Something old, something new, something fast, and something slow.

As students get more advanced in their piano playing, it’s great to introduce the “classics” or standard piano repertoire like Mozart Sonata’s and Chopin Nocturnes. However, not every student is going to fall in love with these pieces of great music. They can be challenging and take many lessons to learn the entire piece.
As a teacher, I like to discover what type of music my students like to listen to and would like to play on the piano, guitar or flute (I teach all three). More often than not I am introduced to new music that I’ve never heard before. Just as I am introducing new music to my students, they help me to discover music by current artists i may not be familiar with. Many times students will find music that they want to learn from either something that they heard in a movie or something that they listen to on their Ipods. And like I tell all my music teachers in Seattle, WA, if you not using the ipod as a listening tool your missing out. Watch this great video on becoming a fan!

Emily Wienand - Piano, Guitar, and Flute teacher. Seattle
After reading Emily’s article, it’s easy to see why her students and parents love her.

It’s great for students to have a variety of music to be working on each week. Something old, like a Beethoven Bagatelle, and something new, like¬†Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. It’s amazing how both pieces can share similar techniques such as scale passages and chord progressions. Students can still develop great skills even if it’s not classical music. As a teacher its fun to point out similarities between music that can be hundreds of years apart.
This technique also helps to keep students interested in practicing. Sometimes practicing can get stale if the student is only working on one type of music, everything slow or everything fast. Shake things up a bit and have a variety of music to work on each week. Choosing more modern music also helps the student to connect with what they are hearing in their daily lives. Don’t be afraid to mix in a little Cold Play with the Bach Invention that the student is working on. It’s a fun change of pace and the student is still learning important piano skills and techniques.

One thought on “Something old, something new, something fast, and something slow.

  1. +1 for teaching students music they’re familiar with and want to play. It seems so obvious – yet we all know people who gave up on music lessons because they were forced to start out with tunes that weren’t part of their schema. My $0.02, as an amateur musician myself.

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