Okay, so I’ve been thinking about this topic for a few weeks now, and today I’m spilling all! Sorry about the length. =)
Don’t Make My Mistake!
When I first began teaching, I created a mental list of all the things I felt were essential for a new student should know. I thought very carefully about what to say in order to cover all these topics with my student during the very first lesson. “The List” included things like:
- How to sit properly at the piano.
- How to hold one’s wrists.
- How to curve one’s fingers.
- The finger numbers.
- How to find the black key groups of 2’s and 3’s.
- How to find Middle C.
- How to find A-G on the piano.
- What a steady beat is and is not like.
- What a quarter note is.
These are all important things, of course. But I hadn’t really stopped to consider what the student might be feeling at that very moment on my piano bench. I jabbered away cheerily through my long, long list, anxious that my student would learn all the right things the right way from the very first day.
Do you remember what it was like at your very first piano lesson as a kid? Usually, new students are anxious, curious, unsure, maybe nervous — and usually they are very excited to play the piano. They might tell you they can play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star for you which their mother taught them by rote. Or they might show off that they figured out Mary Had a Little Lamb by ear. Or they might not know how to play anything at all, but they are definitely sitting on your piano bench practically drooling, anxious to get their fingers on those beautiful, shiny keys!
So what do you do? What do you do about all this crazy excitement, energy, and motivation that is radiating from this student? Continue reading “Rethinking The Student’s First Lesson”