Teacher Dreamaurora - Piano Q&A

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Teacher Dreamaurora - Piano Q&A

Postby Dreamaurora » Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:12 am

I have decided to start this thread to help parents here answer burning questions about their children's piano lessons or piano pieces. Ask me anything under the sun except about choosing pianos or teacher recommendation since there are already other threads for that. I will try my best to answer the questions based on my experience as a teacher :cool:

Dreamaurora
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Re: Piano Lesson Q&A Corner

Postby smile » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:25 am

Hi Dreamaurora,

May I ask you some questions:
1. if my ds is not taking graded exam, what other pieces to be taught by the teacher aside the exam pieces ?
2. how is the importance between practical and theory ? my ds's teacher teach more on practical than theory in the class. Should ds have another theory class too ?

Thanks for your help.

smile
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Re: Piano Lesson Q&A Corner

Postby Dreamaurora » Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:09 am

smile wrote:Hi Dreamaurora,

May I ask you some questions:
1. if my ds is not taking graded exam, what other pieces to be taught by the teacher aside the exam pieces ?
2. how is the importance between practical and theory ? my ds's teacher teach more on practical than theory in the class. Should ds have another theory class too ?

Thanks for your help.


1. For a well rounded development, your ds should have a mix of pieces, technical exercises, and chamber pieces (i.e. piano duets). Personally I believe, for each grade a student should learn minimum 5 solo pieces, 2 technical exercises, and 2 duets. But of course this depends on the teacher. Some teachers may find it hard to incorporate these into lessons because of time constraints (especially if they work in music schools) or logistics (duets are very hard to organize if lessons are conducted at students' homes unless siblings play piano as well).

2. It depends on what your ds expect. A thorough understanding of music theory and history is essential to interpreting the higher grades pieces, though students should still be able to play well despite limited knowledge of theory if they are musical and their teachers can spoon feed them the correct details. Personally I request my students to pass grade 6 theory before they attempt grade 8 so they will be able to do some degree of self study and analysis of their pieces. Another alternative would be to prepare for practical musicianship or jazz piano instead if you wish your ds to be able to improvise and play non classical well. Do note that grade 5 practical musicianship and jazz piano are accepted as alternatives for grade 5 theory for the purpose of taking ABRSM grade 6-8 practical.

Dreamaurora
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Re: Piano Lesson Q&A Corner

Postby HappieNewbie123 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:04 pm

I like piano but my parents cant afford to find me a piano teacher. Which piece of music should i try? i love to learn n i hav piano at home. i dont know how to play any piece of music(not including the very easy ones like twinkle twinkle little star n mary had a little lamb) i can play a piece of music just by looking at someone playing very slowly then i can remember and play it by my own. thxs!

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Re: Piano Lesson Q&A Corner

Postby nissin » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:23 pm

Hi dreamaurora,
May I know approximately which grade is the music piece Menuet at? My son is a beginner and was asked to practise this by his teacher. Tks.

nissin
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Re: Piano Lesson Q&A Corner

Postby Dreamaurora » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:37 pm

You need to be more specific. There are plenty of Menuets/Minuets by different composers. Which book/composer this Menuet is from?

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Re: Piano Lesson Q&A Corner

Postby nissin » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:50 pm

Dreamaurora wrote:You need to be more specific. There are plenty of Menuets/Minuets by different composers. Which book/composer this Menuet is from?

The music teacher actually printed it from the Internet. By Johann Sebastian Bach

nissin
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Re: Piano Lesson Q&A Corner

Postby csb » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:58 pm

Hi, my son did very poorly for the aural portion of his last ABRSM exam. Is there any way I can help him at home? I'm not musically trained. Thank you.

csb
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Re: Piano Lesson Q&A Corner

Postby Dreamaurora » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:10 pm

nissin wrote:
Dreamaurora wrote:You need to be more specific. There are plenty of Menuets/Minuets by different composers. Which book/composer this Menuet is from?

The music teacher actually printed it from the Internet. By Johann Sebastian Bach


There are two very popular Menuet by Bach for lower grades, both of them in G Major. The first one, the most famous, is this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqSAGwa49MM. This one is commonly given for students who are transitioning to grade 2 from grade 1.

Another one is set for grade 3 ABRSM syllabus for the year 2009-2010. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zomb7itNZyQ. This one is more challenging.

Dreamaurora
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Re: Piano Lesson Q&A Corner

Postby Dreamaurora » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:20 pm

csb wrote:Hi, my son did very poorly for the aural portion of his last ABRSM exam. Is there any way I can help him at home? I'm not musically trained. Thank you.


You need to be specific with the grade because for ABRSM the aural requirement can differ vastly from grade to grade. Also what cause the poor mark? Wrong answer? Too long to response? Inability to pitch or follow a pulse?

But in general, I always advise student to participate in musical activities outside piano lessons. From my experience, students who have experience in choir, band, or singing in church will generally have a better developed ear and thus have easier time in aural. Picking up a second instrument like violin or singing will also benefit a pianist immensely as unfortunately a lot of piano students just play piano in 'autopilot' mode without actually doing inner listening of whatever they are playing.

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