Are you currently feeling the need to reach for your piano teaching bag of tricks? Do you have a student whom you can tell hasn’t practiced in a couple of weeks?… Isn’t paying attention in lessons?… Is not interested in performing in recitals?… Could you be due for some piano duets?
Two is Twice The Fun!
Piano duets have the ability to lift anyone’s spirits. After all – two is twice the fun! Grouping your students into same-age, same-level pairings and giving them the opportunity to collaborate on the piano results in nothing but good: They will connect with like-minded peers, perfect their rhythm and coordination, increase their practice time, and find a new level of enjoyment on the piano! For these reasons (and more) duets should be a regular fixture at your piano studio.
Avoid the Duet Pitfalls
Piano teachers occasionally shy away from duets. It just seems easier to teach solo lessons. But, throw caution to the wind, check out these hints for avoiding common problems with duets in your studio, and dive in head-first!
1. create a “duet lesson” for 3 weeks rather than taking over an individual students’ lesson time. You’ll accomplish much more with 2 students when you have a full 30 minutes to work on the duet pairing. Don’t try to steal parts of each student’s lesson for duet practice. This way they can continue with their regular piano lesson material as well as take on the duet.
2. teach each individual part to the respective students on their own first. The piano lessons where they come together should be lessons where the parts are coordinated, not learned.
3. test their readiness to play as a duo by filling in on the missing part yourself during their individual lessons. This takes any angst away from the student when it comes time to put it together with their peer. They need to be able to “hear” the other person’s part in their head before they both sit down on the bench.
4. choose “down a level” – pair students onto a duet that is one level below where they play as soloists. Duets add a whole new level of difficulty and skill. You want this to be a fun experience for your students… not a dread-worthy one!
5. create an opportunity to showcase the duet when it is ready. Duets are fantastically fun to watch and your students will appreciate the enthusiasm they will get from an audience.
If you’re feeling particularly ambitious… check out the video below for some inspiration and an idea of just how fun collaboration on the piano can be!
Looking for new and motivating duets? Episode 2 of The Adventures of Fearless Fortissimo includes 2 amazingly awesome duets that work in student/student or teacher/student pairings. The plot thickens as these comic-based piano books take your piano students on an amazing adventure that will have them begging for more Fortissimo music! Episode 2 is available as an e-book (allowing you to print for your own use forever) or in hard copy for those students who want to collect the Fearless Fortissimo series.