Posts by Randall Faber

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Teaching Beginners with Special Needs

Written by Randall Faber and Mary Kathryn Archuleta If you are a piano teacher, you have likely considered opening your studio, and your heart, to the 1 in 150 children diagnosed with an autistic-spectrum disorder or other impairment. Music lessons provide the structural regularity that children with special needs require. And, within that structure, it […]

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The Young Beginner: Keys for Connecting – My First Piano Adventure

What is this world of the young beginner? It is fun, fantasy and exploration. Seriousness? Teacher-driven rules? Tight control? These close down a young learner’s intrinsic interest. Not only is this young beginner’s world substantially different than the adult world and qualitatively different than ages 7-8, the young beginner does not “meet us halfway.” 4-5 […]

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Level 1: Articulation and the Wrist

An essential concept of Level 1 is beginning articulation, specifically legato and staccato. These terms are so familiar to us as music teachers that we might overlook the importance of these touches in developing technique and musical expression. Perhaps you have noticed that there are no articulation marks at the Primer Level—no slurs and no […]

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Level 2A: Pattern Recognition and Five-Finger Scales

Pattern Recognition Why are five-finger positions a necessary part of piano pedagogy? Because our hands have five fingers. So the relevance of five-finger patterns applies at virtually any level of piano playing. Major and minor five-finger patterns are taught in Level 2A of Piano Adventures®—after the basics of reading are acquired in the Primer and […]

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Level 2B: The Power of Primary Chords

Perhaps the favorite application of music theory in piano instruction is the teaching of I, IV and V7 chords in that familiar cluster surrounding the root-position I chord. This aspect of piano pedagogy is a guiding concept for Level 2B of Piano Adventures® and the corresponding ChordTime® Piano series. This simple chord formula is favored […]

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Level 4: Lyric Playing and “Personal Sound”

At Level 3B, we appealed to the student’s interest in fast playing. At Level 4 the student learns lyric playing—the ability to project and beautifully shape a melody. We positioned lyric playing after fast playing because it requires more mature expression. We like to discuss the excitement of speed and the expressive quality of lyric […]