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Should I teach this girl? (Read 2000 times)

Offline mjames

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Should I teach this girl?
« on: September 01, 2013, 06:27:27 PM »
Okay, first I'm going start with where I live. I'm senior in high school and I live in Maputo, Mozambique. Here in Maputo, there aren't any people who can teach piano or are classically trained, so last year when I started playing piano I was doing it by myself, obviously. This is pretty much the same time I started lurking piano forums like these reading loads of comments about piano technique and theory etc. So my one year anniversary (lol) will be sometime in the second week of September.

So, since my Uncle's friend heard me play he started talking about me all over the place, and that got the attention of some girl and her parents. They want me to teach her. There is an alternative though, and that's the Escola de Musica nacional de Mocambique but all of them are extremely under qualified and have no idea how to play piano. She was there for a few months, and she quit. I was there too for like two months, didn't learn sh*t! So I know how she feels. Seriously, kids who have studied there for 6+ years still don't know what all the major scales let alone play them...So I left and I taught myself how to play piano, and I can say I'm pretty satisfied with my progress. I haven't met the girl and her parents but I'm planning to do so soon in order to give my answer.

I mean, I want to ask you guys if it's the right thing to do. A late intermediate student teaching someone how to play piano? I mean, even if its the basics I don't want to give her any bad habits or anything. The hardest piece I've ever played (decently, lol) would be the first mvt of Schubert's aminor sonata...
Is it right if a student teaches? This is temporary ofc, cause hopefully I'll be leaving for college in like 9 months (to the States :D :D :D!!!)...
I've pretty much covered basic music theory, and stuff. Should I venture into more music theory such as chord progressions and harmony and stuff...even if I'm just teaching a beginner? Can you guys give some pointers, like what I should teach first, what I should focus on (like reading exercises, scales), repertoire/pieces she should learn. I'm 18 and the girl is around 15-16 I think...

Pieces I've learnt so far:
Kuhlau sonatina (that famous one)
Bach Inventions No. 1, no. 2, no. 3, no. 8, no. 10, and sinfonia 1 & 2
Heller etudes - op. 45 no. 11 ( i think? the one in b minor)
Debussy - prelude about a girl and her hair...not good with french lol
Schubert - Moments musicaux, Serenade, Impromptu no. 4 in aflat (kind of...still hard to pull off decently)
Beethoven - Sonata Op. 49 No. 2(i think?) in g major
Liadov - Mazurka Op. 59
Clementi Sonatina (famous one ...again lol I'm bad opus numbers)
Mozart - Sonata in c major (the easier one), and turkish rondo
And now for Chopin...I've played quite a lot:
Valse no. 19 a minor
valse op. 69 no. 1 and no. 2
valse op. 64 no. 1 (polishing it) no. 2 and no. 3
Valse op. 34 no. 2
Prelude no.4 and no. 6
Nocturne Op. 9 no. 2 and op. 55 no. 1 (polishing it)

Yeah I know, generic repertoire... :(

So if I do end up teaching her, expect a lot of posts from me soon...

Offline iansinclair

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Re: Should I teach this girl?
«Reply #1 on: September 01, 2013, 11:16:55 PM »
As a general rule, I wouldn't particularly recommend it.  However, there are exceptions to every rule, and it seems to me that this is one.

I'd say to go for it.  However, be sure that your technique is sound, and that what she learns is sound.  What this really means is that you will be learning just as much as she is, if not more!  There is nothing like trying to teach something to learn it yourself!

And do post questions and problems.  I am sure that I -- and the rest of the folks here on Piano Street -- will help as much as we can.
Ian

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Should I teach this girl?
«Reply #2 on: September 02, 2013, 07:53:33 AM »
Ian has pretty much said as much as I would say.

I will add that teaching is way different than playing piano. What you can play doesn't have all that much to do with how well you could teach. Obviously it helps to know the material you will teach but getting the information into another persons head in a way that it sticks with them and nurtures them at the piano takes a different kind of talent than playing the piano does. Plus you have learned an exceptional amount and level of material in a short amount of time ( how well we do not know but to even get through it is quite something IMO). Others may learn way slower than you have. Just keep that in mind and be patient with your student !
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline mjames

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Re: Should I teach this girl?
«Reply #3 on: September 02, 2013, 06:53:36 PM »
Alright, thank you guys! I'll give it a shot, and I'll try to keep you updated.

Offline rembetissa

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Re: Should I teach this girl?
«Reply #4 on: September 06, 2013, 03:59:53 PM »
Go for it! Good luck!