11/20/10

black hole of piano: survey results!

So, can I just say that I loved all of your input on our survey this week?? We had 42 people take our survey, which is awesome, and the results are very interesting!

A few things I find interesting:

  • Over half of the survey-takers were not taught any of these functional keyboard skills regularly as a piano student. 
  • About one third of all survey-takers feel fluent in NONE of these skills. 
  • Although only one third of survey-takers were not taught harmonization/chord-playing as a piano student, about 85% of them are teaching these skills to their own students - way to go!
And here are the results!







And I loved all your comments. You bring up some great points, and it's great to talk about this important issue in our teaching. Here are the comments that were shared during the survey...and I may just add in a few comments of my own in red!



All of my students are early beginners (between 1-2 years of playing), so I can't teach that yet. {oh but I think we can! Even very young students can improvise on the piano, transpose a SUPER simple melody from C position to G position, or make up their own song.} But I'm working on scales and triads with them, so I can eventually get to the point of doing chords and such! {that is wonderful! way to give them a solid theory background :)}

I can totally empathize with and was a victim of the "black hole". {uh-huh, so was I!} As a result, even after being a music major in college, I'm working on some of these aspects still today. This is why I'm insisting my piano students learn how to do these things to be a fully rounded musician.

Ah! This is a huge weakness for me, both doing it myself and teaching it. I'd love some suggestions. Books that have helped learn/teach these skill anyone? {good question...any thoughts, readers?}

Great food for thought! I need to get better at teaching these skills. {so do I!}

The skills I use most as a church musician and jazz band member are improv and lead sheets. I want my students as professional musican or hobby players to enjoy music after they leave me so I felt it invaluable to teach how to read a chord chart and how to play well with others in a band . My husband is a guitar teacher and we put our students together and create small rock bands {how fun is that?!} . This has been a great sucess . Not only do they have fun working on THEIR music , they are constantly using all the scales and chords we were trying to teach them in technique.

I appreciate Celebrate Piano course for these reasons!!! They teach most of these skills from week one and two!!! {I LOVE that series, and that is so true!}

I taught myself how to play chording and lead-sheet music when I had to out of necessity with my church's praise and worship team. Since then, I have taught many students to play chording so they could play "worship" music also. However, I have recently been wanting to learn composing and teach my students. But I am at a loss at how to learn and teach on this subject. {I don't have much experience in this either - but I do think that kids can be so creative, you may be surprised at what they come up with in a simple composition assignment!} Also, in all my years accompanying, I still find it difficult to play from multiple clefs. I agree that improvising, chording, composition, transposition, and part-playing are all invaluable tools to the modern-day pianist and as a teacher, I want to include these skills in my teaching. Thank you for your thoughts on this!

Thank you for bringing up this topic. I have been teaching for 2 years now, so I have all beginner students. This topic has brought to light a lot of areas that I need to include in my studio teaching. Thank you. {you're welcome!}

It's hard to fit everything into a 30-minute lesson but I do manage to get most of it in about once a month. {that is great - and yes it is SO hard to fit in all that they need} I don't do the multiple lines playing because I think that is a more advance reading than my elementary students can handle.

I am Teaching the Music for Young Children program because It is a comprehensive program that teaches children some of everything they need to know to be a well rounded musician. We teach these skills as a part of their normal lessons. The children graduate with a grade one certificate, but their knowledge goes much deeper than that of most private taught grade one students. I know that my students have been given a great foundation for whatever musical path they choose to follow later in life. {how wonderful! sounds like a great program}

I wish there were a way to expand the 30 or 45 or 60 minute lesson to include these functional skills. Unfortunately, there are so many demands on that precious time when you have recitals, contests, and festivals at regular intervals through the year. {so true!} Our teachers association has a regular yearly event (Music Evaluation Day) that tests students in a number of areas, including repertoire, technique (scales, cadences, chords, arpeggios, and harmonization), theory, and sight reading. I encourage all my students to participate in this or in Piano Guild auditions. If they opt for Piano Guild, I insist that they work through Musicianship Phases, whether they actually do them at Guild auditions or not.

I had to develop my skills later in life after becoming the piano player for my church. There is still so much I could learn! Because I know what I'm missing, I am trying to encourage these things in my students as early as possible. {I feel the same way - because now I know what I missed out on in some aspects of my early piano lessons, I want to make sure my students get a good, well-rounded foundation}

I need to do much better at this! :) {and....this was totally my comment! I am in the same boat with so many of you - so let's all try and do better together!}


And people - only TWO more days left to enter our giveaway! Come on over!

2 comments:

Print Music Department said...

For the teacher looking for ideas for materials, I did put some ideas at my blog that might help---http://dollarhideteacherblog.blogspot.com/2010/11/lead-sheet-reading-etc.html

best piano course said...

I can see in those survey results that not only me has a problem like that. I wish that I participate in those surveys. Thank you for sharing those results.

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