I have been teaching the piano now for over ten years. Recently I did the Suzuki training to specialize in teaching small children (see separate pages).
Whatever age and style I am teaching though I consider it my role to do the following:
- Introduce students to new music
- Help them to be imaginative in understanding and responding to this music.
- Show them how to build their technique.
- Empower them to practise independently at home.
- Understand the needs of the individual student and adapt my teaching accordingly.
- Give them confidence to perform and share in front of others.
In my studio I work with two instruments, one for me and one for the student. The student gets the better one! This allows for constant demonstration without anyone having to move. It also makes it possible to do two piano repertoire.
I have over the years put many students in for grade exams up to diploma level. I am willing to do this where I feel it is appropriate and a student will do well and really benefit from the experience. Certainly none of my students have ever failed an exam I entered them for and most have received merits and distinctions.
However I favour concerts over exams. Too often I speak to adults and all they remember of their music lessons is the frightening exams – often they only did one, failed it and gave up their instrument. I am trying to stop this happening to our next generation! I believe music should be a sharing experience and a concert is about playing a piece you have chosen and enjoy playing. I try and do at least one student concert a term in an informal setting: usually in my home or at a small venue. It is always followed by drinks!