Piano Teaching Methods


Piano Teaching Methods Essay, Research Paper

There is lots of piano teaching method and each one has its strengths and

weaknesses. Now, I am going to inform you about the most common three methods

for children ? Alfred, Suzuki, Amadeus. First of all, the Alfred method uses

visual things such as colored pictures and graphics ? using software, compact

discs, and /or cassettes is the newest updated one in this method (?Piano

Teaching Method? 1). As you know, a picture is the greatest friend to children

and it helps them, even adults like us, to understand something a lot easier.

Additionally, it could grab children?s attention more easily and quickly than

a verbal explanation. For example, you can make a little card to show the scale

or the relationship between notes. It is going to be helpful because students

can look at it over and over. If you add colors or some pictures to that, it

also would be helpful to get students? interest. This method gives students

strength in reading intervals and seeing ?the intervalic relationship between

notes? (?Piano Teaching Method? 1). However, it might cause students to

play by totally ?relying on position playing? instead learning how to read

the notes because it uses ?the concept of position playing? (?Piano

Teaching Method? 1). In other words, students memorize the hand position ?

fingering ? but not read the notes. And some people point out that ?the

major composers should be presented to the students at a much earlier stage than

is typical in this method? (?Piano Teaching Method? 2). This method is

recommended for very beginning teachers who need a certain prepared lesson plan

to follow and once the teachers become more comfortable and get to know about

different methods, they are urged to ?expand from this method? (?Piano

Teaching Method? 2). The Suzuki method ? you probably heard this concept a

lot. This method was applied to teaching violin originally by Dr. Shinichi

Suzuki but it now is applied to piano teaching also (Mills et al ed. 1). The

Suzuki method approaches playing piano with ?listening and development of ear

and the memory? rather than reading music (Mills 114). This method relies on

playing by ear so that students become more sensitive about the tone they

produce and it makes student concentrate more on their playing, and become more

expressive with the music (Mills 114; ?Piano Teaching Method? 4). In The

Suzuki Concept, the author indicates that ?after the good playing habits have

been established, reading comes a little later? (114). However, the students

trained by this method could lack reading music skill because they depend too

much on playing by ear (?Piano Teaching Method? 4). For me, the most

interesting teaching method is the Amadeus method. The concept of this method is

that the teacher should give a lesson to children by playing with music as

children play with toys (Back and Lee 25). The author remarks that teaching how

to read the notes is not a first step (Back and Lee 25). In The Piano Teaching

Method To Make The Best Student, the author describes that in this method, the

teacher should guide children to be familiar with music by their sense of

playing, and help children to feel and express music through their bodies (25).

In this method, the easiest and the most recommended thing for teachers is to

have children sing (Back and Lee 24). By doing that children could learn musical

factors such as phrasing. Through this method, children can enjoy learning piano

more and become familiar with music gradually and unconsciously (Back and Lee

26). I believe that unconscious learning process is the strongest advantage the

students can get from this method. But as a teacher, you have to be always aware

of the lesson plan, otherwise this method might end up just as playing instead

of teaching (Back and Lee 26). Therefore, teachers should always prepare the

curriculum carefully. As I mentioned above, there are strengths and weaknesses

in each method. As a piano teacher, you should be knowledgeable about many

different methods and use them according to the student?s needs. You can?t

just insist on one particular method because each of your students? learning

style will be different. I believe that the role of a teacher is to find out the

best methodology for his or her students. Teachers should be flexible with

different methods of teaching.

Back, Ki-Pung, and Bong-Ki Lee. The Piano Teaching Method to Make the Best

Student. Seoul: Jak Eun Woo Li, 1993. Mills, Elizabeth, et al ed. The Suzuki

Concept. Berkeley: Diablo Press, 1973. Piano Teaching Methods. The Piano

Education Page.

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