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Topic: Teaching Styles  (Read 1667 times)

Offline in_love_with_liszt

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Teaching Styles
on: August 12, 2004, 11:54:43 PM
Reading through posts on this forum, it seems there are two general ways of teaching piano. The first, "old" way puts heavy emphasis on technical studies aside from the pieces that the student is studying (Hanon is very common, as well as other exercizes written by the teachers/students). In this method learing a piece of music is done by reading the notes, and when starting a new piece you start very slow and gradually speed up once you have mastered the piece at a slow speed. A new student spends time going through "Lesson Books" that are simple childrens songs for 3-5 years before looking at pieces by prominent composers.

Then there is the "new" style of teaching, claiming to have abandoned some of the myths involved with the old way of teaching. Less emphasis is placed on Hanon and other exercizes, rather it is beleived technique is more efficiently aquired through playing your pieces hands separate. Many teachers now place much less priority on teaching the student to be fluent in reading music, and rather teach the students to play by ear, or by having the student watch the teacher's hands as the teacher shows them how to play it. It is beleived that playing a piece slow in the early stages is harmful, and you should start out playing the piece fast. In this method teachers tend to have their students try to tackle hard pieces by the masters early on, 2-3 years after starting piano.

Which method does your teacher seem to lean towards? Mine definitely is an "old" style teacher, and actually is insulted by the newer methods of teaching, commenting that this new way is for people that are impatient and lazy. I tend to agree with her, I have gotten all the success I have ever dreamed of out of this style of teaching.
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Offline Rach3

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Re: Teaching Styles
Reply #1 on: August 13, 2004, 11:02:11 AM
Imho, I think you're generalizing too much. In exemplo, my teacher emphasizes fluent reading and yet devalues technical studies. In starting a piece, I'm not asked to start 'very' slow and gradually speed up according to your old school, but not straight off fast practice either... more of a combination of moderate and slow tempi, depending on the nature of the piece. And I studied with another teacher this summer at music camp, definetely a 'new school' teacher who also places emphasis on reading.

I understand what you mean by the 'old' and 'new' ways, but  I think what constitues 'old' and 'new' varies between teachers and doens't  have a clear boundary.
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Offline in_love_with_liszt

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Re: Teaching Styles
Reply #2 on: August 13, 2004, 07:02:57 PM
Hence why I asked which yours leans towards.
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Offline Rach3

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Re: Teaching Styles
Reply #3 on: August 15, 2004, 10:40:12 AM
I see! Definetely old school.
"Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them."
--Richard Wagner
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