing thick and fast. In many cases these are a breath of fresh air following on from several years in which ageing “favourites” have maintained market dominance.
Latest arrival, Piano Junior from Schott Music, is one of the most ambitious yet. The series progresses through four levels, with four books at each, totalling a projected 16 books. The series is written by the well-known German composer and author Hans-Günter Heumann, with support and advice from experts Carolyn True, Melanie Spanswick and Sally Cathcart.
The first two levels are now available. Levels 3 and 4 will follow later, and I look forward to reviewing them in due course.
Continue reading Piano Junior – the Big Review
Guest Author Paul Harris explores how lessons might best unfold.
A lesson is a journey.
A lesson is a journey. But a rather special kind of journey: more a voyage of discovery. And we, as teachers, are both pilot and guide, working alongside our pupils, sometimes planning the route together, with the ultimate intention of teaching them to guide themselves. And what makes each journey – each lesson – so exciting, is that we don’t necessarily know either the route or exactly where we are heading … until we get there! But, crucially, we need to ensure that the journey is both enjoyable and productive.
As a wise man once said – you may be able to predict the teaching, but you can never predict the learning; so, even though you might have some idea of where you want to go, the lesson may wish to go somewhere else!
We do of course have a certain amount of control over a pupil’s progress through a lesson. So let’s have a look at how learning really should work.
Continue reading A Voyage of Discovery
Guest Post by Karen Marshall
People may assume as an author of a method book I always use it. This simply is not the case. The right material is always my first consideration. And at times another tutor may be more suitable.
Perhaps for a very young beginner needing a slower progression or a teenager/adult needing something faster. Students have many different needs. I’m currently using alternative tutors with two beginners for those very reasons…
Continue reading No One Method…
Guest Post by Brian Jenkins
Popular in the US, the Piano Safari method is now available in the UK from Alfred Music. With many here now expressing an interest, a review from a U.K. perspective will follow here soon.
In the meantime, US teacher Brian Jenkins explains how the method has impacted his teaching…
Continue reading Introducing Piano Safari