And “piano?” Is this seemingly misfit word pertinent? Indulge me to share a few personal stories of pandemic, politics, and piano—and then consider this trio of dynamics philosophically. Just a short year ago in Ann Arbor, I was dining out with pianist Emanuel Ax and a key Director of Pfizer. Together with the local symphony […]
Our current “sheltering at home” evokes the image of Odysseus at sea, battening down the hatches and waiting out the storm. Homer’s Odysseus faced his fear. As an adventurer, he chose to confront the unknown. He was prepared to face novel challenge, take the scars, and gain strength from learnings. This is the arc of […]
Nancy and I join you and many around the world during this unsettling “lockdown” defense against the pandemic. Cancellation of international travel, cancellation of conventions, cancellation of schools—and now our lessons? Please know that the Piano Adventures community is here for your support. We have tools to keep you going, whether you choose to teach […]
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 […]
If you’ve taught many adult piano students, you’ve probably made many friends. We don’t teach to make friends and, indeed, the relationship begins as a business transaction. Yet, time and again, personal relationships develop—often with more significance than our client’s developing musical skill!
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 […]
There is much to share with our beginning students. With limited lesson time, how do we maximize our results? Fortunately, the Primer Level presents three elements of pedagogy that have exponential value when taught in combination.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]