Topic Options
#65839 - 01/16/16 07:37 AM teaching materials - for transfer student...
CarrieGirl Offline
New Member

Registered: 11/22/14
Posts: 10
I've posted this in the 'teaching adults' section, but thought it might be good here under 'teaching materials' smile I just wanted to see if anyone might be able to give me their opinion?

I have an adult transfer student beginning soon. Despite the last piano teacher giving him grade 2 level pieces (Clementi) to play, and though he can play them reasonably well, he doesn't know anything about time signatures, has trouble reading bass clef, has never been taught to identify intervals, broken chords etc, has never pedalled before and doesn't know much about technique. He wants to continue learning classical music as he prefers it, but expressed the fact that except for the 'pieces' his previous teacher taught him, he can't play anything else (which was no surprise to me of course... and I can't help but feel annoyed at teachers who spoon feed their students and simply don't arm them with the knowledge). Anyway, I'm in two minds about whether to start him at 3A with perhaps initial lessons prior, going over the basics including introducing pedalling, intervals, chords I, IV & V... etc choosing some pieces from the Piano Literature series and 2B to reinforce... then comfortably moving into 3A.... or perhaps I should just start him at 2B (or would that be taking him too far back?). I feel he may be at level 3A given the 'standard' of music he had been playing... but concerned it assumes he has done pedalling, intervallic reading... etc which he has not. I don't think the 'adult series' would suit, as I feel the music may not suit him.

What do you all think? I love the Literature series and Sonatinas as a supplementary which I feel he would thoroughly enjoy, however, I need to ensure he has a good sound knowledge base to build upon and an understanding of what he is playing and how he is playing it. This of course, takes time and can't be rushed in a few lessons. What do you think? I'd love any thoughts/advice xxx

Top
#65841 - 01/16/16 08:41 AM Re: teaching materials - for transfer student... [Re: CarrieGirl]
CarrieGirl Offline
New Member

Registered: 11/22/14
Posts: 10
Well I've done it again - I post something, then discover the answer for myself! smile

I think after looking at the Adult series Book 2, it might be a better place to start the student. 3A assumes quite a bit, but the Adult Book 2 is picking things up at a good safe point, and it provides a wonderful and comprehensive overview of the fundamentals, introducing all the elements (i.e. pedalling, primary chords, intervals, technique etc) systematically. I can provide the supplementary pieces with the Literature series and Sonatinas over time, so that he is more than happy with the music he is playing.

Gee, I hope I get better at figuring out where to place 'transfer' students, I find it requires a great deal of thought. I think I was stuck on the idea of '3A' due to the type of music the student showed me, but couldn't help but feel there were just too many gaps in his knowledge... so I then considered a level lower (2B)... but the 'adult' series is a much more suitable approach in every way. It's tricky placing transfer students, particularly adults as they are reluctant to tell you just how little they know, and would rather try to impress. I'm much more interested in knowing what they DON'T know smile So I can help them fill in the gaps and become more confident at playing the piano and have a more enjoyable experience smile

I'd still welcome any thoughts you might have, and am appreciative of any wisdom offered x

Top
#65845 - 01/18/16 10:29 AM Re: teaching materials - for transfer student... [Re: CarrieGirl]
EllaCat Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 04/03/08
Posts: 365
Loc: Atlantic Canada
I'd likely take the same approach as you did - back up a bit to give a chance to "fill in the blanks." If the student is still yearning after "bigger" sounding pieces, you could always supplement with an occasional "challenge" tune at a slightly higher level.

With adult students I tend to be straight up as to what I see as their strengths & weaknesses, and my recommendation as to how to proceed. Then I discuss with them to see if the approach is something that will work for them. Understanding the student's personal goals & objectives is always essential to coming up with an action plan that they'll be happy with.

Top
#65847 - 01/18/16 06:32 PM Re: teaching materials - for transfer student... [Re: EllaCat]
CarrieGirl Offline
New Member

Registered: 11/22/14
Posts: 10
Thank you EllaCat, I think I was getting a little too distracted by the level of pieces he was playing (albeit with a lack of confidence)... but once I looked at Adult Book 2 I realised it was a perfect place to begin and addressed all the 'gaps'. Yes I too take a very open approach to adults in that I explain to them what my recommendation is and why and we discuss goals... I've only had a few adults who initially seemed opposed to what they thought was 'going backwards' when I had expressed we should go a little slowly to fill in the gaps... but within a few lessons were then telling me, "I think we should go back and fill in the gaps" smile ... mostly because they realised their 'gaps' were holding them back and my words had slowly resonated with them the more they tried to push forward.

I have to say, I'm amazed at how some teachers don't seem to be as thorough as I am, and their students commonly end up with a lack of confidence in their playing, not to mention that they then literally and understandably 'hit a wall' and can't go any further. How can a student be confident at playing a piece of music in 6/8 when they can't explain what 6/8 time means? I think it's very sad to not give students ALL the knowledge as they need it... I'm a relatively new teacher (3 years teaching) but all my students - young and older, can explain anything in their music if I point to it at any given time, can recognise patterns in their music, and they are all confident in what they are playing - and I'm proud of that smile Anyway, I won't ramble on, I just wanted to say thank you for replying to me, and giving me your opinion - it's always so nice to be able to refer to another teacher and receive a valued opinion smile The more I work with the PA materials, and the more I understand the levels I'm sure I will be faster at knowing exactly where to place new transfer students!

Top
#65848 - 01/19/16 10:33 AM Re: teaching materials - for transfer student... [Re: CarrieGirl]
EllaCat Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 04/03/08
Posts: 365
Loc: Atlantic Canada
Transfers are always interesting. I wouldn't necessarily blame the previous teacher for ALL the knowledge gaps you find in a transfer. Sometimes it's a different teaching approach that prioritizes elements of knowledge differently, but sometimes it's just lack of retention by the student, despite the teacher's best efforts. I have a student at the moment, that if she moved to a new teacher they'd think I've done NOTHING with her - but actually, this kid seems to have no short-term memory, and I've been trying my darndest to get anything to stick.

Now when you have several transfers from the same previous teacher and they all have the SAME weaknesses - then you start to learn something more about how the other teacher operated wink

Top
#65849 - 01/20/16 04:04 AM Re: teaching materials - for transfer student... [Re: EllaCat]
CarrieGirl Offline
New Member

Registered: 11/22/14
Posts: 10
Such good points EllaCat smile Thank you. You're right... I shouldn't jump to conclusions. Thanks once again for your reassurance x

Top


Moderator:  Jon 
Search

Recent Posts
Top Posters (Last 30 Days)
Newest Members
mypianorotebook, Amber_Bagz, 430725, SKaR, adagiok5
2658 Registered Users
Forum Stats
2658 Members
46 Forums
5771 Topics
62996 Posts

Max Online: 1422 @ 10/03/16 05:11 PM