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Pedaling Dark Blue

Advice for pedal use on Dark Blue? Just keep it down, or use your ear to know when to clear it? Or open to player's interpretation? Every time the LH plays is a good time to pedal on Dark Blue. Have you purchased the "Using the Pedal" from the Teacher Workshop Series? It's fantastic. I've used it for years to teach pedaling to my students. I'm…

When to introduce Special Programs

I'm still young in the SM teacher world and I have students in levels 1, 2, and 3 right now. My question is, when do I start students on Accompaniment, and then when do I start them on Reading Rhythm? Should I start Accompaniment in level 2 and RR in level 3? For older students I start Accompaniment right away with level 1, and if they are younger, with level 2.…

Pedaling Bertini Study in Cm (Development 11)

After the student can play the Bertini Study in C minor in Development Level 11 smoothly, how much pedaling would you suggest? Every three RH notes, light pedaling? RH seems nice without pedaling. But the LH chords sound a bit dry without some pedaling support. I find some students prefer the sound with, and some without. One of the "clues" I suggest to students for pedaling is to look at which…

Lack of expressive instructions in classical pieces

I'm wondering why there are no expression, dynamic, or tempo indications in the written music, particularly on classical pieces. It seems to me that especially by the Development levels, wouldn't that be important for students and to be faithful to what the composer intended? I guess I'm really a purist when it comes to classical pieces. I have another copy of the Burgmuller Ballade, for example, with expression markings all over it. The written music language…

Fur Elise 3+3 fingering

One of my Foundation 2 students was wondering re: Fur Elise if she could use just the RH (no LH) for the 3+3 (after the 9 E's). She said she feels that may be simpler or easier. She did not argue as such, she was just interested to understand. I told her that I feel Neil's way (L R L) makes it easiser to put feeling into it and perhaps less counting, so more intuitive and…

Helping Students Sing on Key

Can you please give ideas for helping students learn to sing on pitch? My student is seven years old and in Level 2. She loves to  sing, and her singing is very off pitch. Are there ways that I can help her? Are there other resources you would recommend? I know of local voice teachers, and am happy to give a good referral if that is the best way. But I wondered if I might be able to offer other…

Getting Students to Sing in Class

I found a way that seems to be working fairly well to get students to sing in class. I have added another topic to my checklist of songs, pedaling, etc. to teach them. I call it Instrument Balance. I start by asking them what they think balance means. They give examples of balance in general. Then I ask them what they think balance means in music. They usually think about balance between the hands. I affirm…

Difficulty in forming chords with young students

I just started Simply Music with my 6-year-old son. 5 steps of sound and making a chord was extremely difficult for him. I have taught a couple of young students before, but my previous method didn't have them playing chords for a year or more. I would love to hear your tips for helping those young students make chords. I'm thinking ahead to all the chord songs and wondering, how? For…

Addressing hand/arm and sitting positions

Regarding hand and arm and sitting position at the piano with beginners, do you focus on this at the start at all, and does anyone have any interesting ways of approaching this the Simply Music way? Depending on the age I wait a while. Some things have a way of working themselves out. Recently though I've had to spend quite a bit of time with some new students working just…

Difficulty in playing finger 5 on chords

I have a student struggling to play all three notes of the triad evenly. She is playing fingers 1 and 3, but neglecting to push down finger 5 consistently. Any tips on how to work with her on this? See if she can rotate the forearm towards the little finger to assist. I have a young student who had a similar issue. I encouraged her…

Showing articles 1-10 of 54