After many years of teaching piano in a variety of situations, I have come to rely on an adaptive approach to teaching piano which recognizes that regardless of age or experience level, piano students are individuals who have different styles of learning, different gifts, different interests, different goals, and different challenges. I have learned to be as creative in teaching piano as I am creative in composing and performing. Indeed, I have always felt that performing, composing and teaching are inseparable, and therefore I approach each leg of this “holy trinity” with the same care, dedication and joy.
But there is something else in teaching piano that is just as important as being adaptive and responsive to each student’s individual needs, and that is approaching music (through piano lessons) as an holistic experience. Paradoxically, this holism can only be developed step by step, making haste slowly to separately develop numerous distinct skills which must be executed concurrently in real time.
In my next post I’ll discuss various aspects of these two pillars of my approach to teaching piano, giving real-life examples of how I adapt to the differing needs of students, and how I encourage holistic music thinking and perception.