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The Piano Whisperer

The Piano Whisperer

The Piano Whisperer shows you how to make your teaching manner delightful. This will inspire children to try things that they are sure they cannot do. Like the film, “The Horse Whisperer,” I believe I have found a way to gently nudge kids towards success at the piano by simply talking gently.

The central point of "The Horse Whisperer" was his use of the rope. “I don’t yank on the rope. I put the rope on the horse and then lay it on the ground so he knows that I’m not going to pick it up until he’s ready. Then I pick it up, but I don’t yank on it. I let the horse feel the slack in the rope and if he pulls away I just let the rope drop. The horse has control of the rope.”

Adopt A Comical, Warm Manner

The piano teacher’s manner is warm and comic, as if the last thing you really wanted to do is teach them a piano lesson. You’re just some affable guy that happens to be there at 3:30 PM every Thursday. First, go to the piano and play something funny, to break the ice and let them know that we are here to both learn and have fun today. Look at the child’s face at the beginning of the lesson. Are they smiling? That child better be smiling when you’re done, or you’re fired.

Piano Is Easy

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Teacher As Friendly Leader

I sit on a chair next to them and always talk quietly while they play, praising every small victory, a fingering remembered, a note or three memorized. I offer them the option called BQWIP (Be Quiet While I Play) but we always both end up talking anyway. They know that I speak the truth to them, either good or bad, and that both good and bad news is delivered to them with the gentlest of velvet comic touches.

If they make a mistake I smile and say, incredulously, like a jolly English butler, “Deeply sorry, sir, but that was completely wrong!”

Laugh At Mistakes

Laugh at mistakes, and the child’s fear is defused. They will want to try again. I’m serious about this. Laugh in a friendly, non-derisive way and they will listen to everything you have to say eagerly. But this mock bad news must be accompanied by a genuine smile, and often an explanation.

Kids need to know that a mistake is not bad, but a good thing. Mistakes tell you where you can make it better, usually easily. Say this again and again to them, like a mantra. If they stumble, make it easier. If they still stumble, make it easier still.

Find The Comfort Zone

Find the child’s comfort zone at the piano and guard it with your life. In that zone they are really able to learn. No matter how inept they may seem at piano acrobatics, find something at which they are succeeding. Concentrate on that skill, clone it, add to it, embellish it, make a game of it. Find a way to base your entire curriculum on that one strength they actually have, and have exhibited to themselves.

With time, every damaged and reluctant, fearful “horse” will respond. First they’ll walk, then trot, then gallop, when they are confident and ready to go. I know. It works. I’ve whispered to these “horses” and all they ask is patience and understanding.


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

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

A Patient Piano Teacher

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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