New Ways To Teach Old School Piano
There must be new ways to teach old school piano. The old school does not work for the vast majority of kids. Yet it has much to offer if presented properly. The goal of any legitimate series of piano lessons is to make the child musically literate, able to read musical notation.
But that is not all the child needs to know. Without a desire to go further, the ability to read music is useless. If teaching a child to read music destroys their desire to explore the piano, then those efforts have been for nothing.
Reading Music Is A Dull Diet
It takes a long time to become fluent at reading music. I know extremely intelligent 50 year-olds who still have trouble with it. Thus, it stands to reason that restricting the curriculum to only reading music will stifle any enthusiasm of all but the most talented students.
But what about the rest of the kids, the 99.99% who will not be professional pianists? What becomes of their years of effort at the piano? The sad answer is, nothing. If you can't read music well, it's Jingle Bells for you.
Combine New And Old Schools
Thus a different approach to kid's piano is necessary. We have to leave behind the old-school wisdom that one learns to read music first, and then, if you survive that, you may try to enjoy the music. The trouble is that no one survives such an old-school piano teaching regime, and those who do generally end up hating the piano. I dare you to produce kids taught by the super-strict ancient regime who still actually enjoy playing the piano voluntarily.
Every kid I have ever seen taught in such a manner ends up hating the piano and never plays again after childhood. Those are the facts. Conversely, every child I have seen who has been taught by the glacially slow "nurture" method ends up with a permanent interest in music at the piano.
New Rules For Kid's Piano
So let's set a new rule for teaching child pianists. The old rule was "teach every child as if you are searching for candidates to become professional pianists." This rigid regime is responsible for the destruction of the musical dreams of practically every child who ever tried the piano.
The new rule is, "interest every child in the piano at a level and pace that is comfortable for them. After that is established, see how much music reading they can stand without quitting."
Try Every Method and Teaching Idea
This means starting kids by ear, by eye, by number, by color, physically showing them every note if necessary. This slower, more child-friendly approach allows every single child to develop their own relationship with the piano.
It leaves open the possibility that someday they will try to increase their skills with music reading. You can shove it down their throats and have them quit, or spoon feed them until they have enough physical skill to explore on their own.