Although sadly I could only be there for part of the day, it seemed like a very stimulating and varied event including sessions on technique with Murray McLachlan, a teacher's question time and a closing recital given by Piers Lane.
The topic of my short talk was one of my favourite subjects - how to teach the piano to young children effectively. In other words, how to get it 'Right from the start!' This is such an important area for us to understand as the approach adopted by teachers can lead to either success or failure for pupils. Ultimately, the wrong approach established at the start can lead to loss of motivation and lessons stopping.
Surely it is in our own interests to introduce the piano in a way that will help sustain and motivate pupil's learning?
Briefly, my presentation presented the argument that the four following aims should act as a frame in lessons with young beginners.
All lessons should aim:
- to nurture musical independence
- to use singing as the starting point
- to use aural and creative approaches alongside a sequenced route to note-reading
- to establish secure technical foundations
I promised to post a copy of the presentation I gave - apologies for this taking longer than it should have done but here, at last, it is.