Showing articles 1-10 of 57

Chord Fingering

What about fingering for chords? Sometimes my new students want to play the basic chords with 1, 2, and 5 instead of 1, 3, and 5. I have been trying to get them to do 1, 3, and 5… But maybe it doesn’t matter. Marsha, one chord that comes in fairly early in some arrangements is an add9 chord, which is played with 1235. So it makes sense for students to…

Alternate Greensleeves Fingering

An 8-year-old student came up with an alternate fingering for Greensleeves that I thought was both insightful and helpful for kids with small hands, and I told her I was going to share it here, and that Neil Moore might even see it. In the transition to position 2, which is F3 on G followed by F2 on E and F1 on C, she instead suggested F3 on G followed by F1 on E and crossing…

Stool for Young Students

Those of you who teach very young children (age 5-6), do you use a special kind of stool for them that is different from what older students or adults use? I have 2 piano stools, the one I use for very little children is a bit higher so that their lower arm can be parallel to the ground and not having to reach up. I got it at a piano store. But the little ones usually…

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…

Showing articles 1-10 of 57