Piano Teaching Methods There is lots of piano teaching method and each one has its strengths and weaknesses.
Now, I am going to inform you about the most common three methods for children Alfred, Suzuki, Amadeus. First of all, the Alfred method uses visual things such as colored pictures and graphics using software, compact discs, and /or cassettes is the newest updated one in this method (“Piano Teaching Method” 1). As you know, a picture is the greatest friend to children and it helps them, even adults like us, to understand something a lot easier. Additionally, it could grab childrens attention more easily and quickly than a verbal explanation.
For example, you can make a little card to show the scale or the relationship between notes. It is going to be helpful because students can look at it over and over. If you add colors or some pictures to that, it also would be helpful to get students interest. This method gives students strength in reading intervals and seeing “the intervalic relationship between notes” (“Piano Teaching Method” 1). However, it might cause students to play by totally “relying on position playing” instead learning how to read the notes because it uses “the concept of position playing” (“Piano Teaching Method” 1).
In other words, students memorize the hand position fingering but not read the notes. And some people point out that “the major composers should be presented to the students at a much earlier stage than is typical in this method” (“Piano Teaching Method” 2). This method is recommended for very beginning teachers who need a certain prepared lesson plan to follow and once the teachers become more comfortable and get to know about different methods, they are urged to “expand from this method” (“Piano Teaching Method” 2). The Suzuki method you probably heard this concept a lot. This method was applied to teaching violin originally by Dr.
Shinichi Suzuki but it now is applied to piano teaching also (Mills et al ed. 1). The Suzuki method approaches playing piano with “listening and development of ear and the memory” rather than reading music (Mills 114). This method relies on playing by ear so that students become more sensitive about the tone they produce and it makes student concentrate more on their playing, and become more expressive with the music (Mills 114; “Piano Teaching Method” 4). In The Suzuki Concept, the author indicates that “after the good playing habits have been established, reading comes a little later” (114). However, the students trained by this method could lack reading music skill because they depend too much on playing by ear (“Piano Teaching Method” 4).
For me, the most interesting teaching method is the Amadeus method. The concept of this method is that the teacher should give a lesson to children by playing with music as children play with toys (Back and Lee 25). The author remarks that teaching how to read the notes is not a first step (Back and Lee 25). In The Piano Teaching Method To Make The Best Student, the author describes that in this method, the teacher should guide children to be familiar with music by their sense of playing, and help children to feel and express music through their bodies (25). In this method, the easiest and the most recommended thing for teachers is to have children sing (Back and Lee 24).
By doing that children could learn musical factors such as phrasing. Through this method, children can enjoy learning piano more and become familiar with music gradually and unconsciously (Back and Lee 26). I believe that unconscious learning process is the strongest advantage the students can get from this method. But as a teacher, you have to be always aware of the lesson plan, otherwise this method might end up just as playing instead of teaching (Back and Lee 26).
Therefore, teachers should always prepare the curriculum carefully. As I mentioned above, there are strengths and weaknesses in each method. As a piano teacher, you should be knowledgeable about many different methods and use them according to the students needs. You cant just insist on one particular method because each of your students learning style will be different. I believe that the role of a teacher is to find out the best methodology for his or her students. Teachers should be flexible with different methods of teaching.
Bibliography Back, Ki-Pung, and Bong-Ki Lee. The Piano Teaching Method to Make the Best Student. Seoul: Jak Eun Woo Li, 1993. Mills, Elizabeth, et al ed.
The Suzuki Concept. Berkeley: Diablo Press, 1973. Piano Teaching Methods. The Piano Education Page.