Piano Lessons With Papa Bach
All of Bach's children had piano lessons with Papa Bach. Several turned out to be composers. In their time, the children were more famous than their father. He taught his family music and harpsichord. Bach's teaching method gives us insight into a great master's view of teaching children. Bach's wrote his great teaching pieces for his children. Since his children became famed composers, perhaps Bach had some great ideas on teaching children the piano.
Bach Didn't Write Exercise Pieces For Kids
The first thing one notes when looking at Bach's teaching pieces is that they are all good music. The music itself, regardless of the fact that it was written for a child's capabilities, is of the highest musical quality. So many piano methods today consist of utterly boring exercise pieces that kids are forced to play. Bach, in the wisdom of a great master, knew that to interest children the music must be enjoyable and tuneful.
| 8 * 1 * 1 * | 4 * 5 4 3 2 | 3 * 4 3 2 1 |
| 3 4 5 * | 4 * 3 * | 2 * 5 * | 3 * 1 * |
Fingering Becomes More Complex As You Advance
Bach is clever in his design of the curriculum. The further one goes in the Anna Magdalena Songbook, the more complex the fingering problems becomes. But at the beginning of the book, he avoids the more difficult positions until the child has had a chance to gain familiarity with easier positions.
Bach's works for children are unique in their longevity. He had a profound understanding of both teaching and children's psychology. Like any intelligent piano teacher, Bach understood the value of starting with something very easy Later, he builds slowly to more complex levels. His children benefited from this easy approach, and your children can too.