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A Patient Piano Teacher

A Patient Piano Teacher

A patient piano teacher knows when to back off, when to be less demanding, and when to switch to an activity that provides relief from stress.  The child’s stress usually comes from the teacher’s insistence on following a set curriculum, with a set timetable.

Kids don’t practice because kids are kids, not because they are lazy.

Browbeating them and insisting on concentration when they can’t deliver it is torture to a kid.

Find Out What They Can Do Today

A better approach is to know what you want to teach the child. Then find out what part of that curriculum is palatable to them that day, and try that. Curriculum at this level can be taught in any order, and complying with the child makes them cooperative. Sometimes kids are in no mood for anything, and then you have to back off completely.

Be crafty, and disguise a simple skill as nothing. Force never works. Force always has an equal reaction, which is apathy. Try to see it from the child's point of view.

Combine Old And New Schools

Combine the old school, conventional methods with the newer ideas, like Piano By Number. If you present your tool chest in the right proportion, the child will be interested, regardless of their mood. You need to be constantly assessing the state of the patient/student to see what they are capable of at that moment. 

Teach Yourself Piano

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A Solution For Curriculum Burnout

Retreat to numbers when the child tires of reading music. When they get tired of numbers, I switch to piano games. When they get tired of piano games, I switch to hilarious music history. Once they are laughing, we can start again at the top of the list.

Be Aware Of The Child’s Mood

The best advice on salesmanship I ever got was from a real estate entrepreneur, who said to me, “You’ve got to have a thermometer ten feet long to sense the mood in the room. That’s what sells: sensitivity.” Students who play under their own steam want to play. At times kids will simply not be in the mood for anything. 

What If They Don’t Want A Piano Lesson?

At such times, I play a game called ATOMIC PIANO LESSON. The child sits on a chair or the sofa, and I play piano, asking them for their reactions to the music I am playing. It is really ear-training, but they will never know it. I ask them to play a C chord while they sit on the sofa, six feet away.

Of course they can’t, but they pretend to reach. Then they laugh. I seem to be asking for the impossible. Once they are laughing, they will return to the piano and play a tune or two, usually with one finger. We laugh. But we are still in agreement, because we had fun: we will keep trying. Tomorrow is another day. 


Piano Teaching Style

If It’s Fun For The Teacher, It’s Fun For The Kids

Piano Methods and Children’s Personalities

The Backwards Piano Method

Reverse Psychology and Children’s Piano

Help Your Child Enjoy The Piano

Ten Rules for A Pleasant Piano Teaching Atmosphere

If You’re Having Fun, You’re Not Learning

The Difference Between the Worst and Best Piano Teacher

A Piano Teacher’s Emotions

A Pleasant Piano Lesson Atmosphere

The Use of Humor in Piano Lessons

Make Use of Your Student’s Sense of Humor

The Piano Whisperer

Fitting the Piano Method to the Child

Soft Piano vs. Hard Piano

Why I Teach Piano

Advice To A Young Piano Teacher

Teaching Children's Piano

Guilt Is The Wrong Way To Buy Attention

The Piano Teacher’s Tone of Voice

Knowing When To Back Off

Piano Candy: The Case For Bribery

Why Nagging Your Child To Practice Won’t Work

How To Make Your Kids Love The Piano

Teaching Kid’s Piano Is Like Herding Cats

Repeated Victory Will Make You Invincible

Ratio of Talk To Activity in Piano Lessons

On Which Side of the Piano Do You Teach?

Setting the Mood Of Children’s Piano Lessons

Why Kids Succeed At The Piano

Child Pianists Are Like Guide Dogs

The Purpose Of The First Five Piano Lessons

The Real Goal Of Children’s Piano Lessons

The Philosophy Of Piano For Kids

How Simple Should Piano Lessons Be?

Piano Toys You Should Bring To A Lesson

Fun Kid’s Piano

Joyful Piano Lessons

The Invisible Piano Method

Make Beginning Piano Simple

The Reverse Piano Method

Nurture Your Piano Students

Against Disciplinarian Piano Teachers

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We've turned notes into numbers for happy beginners at the piano!

Play Along Songs Are Fun!


Turn that big piano into a toy! Play fun piano games with your child today! We help take the confusion out of beginning music theory.

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