DSC_0026Our piano program mixes two approaches to instruction: a traditional form developed over the 20th century in Russia (the former Soviet Union), and the American School of Music approach. In the traditional method, the teacher is the leader and unquestionable authority, in contrast to the new American approach in which the student is the leader, guiding the teacher in terms of the repertoire choices and the intensity of the learning process. According to the American School, each child has an individualized pace of learning rather than the traditional method’s rigid structure which requires forced adherence to a stiff lesson plan applied equally to each child regardless of the level of interest and skill.

At the beginning of the learning process, we emphasize developing strong reading skills, correct hand position and posture, and the ability to keep the beat. Once the students develop these three basic skills, we devise an individual lesson plan, which includes developing sight reading skills. This plan often involves studying piano music written for children by such major classical composers as J.S. Bach, J. Haydn, L. Mozart, W.A. Mozart, P. Tchaikovsky, R. Schumann, as well as contemporary composers and artists. Students also may choose jazz, music from movies and musicals.

Each selection is based on the child’s interest and willingness to learn a particular piece.

By listening closely to what our students want to have in their repertoire, we achieve great results through this individually tailored approach.

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