The Best Tools for the Experienced Piano ParentOct 28, 2020
I have a passion for helping parents teach their kids piano because I know it will create a bond unlike any other as well as no one wants to see a child succeed more than a parent.
For parents that have little to no experience, I created a course simplifying piano lessons. But what about for those parents that have a piano background? What should they use?
I recommend for those parents that have a good knowledge of the piano, how to play it and how to fluently read music using the Faber Piano Adventure teaching series.
This is the series I use with all my students. I find it to be the most comprehensive as well as well laid out.
There are three books you need to get at each level. You should always get the Lesson Book, the Sight-reading book, and the Theory book.
It’s really easy to use. Whatever song your child is learning, have them do the corresponding sight-reading song as well as corresponding theory pages which are listed on the bottom of the lesson book page.
If you get to an end of the level and you feel like your child just hasn’t fully mastered the concepts, then at that point I do not recommend moving on to the next level. What I do at that point with those students is we get the performance book, or Disney songs book or hymn book… Whichever book would spark the child’s interest the most on the same level they are currently on and we work out of that book until they have a better mastery of the material.
One way I judge if they are ready to move on to the next level is by sight-reading. If they are not able to correctly sightread a page with at least 85% accuracy. If they finish the whole book, go through the sight-reading book a second or even a third time. Being a proficient reader is the most important part of being a piano player.
The trickiest part of teaching out of really any method book including Faber is they assume the teacher knows what to teach and any supplemental material to teach as well. So it won’t remind you about things like flashcards, scales, chords, arpeggios, cadences etc.
Make sure to make sure you regularly teach all those concepts. Here is a quick overview of what to teach as supplemental material for the first 3 books in the Faber series:
- Primer level: C scale hands together and all note flashcards
- Level 1: Scales: C, G, D, F hands together, all note flashcards, ledger line flashcards (keep the treble and bass clef separate for the ledger line flashcards at this level), Major chords C thru B
- Level 2a: Scales, C,G,D,A,E,B,F (Notice the circle of 5ths. Teach them in this order with the corresponding order of sharps so they understand they why behind the black notes in each scale), Major/Minor chords, Regular note flashcards should be able to be stopped at this level for most students. If you student needs more time to become proficient continue with the regular note flashcards, Ledger line flashcards no longer separating treble and bass clef.
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Don’t forget to watch for curved fingers on each scale and on each song they play. It will not be mastered quickly, but it should be addressed starting from the very first lesson and consistently thereafter.
Any parent can teach piano to their kids. The benefit is so worth it. A child’s greatest desire is to please their parents and make them proud so when you’re their teacher, learning thrives as they aim to please you with their practice and playing. Don’t miss out on another day of being their piano teacher!
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