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Introduction to the “Beginning Piano Playing and Teaching” Series

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” - William Ward

With a very good teacher, no printed method will be effective, and only he is a good teacher who can practically demonstrate every possibility to his pupils.” —Leschetizky

Most of us probably aspire to be the “very good” or “great” teachers (and pianists) described by Ward and Leschetizky. How do we become such teachers and artists, and pave the future of music well by successfully nurturing the next generation? At Musicale, we believe that learning is the foundation of our own artistry and teaching. We also believe that often, we learn best in community, especially when there are many ways to address any particular issue effectively, and ideas are freely exchanged. Buttressed by these beliefs, we have designed this new series for you.

The Beginning Piano Playing and Teaching series is a year-long series that will attempt to address some of the most important elements of piano playing and teaching. We will explore many topics, starting with some philosophical ones such as why we teach, what are the most important things that we need to consider in teaching, what it means to lay a solid foundation, etc. We will then address topics related to learning and playing, such as how to teach reading skills, or how to develop solid and healthy technical skills from the beginning.

We will introduce important concepts and skills using an extensive list of original repertoire composed by the finest composers. You will not only explore new repertoire but, more importantly, also build up a personal library with outstanding teaching materials that are relatively under-used. We will present teaching videos, writings, interviews, lesson observations offered by pianists, teachers, and world renown pedagogues from the past and present. It will be a rich learning experience for all.

Many of our teaching presentations will integrate different learning objectives. Some learning objectives can’t be separated. Reading, techniques, listening skills, and musicianship are all interconnected with each other. Both holistic and analytical approaches will be used. The demonstrations can be great examples of how to think about and explain various concepts, and can be directly applied to one’s own teaching or playing.

Even though beginning piano skills are the main focus for this series, the series is designed to benefit all levels of teachers and pianists. It addresses skills and topics that are essential at many different stages of development for pianists. Many of us have deficiencies in our background. Sometimes, the best way to advance our playing is to simply fill the gaps: to learn what we have missed learning earlier, and to revisit and renew the skills that need to be strengthened. Some of the skills covered are relevant to even the most advanced pianists.

These are some of the topics we will explore together:

The teacher and pupil, first lessons, vocabularies, on reading, on techniques, on touch and sound, on rhythm, on fingerings, on pedal, on repertoire, on public performance, on competition, importance of building a library, short works, on music interpretation, on musicianship among others

We hope that this will be a part of your advancement in teaching and playing in 2023. We believe that you will not be disappointed.

Don’t miss this opportunity. Join us today!


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