48 votes

Why don’t piano teachers teach the chord method of playing to young children and adults?

Just like there's pop, rock, folk, jazz, metal, etc. guitar, there are many different disciplines of piano playing, each with a different set of required skills: classical piano pop piano jazz piano ...
46 votes

Should sight-reading be emphasized less for piano instruction with new developments in technology

You added a different flavor of this question in the comments: i think the spirit of my question was, has anyone found that using newer styles or technology for reading music advanced their students ...
  • 52.2k
34 votes
Accepted

Piano scales: Why bother with hands together?

There are a few reasons that I found these technical drills helpful as a piano player: They help practice playing the hands together clearly and cleanly. Young piano players often play both hands "...
  • 80.3k
33 votes

What are the problems in teaching guitar via Skype?

A major disadvantage is that you can't jam together because of the delay. You can explain and show things clearly, no problem, but playing together is impossible. The obvious advantage is that you ...
  • 19.6k
32 votes
Accepted

How to help students remember Half vs. Whole rests

There was a trick for these that I used all the time based on what the rests look like. The whole rest looks like a hole. The words sound the same so it's a good way to equate them. The half rest ...
  • 46.5k
28 votes

Should sight-reading be emphasized less for piano instruction with new developments in technology

Using sheet music is like reading Latin, converting it to English in your head, then playing English on the piano. Well, you probably never really translated Latin, at least not in a good way. ...
  • 5,800
27 votes
Accepted

Why is Schenker so influential in US academia? Is it the same elsewhere?

Heinrich Schenker was born in 1868 and died in 1935. And unfortunately, it's probably something of a blessing that he died when he did: as a Jew living in Austria in the 1930s, he only just missed the ...
  • 80.3k
26 votes

Expectations from a violin teacher towards an adult learner

As a beginner, you can't expect to get a piece sounding 'perfect' in any reasonable length of time, because you haven't yet built up all the skills - intonation, bow control, phrasing, your own style -...
23 votes

How to help students remember Half vs. Whole rests

In elementary school, I was taught to think of the rest like a raft in water. Since a half rest gets two beats, it's like a raft carrying two people - light enough to float on top of the water: The ...
  • 883
21 votes

Can you request songs to learn from piano teacher

Edit - Now this is the top answer, I'll quickly answer the question, which is yes, you certainly can! But please read on... I'd like to put forward a caveat - even if your teacher is willing, this may ...
  • 311
20 votes
Accepted

Why would a teacher ban the metronome altogether?

It sounds to me like you are using the metronome in an effective manner. Your teacher might have been concerned that you, as a young student, would have seen playing in perfect time as an artistic ...
  • 1,727
20 votes
Accepted

Is there a recorder-analog for the flute?

TL;DR Step 1: Soda bottle Step 2: Fife Soda bottle Flute players are sometimes told that blowing across the top of a soda bottle is similar to blowing a flute. (Anecdotally, A flute-playing ...
  • 62.4k
19 votes
Accepted

What are the problems in teaching guitar via Skype?

Advantages are things like: You can teach people around the world, from all countries as long as they speak your language. You save time... Neither you nor your student have to drive around with all ...
  • 2,891
19 votes

How did students remember what to practise between lessons without any sheet music?

Besides the copyist mentioned in the other answer, students could simply write on their own! No need to have someone copy it for them. Also it was not uncommon for teachers to write stuff down for ...
18 votes

How to help students remember Half vs. Whole rests

A whole-note (semibreve) rest hangs D-O-W-N from the line (four letters, so four beats). A half-note rest points U-P from the line (two letters, so two beats).
18 votes
Accepted

How can I help a piano student who doesn't slow down to read the notes

I understand that anxiety can cause a kid to freak out a little and start "flopping" the fingers, but I won't allow it to continue. I stop them and maybe do one measure at a time, or even one note to ...
  • 5,504
17 votes
Accepted

What are some of the tips for musicians starting out as teachers?

For starters, merely being a good or great musician is nowhere near enough to be a successful teacher. Neither is having qualifications and certificates. Those downvoting - please tell your valid ...
  • 178k
16 votes

Why don't key signatures indicate the tonic?

"Historical accident" is one way to describe it. Historical oversight might be another. The fact is we have never symbolically indicated the tonic in written music. D Dorian looks just like G ...
  • 4,737
16 votes

Expectations from a violin teacher towards an adult learner

As a teacher, and, most importantly, "former" pupil, I'd say this: you will probably never get to the 100%. Not even close. Many professional and acclaimed musicians wouldn't say that they ...
  • 5,800
16 votes

Should sight-reading be emphasized less for piano instruction with new developments in technology

Every musician knows that sheet music can be frustrating at first, but almost everyone has spent quite some time learning it. I've met literally dozens of people (students, fellow musicians etc) that ...
15 votes
Accepted

How can we effectively teach schoolchildren theory?

Teach students how to make music that they like. While experienced musicians are often very broad-minded, seeing value and beauty in many kinds of music, younger kids are often primarily interested ...
15 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to learn how to sing properly without a teacher?

Theoretically yes. Most probably, no. As with many other things, a teacher is not absolutely fundamental, but a professional guidance ensures that: you follow an appropriate didactic path tailored on ...
  • 5,800
14 votes

What can I do about a parent who is discouraging their child from learning violin, a child who really wants to learn, so that the child will drop out

Is the parent actively discouraging their child? Or is the parent simply a busy person who doesn't care one way or another about whether their child plays violin or does any of a dozen other ...
  • 6,379
13 votes

Should sight-reading be emphasized less for piano instruction with new developments in technology

...An analogy I've considered for years is this: Using sheet music is like reading Latin, converting it to English in your head, then playing English on the piano. Using videos like the one I posted ...
13 votes

Why don’t piano teachers teach the chord method of playing to young children and adults?

Piano teachers routinely teach chord-reading, just not the teachers you studied with, it seems. Teachers who focus on jazz and popular music are the most likely, since chord charts (sheet music) are ...
  • 62.4k
12 votes
Accepted

What can I do to help my guitar student get off the ground faster?

Some ideas which may help her play and practice: If she's not a larger than average ten-year-old, then I hope she has a smaller than normal guitar. If not, then a smaller size guitar may make it ...
  • 52.2k
12 votes

Should sight-reading be emphasized less for piano instruction with new developments in technology

A few bad things Guess what? The person who played on that video that had to get it from somewhere. From where? From the sheet music of course! Those videos are for keyboards where all the notes are ...
11 votes

Why would a teacher ban the metronome altogether?

I think I can understand what your teacher was trying to say. He wanted to make you feel the music. Music needs to breathe. If a computer and a human play the same song, it will sound different; the ...
11 votes
Accepted

How do I teach a five-year-old violin?

I’m a player, not a teacher, but the topic of how to teach young children comes up fairly often on the discussion boards at www.violinist.com. I’d suggest searching for ‘Teaching young children’, and ‘...
  • 6,379
11 votes

Why don't key signatures indicate the tonic?

Is this just a historical accident? Yes. Everything about music notation is a historic artifact! When you go back a very long time - into the Middle Ages - there weren't key signatures and the ...

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