Students often get used with the old pieces they are working on; they’re staying in the comfortable zone after a couple of weeks of practicing. Along these lines, they will find it very tricky and challenge to start on new repertoire.
They start to struggle and tell you all the reasons they just can’t do it. The way we approach the pieces are essential in the sense that the students are less likely to have struggle moments. Keep in mind always using an integrated approach to achieve a more holistic teaching. There is not necessary to start everything from the beginning.
I have outlined 3 good strategies what we can do before we start to introduce a new repertoire.
1. Pattern and Sequence
Let the students discover the general structure of the pieces for example binary or ternary form. Read the score through, spotting the same patters and sequence from the piece. They will be very happy to find something repeat. Drilling the same motives that have been circled before putting everything at once.
2. Steps or skips
However, intervallic sight reading is successful strategy to help students to read the notes faster, rather than struggle how to find the right notes. Ask student “Would you be able to circle the all the skips notes?” or “ Can you draw an arrow to show the direction of the music stepping up or stepping down?” By doing this, we help students who has a hard time finding the right note.
3. Isolate the tricky part
Help students to build their confidence when doing the most tricky part within the piece. Single hand practice is often good and don’t forget to assist student in hands coordination. Practice a few times with them until they are able to do these themselves.
Ms Liew Hui Jie
A passionate full time piano teacher in Singapore, with great ideas about how to ensure that students start with learning, playing and finally loving the piano.