Teacher's Philosophy - lana-piano
I learned a lot from my own good and bad experiences. Oh, yes, from bad experience you can learn a lot... <br />
<br />
When I was 7 years old, my Mother took me to a piano teacher to introduce me to the piano. <br />
<br />
The teacher was an older lady, very stern and controlling. She was a good teacher, but not my type of personality. She used to give me pieces to play, and never asked me if I liked the pieces. Finally, one of the songs I really HATED. I asked her if we could replace this piece with any other one. "No"-was her response. "I will not play it!" said I. "You will!" said she...<br />
<br />
 I ended up that evening hiding under the table, and my Mom could not get me out of there. I was crying, and saying "I will never play this stupid song any more, and I will never play the piano any more, and I hate music", and on, and on, and on.... <br />
<br />
Of course, I did not hate music. I came back to the piano. It happened after several years, and I was fortunate to learn music from a wonderful teacher, who was very intelligent, and understanding. <br />
<br />
She was able to walk me through many music styles, even though I did not want to play them in the very beginning. She was able to show me the beauty of a style, and help me to understand what this music is saying to your heart and soul.<br />
<br />
Well, this story was a great lesson for me. As a teacher, I want my students to enjoy music. When I introduce my student to a new piece, my first question is: "Do you like this music? Do you want to play it? What kind of music would you like to play? What is your favorite song?". I play for my students several pieces to see which one is more exciting for them. This makes a teacher's work harder, because I am always in search, preparing to my lessons, but it is exciting!

I learned a lot from my own good and bad experiences. Oh, yes, from bad experience you can learn a lot...

When I was 7 years old, my Mother took me to a piano teacher to introduce me to the piano.

The teacher was an older lady, very stern and controlling. She was a good teacher, but not my type of personality. She used to give me pieces to play, and never asked me if I liked the pieces. Finally, one of the songs I really HATED. I asked her if we could replace this piece with any other one. "No"-was her response. "I will not play it!" said I. "You will!" said she...

I ended up that evening hiding under the table, and my Mom could not get me out of there. I was crying, and saying "I will never play this stupid song any more, and I will never play the piano any more, and I hate music", and on, and on, and on....

Of course, I did not hate music. I came back to the piano. It happened after several years, and I was fortunate to learn music from a wonderful teacher, who was very intelligent, and understanding.

She was able to walk me through many music styles, even though I did not want to play them in the very beginning. She was able to show me the beauty of a style, and help me to understand what this music is saying to your heart and soul.

Well, this story was a great lesson for me. As a teacher, I want my students to enjoy music. When I introduce my student to a new piece, my first question is: "Do you like this music? Do you want to play it? What kind of music would you like to play? What is your favorite song?". I play for my students several pieces to see which one is more exciting for them. This makes a teacher's work harder, because I am always in search, preparing to my lessons, but it is exciting!

"Understand-Play-Read" Method for Beginners.<br />
<br />
<br />
As a foreigner living in USA (I am Russian), I compare learning music to learning a new language. Let's look and compare together: <br />
<br />
Step 1.<br />
<br />
             Learning a foreign language:<br />
<br />
First you try to understand what people try to tell you. You analyze how the language is constructed. You repeat words and phrases. I think, everyone has experienced this: you ask a speaker of a language you are learning, to teach you how to say "Good morning" or "Thank you" in their native language. It is a "famous" ;-) teaching method: "You show-I repeat after you" A lot of people make a great start with this simple technique. <br />
<br />
             Learning music:<br />
<br />
First you try to understand music, how it is made: what is a melody, where the sounds go up, and where they go down, and so on. "You   show-I repeat" method works just great here, too. That's how we can work with hand position, different touch, learning keys, even learning chords (!).<br />
<br />
<br />
Step 2.<br />
<br />
            Learning a foreign language:<br />
<br />
You learn new words by ear. Then you start speaking.<br />
<br />
            Learning music:<br />
<br />
You try to find familiar tunes by ear. Then you start playing.<br />
<br />
 <br />
Step 3.<br />
<br />
            Learning a foreign language:<br />
<br />
When you speak and understand a language, you can learn how to read. For some people this visual support is very important, so they start reading almost at the same time as speaking. This all depends on type of personality of the student. That's why psychological judgment and flexibility is so very important in a teacher.<br />
<br />
            Learning music:<br />
<br />
When you know your keys, can play and understand what you are doing on the piano, it is a good time to start reading. You are able to control your reading by ear, and logically understand how the melody or chord is made. Thus, you don't just read note-by note, but you see a whole complex, a logical pattern. Music is all built on combinations of patterns. These patterns determine a music style. <br />
<br />
Unfortunately, most popular teaching methods offer teaching starting from reading first, then playing, then (hopefully!) understanding what are you playing...

"Understand-Play-Read" Method for Beginners.


As a foreigner living in USA (I am Russian), I compare learning music to learning a new language. Let's look and compare together:

Step 1.

Learning a foreign language:

First you try to understand what people try to tell you. You analyze how the language is constructed. You repeat words and phrases. I think, everyone has experienced this: you ask a speaker of a language you are learning, to teach you how to say "Good morning" or "Thank you" in their native language. It is a "famous" ;-) teaching method: "You show-I repeat after you" A lot of people make a great start with this simple technique.

Learning music:

First you try to understand music, how it is made: what is a melody, where the sounds go up, and where they go down, and so on. "You show-I repeat" method works just great here, too. That's how we can work with hand position, different touch, learning keys, even learning chords (!).


Step 2.

Learning a foreign language:

You learn new words by ear. Then you start speaking.

Learning music:

You try to find familiar tunes by ear. Then you start playing.


Step 3.

Learning a foreign language:

When you speak and understand a language, you can learn how to read. For some people this visual support is very important, so they start reading almost at the same time as speaking. This all depends on type of personality of the student. That's why psychological judgment and flexibility is so very important in a teacher.

Learning music:

When you know your keys, can play and understand what you are doing on the piano, it is a good time to start reading. You are able to control your reading by ear, and logically understand how the melody or chord is made. Thus, you don't just read note-by note, but you see a whole complex, a logical pattern. Music is all built on combinations of patterns. These patterns determine a music style.

Unfortunately, most popular teaching methods offer teaching starting from reading first, then playing, then (hopefully!) understanding what are you playing...

Practice. You can not reach any goal in any activity without practicing.<br />
<br />
<br />
This is very true about Music. The only thing that most people do not know is that practice can be enjoyable! If you organize yourself to practice regularly, you will enjoy results!<br />
<br />
Another secret about practicing is that your first 10 minutes are the hardest. It is a time when your fingers are not warmed up, they do not know where to go, your brain is working hard trying to understand a goal, a logic, and give correct directions to your fingers. Your fingers do not want to follow your brain's directions... Oh, it is frustrating! Usually, at this moment majority leave the piano, deciding to come back to this activity tomorrow in hopes it will work out better.<br />
<br />
 <br />
<br />
But, if you would stay a little bit longer, you will see the magic of your own fingers making Music. Yes, by that time, in about 15 minutes, they already know their path, your brain solved the hardest problems, and your memory gives some relief to the brain. The music starts flowing. And this is you playing! You feel now that it is almost perfect, but one little phrase is not good enough. You work with this phrase, and it improves. Good... Now everything sounds just great. Only not very bright. So, what if you will make this phrase a little bit louder, and this one softer, just like we speak...Try... Yes! It sounds almost professional. "WOW!, says your Mom (Wife, Husband), you sound like this guy on TV". You look at your watch and in surprise realize that you practiced 40 minutes, or may be one whole hour!

Practice. You can not reach any goal in any activity without practicing.


This is very true about Music. The only thing that most people do not know is that practice can be enjoyable! If you organize yourself to practice regularly, you will enjoy results!

Another secret about practicing is that your first 10 minutes are the hardest. It is a time when your fingers are not warmed up, they do not know where to go, your brain is working hard trying to understand a goal, a logic, and give correct directions to your fingers. Your fingers do not want to follow your brain's directions... Oh, it is frustrating! Usually, at this moment majority leave the piano, deciding to come back to this activity tomorrow in hopes it will work out better.



But, if you would stay a little bit longer, you will see the magic of your own fingers making Music. Yes, by that time, in about 15 minutes, they already know their path, your brain solved the hardest problems, and your memory gives some relief to the brain. The music starts flowing. And this is you playing! You feel now that it is almost perfect, but one little phrase is not good enough. You work with this phrase, and it improves. Good... Now everything sounds just great. Only not very bright. So, what if you will make this phrase a little bit louder, and this one softer, just like we speak...Try... Yes! It sounds almost professional. "WOW!, says your Mom (Wife, Husband), you sound like this guy on TV". You look at your watch and in surprise realize that you practiced 40 minutes, or may be one whole hour!

Parent Participation<br />
<br />
<br />
Active parent participation is central to a learning process. Your role as a parent involves observing and taking notes at lessons, playing instrument recordings, and practicing daily with your child. Even if you feel you know little about music, you are your child's best teacher. Through your affection, support, encouragement, praise, and understanding, you can create a happy "musical environment."

Parent Participation


Active parent participation is central to a learning process. Your role as a parent involves observing and taking notes at lessons, playing instrument recordings, and practicing daily with your child. Even if you feel you know little about music, you are your child's best teacher. Through your affection, support, encouragement, praise, and understanding, you can create a happy "musical environment."