Resources for Parents, Students and Teachers in Classical Piano Education
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A Personal Guide for Parents
Directories of Teachers, Schools, Piano Methods, Summer Camps, Composers
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Finding a piano teacher is not a difficult task, but finding the right piano teacher can make the process very stressful. Naturally we tend to ask friends and neighbors for recommendations. However, you must keep in mind that the wonderful teacher your friend's child has is not necessarily going to produce the same results with your child. Having compatible personalities is one of many key factors in finding the right chemistry between a teacher and your child. Another key factor you must also consider is defining the goal for your child by knowing your child's interest level and what you expect your child to get out of the experience.
No matter what your expectations are, your foremost concern must be the person who will provide your child with a positive learning experience. This requires not only a dedicated piano teacher but crucially the right piano teacher, one who can instill and foster a love for the piano and music.
Define Your Goal
Before you undertake the task of looking for a teacher, you must first think about setting the goal for your child. Once you've decided the level you want your child to reach, you can better prepare yourself to commit the time and energy necessary to get there. This will also prepare you to find a teacher that would match your criteria.
I have divided piano achievement (goal) into two major stages - Musical Foundation (MF) and Total Musicianship (TM). Children who complete Musical Foundation will acquire a substantial amount of knowledge in piano playing, music theory and music appreciation. Children who reach Total Musicianship will build a solid understanding of piano playing, music theory and music appreciation. You will find a complete description of both achievement stages in Setting Your Goal. I have further divided each achievement area into two phases - MF I & II, TM I & II. These are defined in Reaching Your Goal where you will find specific skills your child needs to fulfill that level of study. Once you have determined what your child's goal might be, then it is time to find the right piano teacher for your child.
This guide is not based on any educational study nor referenced from any publications. The ideas were created based on my personal experience as a student, a parent, and a daughter of a piano educator. When I realized the need to educate parents about piano education, and knowing the difficulties many parents with no musical background are facing, I thought a step-by-step guide would give parents a better perspective on what piano education encompasses. I hope this guide will steer you in the right direction and help you make an informed decision.
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