My piano lesson experiences as a young child consisted mostly of prepping for exams. I’d spend about 6 months learning 4 pieces… I’d take the exam… and then 2 months later I’d have completely forgotten how to play those 4 pieces. I spent a good 10 years of my life “progressing” in this manner; I should have had an impressive repertoire list at my finger tips, but in reality, when someone asked me to “show them my stuff” I could crank out my latest Sonatina… but that was really it.
It wasn’t until I was a bit older that I realized just how silly this was. It was like being a baseball player who could only catch a ball at noon on a Sunday in July. I wasn’t gaining an applicable skill.
Play From the Heart Without Missing a Beat
As a piano teacher one of my main goals for my students is for them to be able to put what they’ve learned in their lessons to use in “real world” situations. Can they accompany a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” or “He’s a Jolly Good Fellow?” Can they impress with a showstopper of a party piece? Can they play the National Anthem? Can they hear a popular song on the radio and plop down on the bench to figure out the chording? These are all real-world situations where our piano students are “put on the spot”…. how would your students fare in these situations?
I found the ultimate example of this on Twitter the other day and I absolutely loved this video. Whether it was a set-up or not, you’ve just got to love how it all “played out”. Check it out below – it’s worth watching.
As cute as this video was (and as likely as it was a set-up) it really solidified these goals I have for my students; could MY piano student be called up on the Tonight Show and actually have something decent prepared at the drop of a hat? If not, why not?
It’s my personal mission to make each and every one of my piano students “on the spot” ready… so bring it on Jay, Jimmy, and Conan!