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This program sounds like something I would like to use in my studio. I am confused about registering.
I purchased the Syllabus, but can’t quite figure out how to level my students.
Why did you write The Piano Lesson Companion Books?
I teach class piano at a public high school, how will these books help?
Several classroom teachers came to me after the original series of The Piano Lesson had come out. They expressed a need of having material written for them. Since the majority of class piano teachers are not pianists, but choral or band directors, I certainly understood their dilemma.
I teach group piano lessons in a private studio. Can I modify these books to work with the class?
Absolutely! In fact, these books really lend themselves to a group situation. Each section is broken down into lessons; therefore, you can keep your entire class right on track. It is the easiest system out on the market.
I have a Masters of Music, what do these books do to help me?
Regardless of your musical background, these books will help you organize your students. Most students are children and tend to forget books or resist learning rudiments. If you present the material to them in a single book and inform them that this is what them must accomplish during the school year. They are usually fine. I normally ask them if they like everything they are learning in a particular class at school. The answer is always NO. Their school teacher still expects them to learn that material. The analogy hits home.
I do not have a degree in music or piano pedagogy; however, I am teaching piano in a very small town. Will I be able to use these books?
These books will really assist you in your lessons! If you are not as strong in one area, the material is at your fingertips. Your parents will appreciate the effort you are making to give their children a complete music background.
I play the flute and have a minor in music. Because I am the only person in our neighborhood that has any musical background, parents have been asking me to teach their children. Will these books help me?
You are an ideal candidate to be using these books. Along with method books of your choice, these books will assist you in learning piano fingering for scales and how the majority of piano teachers organize their lessons. It will elevate your teaching to the next level.
My piano teacher told me that I could start teaching beginning piano students (I’m still in high school, but have been taking piano lessons for 10 years). Would these books help me?
Because you are still young and still learning the instrument, you can certainly benefit with this curriculum. Most beginning teachers know how to play the piano, but don’t know how to put all the pieces together. With these books, it will take most of the “trial and error” out of those beginning lessons and steer you in the right direction.
As a home school parent, how does this work with my home school curriculum?
This is a wonderful question! After some research, I discovered that there is not a great deal of material on the market that will assist “home-schooler’s” with their pursuit of a music curriculum. There are many method books, music history books, theory books, etc. that you can use independently, but the flow of all that material is lacking. These books put it all at your fingertips. My suggestion however is that you find a qualified piano teacher and ask him/her to use these books in your child’s lesson.
If I have a transfer student, what level should I put him in?
This is one of the most difficult questions that run across my desk. All transfer students come at some many different stages. Some may be strong in technique, but weak in theory or vice-versa. I generally place the student in the level where they are most comfortable with their scales. It is usually a level or two below what they are expecting. I tend to be on the cautious side. I would rather have them “review” material and feel a sense of accomplishment rather than have them be frustrated at a higher level.
Once a student finishes Piano World 4B, what book should they go to?
Piano World moves at a faster pace. It also teaches the natural minor scales first, where The Piano Lesson Companion Books teaches the harmonic minors first. Depending on the age of the student, you could either go to Level 5 or Level 6 of The Piano Lesson Companion Book.
With all of the method books out on the market, why do I need to use these?
Remember, these books are not method books, but a graduated curriculum. There are so many terrific method books out on the market; there was no need to write another one. It also addresses continuity for students from the beginning of their studies throughout.
Why isn’t there repertoire (music) included?
This is one of the most common questions I receive. It is also one of my favorite. Because I am the kind of piano teacher that likes to “mix and match” material, I thought this might be the best route to take with the books. I will use one book/edition for say Bach Inventions, while using a different edition for Schumann’s Album for the Young. I also do a great deal of supplemental material while my students are in their method books. I get frustrated with editor’s choice of material and sometimes get very frustrated with their remarks/fingerings/etc. With an open-ended concept that you can choose YOUR FAVORITES, without compromising the student’s education, you stay in your comfort zone of teaching.
Is there a place where there are suggestions for repertoire?
Well, I certainly don’t want to leave anyone high and dry on this subject. In all of the teacher manuals, there is a specific section dedicated to suggested repertoire. By all means, it is not a definitive list of material, but a guideline of what will work well at each level. I have included several collections of repertoire from the many fine publishing houses that will guide you as well.
Do I really need the Teacher Manual?
As a business woman, of course I am going to tell you YES. As a piano teacher, I am also going to tell you YES. The material in the teacher manuals will help you navigate through the student books easier. They also contain all of the theory answers, so you won’t have to spend time doing that yourself. If you are a beginning teacher, the sections on setting up your studio and advertising for students are invaluable. I have had so many teachers thank me saving them valuable time and energy.