What’s a lesson like?

I had one teacher in Grad school who would sit back and just listen to my playing. He’d sip on his coffee, make few comments, and then I’d play the next piece. This went on for 2 semesters, which is why I switched teachers in mid-degree. it caused quite a stir.

I switched because his teaching style did NOT mesh with my learning style – I MUCH prefer a conversational hands-on approach- and that is exactly how I teach.

For me a piano lesson is more of a “rehearsal” – the student and I will work through the issues with the piece they are trying to learn. During that conversation we’ll discuss the music theory aspects of the piece – form, chords, melodic phrase construction, for example – as well as technical issues (fingering…) and musicical aspects (articulations, phrase shaping).

I ask a lot of questions – intending for the student to discover the answer (I really like those “Oh, Yeah” moments when the light bulb goes off). It could be something as significant as noticing that the composer re-used melodic material later in the piece to as simple as starting on the correct note.

That’s what I think a lesson should be like. Your opinion?

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