What I Want My Young Students to Know

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If you were to teach a beginning student for maybe a few months or a year, what would you hope that they would know by the time they stopped taking lessons from you? In order to feel like you gave them a great foundation to build on, and that their new teacher will be able to pick right up where you left off without needing to reteach concepts, what would they need to know? Even if they will be continuing to study with you, what would you like them to know and learn early on in their study to lay a great foundation for their piano study over the course of the rest of their life?

Here’s a little list I came up with of skills & knowledge I would want my students to have. These are pretty basic, but sadly a lot of young students don’t really know these basic things. If I got a young transfer student who knew and really understood all of these things and was able to play them well, I would be thrilled!


Technique

*good hand position – curved fingers, no collapsing knuckles, plays on the fingertips instead of flats of fingers
*legato playing – able to play nice legato phrases, including lifting of the wrist at the ends of phrases
*staccato playing – able to play nice, short staccatos – see my “basketball analogy” 🙂
*dynamics – plays good, contrasting forte and piano

Theory

*knows all the notes on the grand staff – and really knows them – not just by finger numbers or by playing in C or G position
*basic understanding of intervals and primary chords
*knows and understands the rhythms of basic notes – quarter, half, whole, eighth
*knows and understands sharps and flats

What would you add to this list?
Jennifer Boster

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