If your piano lessons are exactly what you expect them to be, what are you getting from them? There’s a general lack of musicianship in our adult population. We’re often ashamed of our singing voices and experience ridicule when we use them. And many of us grow up in homes where we don’t experience musical movement on a regular basis. For these reasons, we do not develop an integrated understanding and facility with tonal patterns and rhythms.
The piano is a tool for for self-expression through music. We put our music into it. It does not put music into us. When we attempt to teach children or adults how to play the piano without addressing a lack of readiness for understanding Tonality and Meter, our attempts are not likely to have meaningful and robust outcomes.
The solution is to use movement, singing, and improvisation integrated into piano lessons. Repertoire is carefully selected to provide students with a wide variety of Meters and Tonalities in order to give them a broad foundation for musical growth.
We take our time. We don’t try to learn where Middle C is on a staff in the first lesson. We don’t prioritize a recital performance piece over long-term growth. We learn music by doing music. This is a process that takes years, not months.
In this way, students do not become frustrated or bored, and the piano is in its proper place as a tool for their use, not a reminder that their life is full of more things than they can ever hope to accomplish. It makes no sense to teach piano lessons the same way they were taught forty years ago, when the recipients of those lessons forty years ago often retain little of what they learned and use it even less.
Integrated lessons are fun, and they work. Lose any preconceived notions about what a piano lesson should look like, and enjoy a process that develops sound and feeling in a lasting way, for you and your kids.