Teenagers are a fun group to teach, and the musical possibilities are endless! They are at a point in life when individual tastes in music form, and they definitely keep me on my toes with knowing the new, cool bands and artists. Every student age, from young beginners to the 7-12 group, has its own unique methodology for a piano teacher in Washington, DC to craft. Here are my top music material picks for teenage students:
- Piano Adventures for the Older Beginner by Nancy and Randall Faber: These books are essential in my studio for teenagers who are new to piano. Levels 1 and 2 of this series offer a fast paced and engaging approach to establishing note reading and music theory basics. Also, the pieces are for a more mature age group than the standard Piano Adventures books by Faber
- Intermediate Repertoire by James and Jane Smisor Bastien: For students who have completed the first group of levels in any of the introductory Faber, Bastien, or Alfred methods, this series is a wonderful next step for weekly exercises and pieces. There are three progressive levels in this method that incorporate intermediate classical piano pieces, often times in their original form.
- Musicnotes.com: Though I included this resource in my previous post for the 7 to 12 age group, it is also a primary go-to for fun, popular piano pieces for teenagers. With options for easy piano to piano solo versions of most top 100 songs, I can always find a song to spark interest amongst my students. These pop songs also offer a practical way to combine music theory lesson into sessions subtly. Students don’t realize it, but in teaching them how to read chord symbols and quickly comp from lead sheets, they are actually having a fun music theory lesson.
Though teenage students vary dramatically in experience and interest in piano music, one aspect in every lesson remains constant: they want to have fun with their instrument and feel that what they are playing is cool. Whether coolness is classical repertoire, jazz, or pop is for the teacher to assess with each student, but whatever the interest is, as teachers, we can always find creative way to give great, well-rounded lessons.