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Store asked me to teach but I don't know.


CEB

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Yamaha dealer asked me to teach keys but I don't know about it. Here is what they want.

 

They told me people want to learn to play keys but not traditional piano training. They know how I play and these guys are piano players. They said I don't play clavs the way I play organ and I play piano differently etc.... different touches and different techniques.... Everyone here knows this. This is the kind of stuff they want me to teach in addition to modern keyboard repertoire.

 

I could do this for someone who can already play but I think they want me to be able to teach beginners. Is this even possible?

 

Part of the problem is I think most people, myself included teach the way they were taught. I learned through 14 years of formal piano studies plus additional study with various teachers over the years. I feel you need some sort of structured pedagogy to learn how to fundamentally play.

 

Basics are basics. Any thoughts?

 

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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I could do this for someone who can already play but I think they want me to be able to teach beginners. Is this even possible?

I feel you need some sort of structured pedagogy to learn how to fundamentally play.

 

Basics are basics. Any thoughts?

I think it might be difficult, without the student having at least a basic grounding in piano. With a beginner you would have to cover it anyway.
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Complete beginners? That is difficult. I started off teaching myself just basic major/minor chord triads, then worked out 6th, 7th extended chords etc. Seem to work as a basic grounding. Then I guess you could move onto circle of fifths, blues scales etc... Tim Richards Blues Piano book could fit in then...
Nord Electro 4D, Roland VR09, Roland RD-300SX
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I'm thinking the only way I could agree is to not take any beginners otherwise I would become the traditional class piano teacher.... because I think that is what works.

 

If I do take students I can still see them being disappointed because I would be still teach a lot of theory because it is my cornerstone to know how to improv quickly on the fly..... Something I see as a problem these days is some people need to learn that there are no magic beans in life's endeavors.

 

 

 

 

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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I think what they want is for you to teach chord piano. So the kids can learn songs quick the way they've been teaching rock and folk guitar for a long time now. Get their hands strong enough to make chord shapes and teach progressions. Song goes Am, G, F, G, whatever. Show them scale patterns and melodies by fingering. Etc. Then blues scale to improvise. And then add stylistic " strums" and rhythmic patterns for clav, organ, piano comping.

 

Apparently that's enough these days. Important stuff but lots missing. Maybe if you inspire then this way, they stick with it and want to learn it all later.

Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

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Teaching is a skill on its own, knowing how to play does not necessarily make one a good teacher, but I am sure you already know this. I am with you, nothing beats a structured teaching course. However taking someone who knows how to play at an intermediate level and teaching them the techniques required to cross over to organ or EP's or electronic music may be a niche that few traditional teachers address.

 

Like any form of teaching it would get easier the more often you did it and developed your own informal course. You would also get a handle on how fast students pick up the new skills etc. If it were to be worthwhile seems like a fair bit of initial prep work would be required and a commitment to do it for a while as you fine tuned your teaching skills and coursework.

A misguided plumber attempting to entertain | MainStage 3 | Axiom 61 2nd Gen | Pianoteq | B5 | XK3c | EV ZLX 12P

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I have been around here for a long time, but don't post much.

 

However, this topic is quite familiar, so here goes:

 

I have been teaching at a store for 15 years, and get all kinds of students, from absolute beginners to advanced people who what help with specific problems.

 

No matter what "level" the student is at, I have found that there is always room for improvement with the basics, such as theory and with technique. So ultimately we always end up filling in those gaps.

 

Seeing as you have a history of basic piano teaching pedagogy, I suggest you start there, because that is what you know, and historically that is what provides a solid foundation.

 

And no matter what style of music the store wants, the bottom line is that it is the same theory, same 10 fingers (hopefully...have had students with less!), same key layout, etc, so the basics are necessary.

 

So if the store does not want "Classical" teaching, then teach the basics, because that is where everything starts.

 

Most students who come to a music store for lessons are rank beginners, or know very little, are often self-taught and frequently have huge holes in their learning because they have avoided the "heavy lifting" of metronome/drum machine work, reading music, etc, and thus have major problems with technique, timing, rhythm, etc.

 

Just take each person as an individual project, with their own strengths and weaknesses, and teach them what they need next.

 

And develop a plan with goals for each student...write it out, and clarify it with them, and it will help you and them to stay on track.

 

And have a simple piece of music to work on in the genre they like.

 

Also, when you teach a topic, assume they know nothing about it, start from the very beginning, and build up from there. Ask lots of questions..."Do you understand this, etc" and have them explain back to you what you just taught them.

 

Sorry I am rambling on, but hope this helps a bit.

 

Teaching is a lot of fun, and challenging.

 

Good luck!

 

ps...the first question I ask is "Tell me about your piano or keyboard"...this year so far I have had five people want lessons who do not have and instrument! People cannot learn without one, so the first step is to get one. You will be surprised at how many people do not own one, and it is impossible to do anything without one, regardless of what they say, such as "I will get one after I get to play better"....no way!

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What are the rewards?

 

That is a multi-layered question...

 

Personally, I'd rather stab myself than be a teacher (in any subject) for anyone outside of my own kid. Unless you need the $$, I'd say only do it if it inspires you.

Steinway L, Yamaha Motif XS-8, NE3 73, Casio PX-5S, iPad, EV ZLX 12-P ZZ(x2), bunch of PA stuff.
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I feel you need some sort of structured pedagogy to learn how to fundamentally play.

 

Your instincts are correct. What you can do is use a modern pedagogical method and supplement with tidbits and facts and the occasional piece of candy about organs, clavs, electric pianos, etc.. You'll still teach all the piano stuff, but just sprinkle in anecdotes and the occasional odd technique for other instruments. There are a couple basic things you could talk about with organ playing that relatively new players could do. Even if it's holding whole note triads and transitioning smoothly to a different chord as legato as possible. Maybe flip the leslie on half way through. That's an easy 'organ' technique.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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ps...the first question I ask is "Tell me about your piano or keyboard"...this year so far I have had five people want lessons who do not have and instrument! People cannot learn without one, so the first step is to get one

 

Great point! I've been surprised by the answer to this as well.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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I'll say that teaching beginners doesn't have to be difficult. In fact it can be really rewarding. There are so many exellent methods out there that using one of these methods combined with your professional real life gigging experience can make for a very solid foundation for the total beginner, be it youth or adult. My favorite method for adults is the Faber Adult Method . In addition to a solid foundation in beginning piano and technique, it touches on playing from lead sheets and the idea of chordal accompaniment (especially in the second book). I have had fantastic results with my adults using this book.

 

I'd say the more pressing question for CEB is, will this really be worth it as far as time commitment / $$$ ratio goes. How flexible with they be if you need to bail because you have a corporate gig? If you can make a decent wage and have some flexibility, teaching can be a nice bit of $$ in your pocket. Not to mention the side benefit of meeting new people from all walks of life. It's an awesome thing for a musician to network with non musicians. If you are cool and good at what you do, you'll have your students' friendship and respect, which can pay dividends when your students turn out to be lawyers or real estate agents or work at a newspaper. They are also potential concert goers.

 

Of course if the students are lame and the scheduling burden is too great, nothing can suck your lifeforce more quickly.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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My teacher taught me with something that feels like it was based on an organ method - Pointer System, or similar. I'm weak on basics because of it, but she could have taught those, too, if I'd been inclined to learn (I hadn't planned to become a player - I just wanted basic familiarity with the instrument so that I could understand theory better to become a better sax player).

 

BTW if you are as good as I think you are, you could probably make some decent money teaching non-beginners, too, if you can market yourself right. I'm in the market for a teacher, if I find a local one, I won't have a hard time justifying $50-$75/hr once or twice a month.

 

Sometimes I think I should look up a classical teacher and start at grade one piano. But I don't think I would practice enough.

 

Wes

Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3

Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H

Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9

Roland: VR-09, RD-800

 

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I think what they want is for you to teach chord piano. So the kids can learn songs quick the way they've been teaching rock and folk guitar for a long time now. Get their hands strong enough to make chord shapes and teach progressions. Song goes Am, G, F, G, whatever. Show them scale patterns and melodies by fingering. Etc. Then blues scale to improvise. And then add stylistic " strums" and rhythmic patterns for clav, organ, piano comping.

 

Apparently that's enough these days. Important stuff but lots missing. Maybe if you inspire then this way, they stick with it and want to learn it all later.

I suspect you are exactly right. And while we're at it, why not? Isn't there room in the world for players that just want to be able to noodle along with their favorite tunes on the home stereo? I remember years ago, buddies of mine listening to me play and saying "teach me to do that". My response was, "well first we will have to establish a solid grounding in theory, scales, modes, fingering... yada yada yada..." And that would be an end to it. Looking back on it now, I'm disappointed at what a stuffed shirt I was about it. Why not just teach the guy some licks? Who gets hurt?

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

-Mark Twain

 

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ps...the first question I ask is "Tell me about your piano or keyboard"...this year so far I have had five people want lessons who do not have and instrument! People cannot learn without one, so the first step is to get one

 

Great point! I've been surprised by the answer to this as well.

 

Crazy, but that one happens to me more often than expected. Also, I've had beginners with an inexpensive, non-velocity keyboard at home. While I can initially work with a student who has a 61-key, budget Casio or Yamaha instrument (sometimes due to a struggling single-parent household), lack of velocity becomes a deal-breaker almost immediately. Ideally I'd like to have all beginners be on an acoustic piano, but if I can at least get them onto a good, weighted digital 88, that helps. I've steered a few student toward the Casio PX-150 and Yamaha P35.

 

Lots of good advice so far here, so there's very little I could add to junkcars' or Bobadohshe's comments. I think you could do a capable job, CEB. Also, there were a few other insights that you might find helpful from a relatively recent thread that ksoper had started here on KC. He too had been asked to teach piano privately.

 

 

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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No instrument..... that is nuts.

 

I'm the one who complains there are no young keyboardist in this area. I taught a lot in the 80's. But it was straight up by the book traditional teaching.

 

Now I would only do it once a week.

 

I don't think think the traditional piano route is the only or even the best way to become a keyboardist. Someone from a real organ background I think has a great elementary set of tools. Multiple manuals, pedals, dealing with technology aspects of an instrument.

 

Thanks everybody for all the feedback. You are giving me a lot to think about. I think I am open to doing it. I will probably be in the store Saturday morning. I hang out there too much so maybe they just want to put me to work since I am there so much.

 

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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I feel you need some sort of structured pedagogy to learn how to fundamentally play.

 

Basics are basics. Any thoughts?

 

Agree, no shortcuts.

 

That said, being a good teacher is mostly about sparking your pupils' enthusiasm, motivate and encourage them.

 

Your job would be to make the mundane seem interesting.

 

 

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That said, being a good teacher is mostly about sparking your pupils' enthusiasm, motivate and encourage them.

 

Your job would be to make the mundane seem interesting.

 

 

I might suggest being an effective teacher also includes the ability to correctly identify and analyze strengths and weaknesses, and prescribe the appropriate guidance to encourage the former and correct the latter. But that may be contingent upon the level of student engaged.

 

As well as to open a student's eyes to some of what is possible that they've never dared to dream of.

..
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This ....

That said, being a good teacher is mostly about sparking your pupils' enthusiasm, motivate and encourage them.

 

Your job would be to make the mundane seem interesting.

 

... and this ....

I might suggest being an effective teacher also includes the ability to correctly identify and analyze strengths and weaknesses, and prescribe the appropriate guidance to encourage the former and correct the latter. But that may be contingent upon the level of student engaged.

 

As well as to open a student's eyes to some of what is possible that they've never dared to dream of.

... and a strong knowledge of proper technique to know what to either teach them correctly to begin with or to correct what they may have learned wrong, with a smattering of applicable theory to make it all mean something more than the ability to play a bunch of notes, all without taking away their musical individuality.

 

Being an all around good teacher has all of these aspects, and probably a few I'm forgetting, plus endless energy. I haven't taught in many years (accordion, and shut up), but I do recall it being extremely mentally draining. But just one student with a little talent and the desire and ability to absorb what you give them and turn it into their own unique something can make it all worthwhile.

 

CEB, I can certainly sympathize with your dilemma. I was comfortable teaching accordion way back then because I had been well trained in it myself, plus a few years of majoring in music ed. But what I do now on keys is mostly a self-taught springboarding from those early years, and really don't know if I could begin to impart that on anyone else (not that anyone would even ask).

D-10; M50; SP4-7; SP6

I'm a fairly accomplished hack.

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I think what they want is for you to teach chord piano. So the kids can learn songs quick the way they've been teaching rock and folk guitar for a long time now. Get their hands strong enough to make chord shapes and teach progressions. Song goes Am, G, F, G, whatever. Show them scale patterns and melodies by fingering. Etc. Then blues scale to improvise. And then add stylistic " strums" and rhythmic patterns for clav, organ, piano comping.

 

Apparently that's enough these days. Important stuff but lots missing. Maybe if you inspire then this way, they stick with it and want to learn it all later.

I suspect you are exactly right. And while we're at it, why not? Isn't there room in the world for players that just want to be able to noodle along with their favorite tunes on the home stereo? I remember years ago, buddies of mine listening to me play and saying "teach me to do that". My response was, "well first we will have to establish a solid grounding in theory, scales, modes, fingering... yada yada yada..." And that would be an end to it. Looking back on it now, I'm disappointed at what a stuffed shirt I was about it. Why not just teach the guy some licks? Who gets hurt?

 

This brings two stories to mind. I had a fellow come to me, long retired guy in his late 70s who wanted to play blues piano. At this stage of his life as a beginner, he didn't want to futz around with an Adult Beginners Course. He'd listened to the music all his life and wanted to be able to play THAT. So, I obliged. He was content to learn rhythmic patterns for a blues in C and a few licks. Mission accomplished.

 

Another example was a high school aged beginner who had taken some traditional lessons when he was like 5-8 or something and now wanted to be in his jazz band. The band leader gave him lead sheets and we went into simple two handed chord voicings and how to comp a swing feel on day one. Going straight back to school and sit in with the band was trial by fire and he took off quick. After the semester was over we spent the summer back tracking to other things. But bam, he was hooked. So, there you go. Many roads lead to Rome.

Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

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Dammit. I need some magic beans. WHY YOU GOT NO MAGIC BEANS?

 

Seriously, know what I'd really like in a teacher/coach? Someone who can point me to good clear examples of different styles for me to imitate, to expand my limited lexicon. With specifics. Ideally, in a somewhat organized way (e.g., for the next few months, let's cover New Orleans piano styles. Then on to ... whatever's next.) Point out where I'm using my hands wrong, but otherwise leave it to me to pick up the grooves.

 

Sadly, I can't sight-read, and no doubt that would help. But it was all I could do to read one note at a time, playing sax in high school band!

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is very good. Was watching a special on MTV and saw him doing some of the synth leads with his left hand very fast and precise. Just wondering what kind of keyboard he is playing? I looked on Wikipedia and said he was from Canada and taken classical piano as well. I used to listen to the band back in the 80s just curious on the keyboard being used. Thanks for any info.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I teach music in a public school district, and for absolute beginners this is the place:

http://www.littlekidsrock.org/

They partner with public school districts and call their methodology "modern band", which we call a rhythm section. Very inventive ideas, from jam cards to play along tracks all available online. If you know any teachers that went through their training this can really help beginners and you can impart your knowledge to take them to higher levels. AFAIK it's only for certified teachers - at this time.

 

Jake

 

1967 B-3 w/(2) 122's, Nord C1w/Leslie 2101 top, Nord PedalKeys 27, Nord Electro 4D, IK B3X, QSC K12.2, Yamaha reface YC+CS+CP

 

"It needs a Hammond"

 

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