Suzuki Piano Lessons
Creating Life-Long Passion One Skill At A Time
Piano is both a great instrument to learn in and of itself as well as a perfect second instrument to melodic instruments such as the violin and viola. Just as in violin and viola, I use the Suzuki method and repertoire to train the ear and develop technique. And, just as in violin and viola, I begin teaching music theory from the very first lesson. As piano is equally a melodic as well as harmonic instrument, those choosing to take piano are able to study harmony in both theory and practice at earlier stages of development than the violin or viola, which allows them to learn a second instrument, such as violin or viola, more easily. The ability to harmonize on melodic lines on the piano also allows violinists/violists the opportunity to understand their own instruments better. Piano students are given opportunities and encouraged to accompany and perform with violin and viola students, a rare treat for piano-only and violin-only studio students.
There are many methods to choose from, so why Suzuki?
The Suzuki Method is one which requires both training and innovation on the part of the teacher and loving support at home from the parent. Though the method is comprised of a set repertoire which should be taught in a set order without skipping pieces, it is still molded and shaped according to the age of the student and grows along with the student as the student matures both technically and musically. Each piece teaches skills, with skills being layered one on top of the other. As the student progresses, they take each piece to whole new level by learning how to polish and build repertoire, thus developing abilities in analyzation, aural skills crucial in brain and language development, as well memory and coordination. A common myth is that Suzuki students do not learn how to read music. Whereas some teachers who call themselves Suzuki may not teach children to read, this is definitely not the case in my studio. In fact, music theory is my passion and all students begin learning theory from the beginning. With that said, reading music while playing is delayed until technique is more set in order to divide and conquer the many skills needed to make beautiful music. The Suzuki method focuses on training the ear and setting up good posture in order to establish a solid foundation from which the student may progress however far they are able in whatever style of music they choose.
What Kind of Piano Do I Need?
An important consideration when choosing to study the piano is the subject of the instrument itself. If an instrument is of poor quality, the student stands to develop bad habits, will struggle to progress and runs the risks of developing physical problems, not to mention will balk at practicing (an already challenging task). Unlike the violin, the piano is not sized according to the student. However, pianos do come in different sizes and shapes, from spinets to grands and from cheap miniature keyboards to weighted key digital concert pianos. So, what do I suggest?
Buy the best that you can afford for the space you have.
A requirement if purchasing a keyboard is that it MUST have weighted keys, otherwise performance on a regular piano (whether for lessons or performance) becomes an unnecessary obstacle and sets the student up for frustration. A requirement for renting or buying a piano is that the instrument is that the instrument is in good playing condition.
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