I believe mimicking a teacher is one part of the learning process, especially for very young children. However, I do not follow students home, nor in their daily lives; thus it is effective to cultivate self-learning and a mind which seeks to discover music on their own. This also makes for a more enjoyable ride.
Cultivate strong note readers
I have found that the top reason why students quit piano or music lessons in general is because they simply find they cannot do the tasks set for them. For beginners, it is often because they cannot read music fluently. Often deemed a hard skill, if taught correctly, a student will be able to learn just about anything that is put in front of them.
Have an early wealth of general music history and theory
If a child is to retain their musical knowledge, they must understand, rather than simply memorise tunes and musical terms. This enriches a child’s learning and opens their mind to the world of music and a culture which will embrace them and take them further than they could have imagined.
Develop an ear for music
Improvisation and playing by ear has its place when learning music too, but it goes beyond this. Basically, practise is just self-correction—and this lies in hearing if something doesn’t sound quite right, analysing why, and playing until a ‘correct sound’ is heard.
Michelle’s Piano Studio, also known as MPS, is a family-owned business established at Campsie in 2011. Our philosophy is simple: practise, patience, perseverance. If you’re willing to learn, we’re willing to teach. Every student here is important to us and we are passionate about providing quality music education.
MPS teaches private lessons in piano, violin and singing, runs music theory and musicianship classes, and offers up various short courses and ensemble groups every year. Our biannual concerts are great performance opportunities for our students, and our friendly teachers can tailor your lesson to better help you reach your music goal.
Feel like you’ve found the right place? We’d love to hear from you.
I’ve been on YouTube and listened to a few videos on how to play the piano. Why can’t I just do that? And it’s free!
The same way you will never be a ballet dancer or a violinist by listening to instructions on YouTube. YouTube is supposed to enhance, or supplement, instrumental lessons. However, videos won’t correct your technique if it’s wrong. Videos won’t be able to see how you play and tell you how to make it better. If you want to be a competent pianist, you need to take instruction from one, the same way if you want to be a competent anything.
If you wanted to learn just one tune, I suppose YouTubing and following that video’s instructions would enable you to play that tune (but probably not very well). DIY instruction videos are great, but don’t work for instrumental tuition. If you don’t believe me… try it yourself.
Why private lessons? Why not group lessons?
Private lessons save time and money in the future. They also give you or your child a solid foundation in music in general. A private teacher picks up errors and ensures correct technique from Day 1. Are you going to get that in a group class? No. Have you enrolled your son or daughter into a keyboard class, and found, while they have had a lot of ‘fun’, did not really learn anything? I don’t doubt that at all. I’ve taught keyboard classes at studios and schools before, and it’s not possible to keep an eye on everyone at once. Group classes also teach a syllabus, not an individual. If your child is a quick learner, a keyboard or group class will not enable them to excel.
Finally, at some point with learning piano or keyboard, if your child is really showing a deeper interest, you are going to have to enrol them for private lessons. Concert pianists don’t become concert pianists through keyboard classes. If you are interested in your child sitting piano exams, they will also need private lessons.
Do I need to have a piano at home?
Not when you have just started. You can invest in a good keyboard with weighted keys. This is a cheaper option and can also be a lot of fun for a child, with different controls to change the sound of the keys.
What are piano exams?
Piano exams are conducted twice a year. At the Studio, we go through an organisation known as the AMEB (Australian Music Examinations Board).
The AMEB is based at the Conservatorium of Music in Sydney.
Students take roughly a year to prepare for the exam, and the content is taught by the teacher in accordance with the AMEB Music Syllabus. There are 8 Grades, plus Preliminary. Each grade requires technical work to be prepared, as well as listed pieces, which can be chosen. Sight Reading, General Knowledge, and Aural Tests are also to be prepared.