Disclaimer – We love classical music. It is a fundamental component of our piano lessons, but it is by no means the single driving force behind our piano lessons.
Piano teachers expect their teenage students to drop out. It is just something that “happens”. And can you blame the teenagers? For most, at some point along the line, piano lessons become a chore. The “somewhat” cute songs from colourful and entertaining lesson books have been replaced by serious pieces of music, with fancy sounding names like Prelude and Sonatina. It is music composed hundreds of years ago that must be treated with respect and performed with class and elegance (note: sarcasm) blah blah blah. And… you’ve lost them!
If classical music runs rampant in your piano teaching studio, don’t expect many teenagers to come calling. Does it have its place? Absolutely! But if you want to attract teenage students, or motivate teenage students you MUST find music that is relevant. And the best way to do that is to search out lead sheets for today’s popular music.
Some teachers feel that lead sheets “cheapen” the music lesson experience. We are, after all, responsible for ensuring our students learn all of the skills they need to succeed at learning the piano. However, what we need to consider is just how many skills they will be learning if they quit. The teen years are do or die. Either they continue happily with lessons; all the while increasing their keyboard awareness, their coordination, their note-reading abilities, their rhythmic awareness, their hand balance, their musicality … or they quit. It is, fortunately, up to you.
To see how we implement lead sheets into our piano program check out our guide, “Piano Hands Shouldn’t Flip Burgers”.