In another life I taught elementary school. That was a tough gig… to put it mildly. While I hated tying shoes and opening Fruit Roll-ups, I loved teaching children to read. And while I never regret my decision to pursue business instead of school teaching, I learned a lot of valuable lessons about teaching children piano from my days in the classroom.
Does that sound right? A Simple Piano Teaching Tip
Want to help a struggling reader? Simply ask, “Does that sound right?”. Want to help a child struggling to play piano? Simply ask, “Does that sound right?”.
As someone who teaches kids piano, you are probably well aware that children can become slaves to the staff. Every single note on the staff is located, decoded, and translated to the piano keys. Piano students become so focused on playing each individual note that they forget to listen to the piano; which is a similar error to one commonly made by struggling readers. Struggling readers are so focused on sounding out each individual letter in each individual word that they forget to pay attention to the meaning of the sentence.
When you teach children piano do they hear the music?
Have your piano students stopped listening to the music? If so, when teaching children piano, ask them, “Does what you played sound right?” If the answer is no, ask them “What do you think might sound right?” And then have them find the right note on the piano, without looking at the music. By doing so, your students will begin to develop the ability to predict common note sequences, and to identify and correct their own piano playing mistakes.