I am an experienced piano teacher running a successful studio in Surrey. I also teach pedagogy at Guildhall School of Music and Drama and University of Chichester. It always struck me as odd that:
– The resources available on developing ones teaching and crafting inspiring lessons are so rich and diverse;
– The advice to advanced pianists regarding efficient and effective practice goes into huge detail and covers tomes;
– There is so much knowledge around supporting a child on their learning journey, especially in sport and school work…
Yet there are comparatively few instances of these being compiled and developed into resources aimed at teaching and supporting the young pianist and their parents as they come to grips with high quality piano practice processes and methodology.
The challenge to create such practice aids is what sparked Music Me Piano. The resources offer practical support: what to practise when; how to time practice; how to develop constructive habits. They also offer motivation and teach students how to control their mindset to their constant advantage. My aim has always been to create resources that support students as they grow into independent learners. After all, students spend a whole lot more time alone at the piano than they do in the company of their teachers.
I am not a fan of practice resources which encourage more reliance on a teacher through frequent and regular digital contact during the week. Let’s rather empower students with the tools they need to become active, involved learners. Aside from the fact that working with intrinsically motivated students is a pleasure, I do believe it is our responsibility as teachers to support the next generation of children as they grow to be innovators and thinkers who are able to reflect on their learning.
As teachers and parents we can offer children the chance to develop these skills while they are practising. We do this by teaching pianists to question and by providing a framework in which they can learn how to learn.
Music Me Piano Resources work with any teaching method and alongside apps, filling the gap in the market between traditional notebooks (often replaced by notepads) and in depth books on practice and learning (usually aimed at teachers or trainee professional musicians) which we would not expect a parent or child to read. My resources educate parents and students helping them understand the process better and make more of their time at the piano. However, I have gone further and designed frameworks which teachers can use to support students as they put these first class learning strategies into practice. The Practice Palette books also work well as a structure to work through during lesson time.
The topic of practice is one which always comes up whether I am training new teachers or chatting informally with experienced colleagues. Whether you are new to the profession or whether you are looking for clever, new resources I am sure you will find something here to inspire your students.