Thursday, July 7, 2011

Updates on my Piano Learning

Just wanted to post some updates...

My Grade 5 piano lessons is suppose to be 45 mins per lesson. Although, the lessons usually span from 45mins to 1 hour. In fact, I have checked with my teacher and she says that all her lessons will be 45 mins even when I move up to Grade 6, 7 and 8.

And the tentative charges will be as such:

Grade 5 --- $160/4 lessons (45 mins each including Theory)

Grade 6 --- $180/4 lessons (45 mins each excluding Theory)

Grade 7 --- $200/4 lessons (45 mins each excluding Theory)

Grade 8 --- $220/4 lessons (45 mins each excluding Theory)

And my teacher shared that she will not be teaching Grade 6 and above Music Theory. So which means, if I want to continue to learn my Music Theory up to Grade 8, I will need to look for another teacher who just teach Grade 6 to 8 theory or who can teach both Grade 6 to 8 piano and theory. But I start to like my current teacher, so maybe, I am not that keen to change a piano teacher. Maybe I will look for group lesson for my theory. Anyway, that is an arrangement that I will need to make next year after I sit for my Grade 5 theory and practical exams and receive my results.

I have started to learn my exam pieces and my Grade 5 scales. This first exam piece is A:2 Joseph Hector Fiocco (1703-41) Andante: from Pieces de clavecin, Op. 1. I managed to play through the whole piece. But not at performance level yet. I am actually surprise that I can still play the piece. Haha, I had always think the Grade 5 exam scores look scary and is impossible. And ya, I noticed my sight-reading has improved alot since I completed my Grade 2 exams. Thanks to Nancy for forcing me to learn a new piece every week. But I think I have much to brush up before I am ready to sit for the Grade 5 exams, hence keep practising! =)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Planning to teach my 4 year old niece

My sister had wanted me to try teaching her 4 year old girl piano, hoping test out to see if she is interested in learning piano. And if the test is positive, then my sister will look for a qualified teacher to teach her and get her a new piano! My niece will be using the old Schubert piano which I have given my sister when I bought my Hailun piano.

I guess, this is our cheaper way to test out the interest of our child. I intend to also self teach my girl when she is older to see if she is interested before sending her to formal lessons. I have seen many cases where the child is not interested but being forced to learn piano and never enjoyed it, which I think it is simply a waste of money, coz in the end, these children will never touch the instrument ever again. So if my girl or my niece is not interested, we shall stop and maybe re-introduce it again when they demonstrate that they are interested when they are older.

I will be starting my first lesson with her this coming weekend. This is my first time formally teaching piano to another person and of course, my first time teaching a young child. Hence it is also a learning experience for me. Hope that with this experience, I will also learn how to teach a young child better and apply it to my girl when she is older. Hence, I made my way down to Bras Basah to look for method books for my niece.

I had chosen 2 books for her, not sure if they are the best, but I thought it has lots of activities and pictures in the book which hopefully can keep her interested. And at the same time, they are prepared to prepare young children to move from beginner to Grade 1. There are 4 levels for this series, and of course, I bought Book 1. The 2 books is $17.40 together, so it is not that expensive.

The 2 books chosen are:
(1) Poco Piano for Young Children – Book 1
(2) Music Theory for Young Children – Book 1

I have went through the books and understand the syllabus covered. I have also been trying to plan out my lessons. How fast or how slow I go will depend on how long I can keep my niece interested. I may start with a 30 mins lesson for a start and see how she response. I guess I may need to prepare some self-made teaching materials too, so trying to surf the net to get more ideas.

Will share again after my first lesson with her, and from there, I will see how I can improve and make the learning more interesting. Come to think of it, teaching young children is not an easy task. Teaching adult beginners could be much easier.