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#32707 - 06/11/04 11:20 AM Beginner Adult Student
Ginger Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 06/08/04
Posts: 277
Loc: Indianapolis, Indiana
I have taught a few adults before, but they have already known how to play the piano and just wanted extra help. I have a brand new adult beginnger student that I've had for 1 week. I'll be using the PA for Adults book. I've never used this book (except to teach a couple of lessons to my husband, who was btw the worst student that I've ever had) Has anyone taught beginning adults from this book, and how do you like it? Do your students like it? How fast do they normally go? Can you get through one unit per week? Thank you!

BTW, I'm new so I'll introduce myself. I've been teaching ever since I was in high school. I have a degree in Piano Performance. I graduated 4 years ago and have had an excellent studio (mostly) ever since. I've just moved to a new town, new state, new everything, and am trying to build up my studio again. I have a lot to learn, and each student it seems has a different way of understanding music, so I'm trying to learn fast so I can teach better. I have been reading this forum for a few years now, but I've never joined before untill now because we didn't have the internet at home. Now we do, Yeah!

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#32708 - 06/11/04 12:33 PM Re: Beginner Adult Student
CR Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 03/18/01
Posts: 289
Loc: Idaho
Welcome to the forums, Ginger! Glad to have you here. \:\)

In regards to your question -

My one adult student began lessons with me without any prior instruction. I began her in the PA Adult and she's liked it fairly well from the beginning (since December of 2002). There have been some pieces that she wasn't too thrilled, but the majority of the pieces in the book are good. She’s relatively happy with them, and once she’s been reading notes on the staff, I introduce her to some of the Faber supplementary books (she’s currently doing the Classics series).

I don’t know that I would really push to get through one unit per week. But taking into consideration what you feel your student is willing to learn for the week and is able to understand it without much trouble, then I’d say go ahead. My student has moved along at a pace of one unit per month. It seems to be a nice pace for her, as we aren’t rushing through too much at a time. If you do go with a unit per month, eventually the pace will be increased the more familiar the student becomes with the music.
_________________________
It goes without saying that technical proficiency should be the first acquisition of a student who would be a fine pianist.
~S.Rachmaninoff~

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#32709 - 06/11/04 03:05 PM Re: Beginner Adult Student
Flying Fingers Offline
New Member

Registered: 06/11/04
Posts: 5
Loc: USA
Most of the adults I've taught want to learn really hard pieces that they've heard on the public broadcasting station, and don't realize that they won't be able to play then after 4 lessons.
One of them even quit after 2 lessons because it wasn't as easy as she thought because it looked easy when she watched pianists.
Oy!

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#32710 - 06/11/04 09:41 PM Re: Beginner Adult Student
Elbe Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 323
Loc: The Great Northwest
I have 4 adult students in PA Adult. Two of them are organized people with consistent practice habits. They are moving through the book and some supplementary material nicely although not nearly a unit a week. The other two are more inconsistent and only want to play pieces that are over their heads. They have a habit of forgetting to bring their PA book to the lesson and they complain that the pieces aren't long enough or interesting enough or whatever. I tell them that this course builds concept upon concept so that when they complete it, they will be able to play a variety of music with some facility, etc...etc. I might as well be talking to my dog. I do think that in the future, I will tell prospective adult students that the PA Adult book is the course book we will be using and that supplementary material will be introduced when they get to page such and such......maybe 3/4 of the way through....maybe all the way....maybe never.

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#32711 - 06/12/04 06:29 AM Re: Beginner Adult Student
queenofpiano Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 79
Loc: USA-Southeastern region
I have 5 adults students...
#1 is in college and couldn't afford lessons at the college, this is her 2nd year with me...#2 has been with me since Sept. and is a loan officer for a bank and a single parent...#3 is a young pastor trying to learn music for his church...#4 is a parent of one of my advanced students...#5 just began for the summer - she is a pre med student and comes home for the summer and only has time during summer months to take lessons...
They are ALL different in many aspects--I find I can use PA Adult or PA Accelerated with them as their core
book and all 5 have different goals and needs for music learning.
#5 is an Asian student that practices
very consistently and has 2 lessons weekly and she is very organized and structured. She has asked to play vry serious classical pieces and I try to locate her transcriptions of a few of her requests; #1 is learning more for her educational background; #2 has never had any background in music and wishes to learn and eventually just "play well"; #3 wants to learn but never hardly practices but is very attentive, never cancels whereas #2 is always canceling lessons because of parenting responsibiities or workload at the bank.
I don't think we can really put our adult students in one area just like our younger students. They just need more encouragement because they have waited to learn later in life and for many their expectations are high for themselves and they become discouraged when they find out they may not be able to reach a goal they thought was so very reachable in just a "few short months" of lessons!
_________________________
queenofpiano

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#32712 - 06/12/04 06:32 AM Re: Beginner Adult Student
queenofpiano Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 79
Loc: USA-Southeastern region
BTW, Welcome Ginger!
_________________________
queenofpiano

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#32713 - 06/13/04 09:43 AM Re: Beginner Adult Student
minuet Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 01/03/04
Posts: 47
Loc: North Carolina
I have 4 students in the PA adult books. Two are in the first book and two are in the second one. The series seems to be very good overall. All of the students, of course, are at different learning paces and it takes them up to a month (sometimes more) to cover a unit. The two more advanced students prefer some supplementary pieces like easier classical works, pop songs, etc. I have three other adult students who were transfers and were already in the Alfred adult books. Since they like it already, they have all continued in those. They do, however, complain occasionally about it getting too difficult all at once. I am no expert, but in my opinion, the Piano Adventures adult series seems to give more time between units to really reinforce note- reading and theory concepts.The PA students don't seem as "rushed" to learn the next new concept. Hope this info helps ;\)

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#32714 - 06/13/04 07:03 PM Re: Beginner Adult Student
Ginger Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 06/08/04
Posts: 277
Loc: Indianapolis, Indiana
 Quote:
Most of the adults I've taught want to learn really hard pieces that they've heard on the public broadcasting station, and don't realize that they won't be able to play then after 4 lessons.

That is so true! I actually have it in my policy that I don't want to here comments like "I heard a thing by Rachmaninoff the other day, and it sounded easy enough, can I do it next?" Somethimes I get really excited about a piece I hear on "Performance Today" and buy the music. I always expect a lot of work, but I always end up a little discouraged.

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#32715 - 06/14/04 07:46 AM Re: Beginner Adult Student
Dan Saydak Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 04/04/00
Posts: 268
Loc: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Just want to put in my 2 cents worth, as an adult ( 43 years old, started as a complete beginner at age 37)student. MANY of us adult students go thru the stage of wanting to play music that is way over our heads. It was a stage i went through, and i found it very discouraging at times, because i would start a piece I wanted to play very badly, and have to quit after a couple of weeks because my technical development just wasn't there yet. But i got through that stage eventually, and I'm a little older, a little humbler, a little wiser; i stick mainly to my grade level now. And i NOW realize how satisfying it is, at ANY level, to work on your pieces ( no matter how simple) with as much artistry and musicality as you can. Pieces even at the earliest levels of playing demand the very best of us as much as something by Rachmaninoff! And i've gotten as far as i have in LARGE part due to the consistant, patient, encouraging guidance of my teacher, who brings out the best in me. I couldn't do it without him, no question.

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#32716 - 06/14/04 02:50 PM Re: Beginner Adult Student
NancyK Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 03/27/03
Posts: 644
Loc: North Dakota
Dan...you sound like a really great student and musician. I hope I am, at least to some of my students, what your teacher is for you!
Thanks for your post.

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