5 Ways NOT to Teach Piano

Yesterday I heard yet another account of how some piano teachers treat their students so apparently this still needs to be said. (Note: Most piano teachers are warm, caring, effective teachers. But if your piano teacher behaves like one of the ones below, maybe you should find one of the good ones.)

Here’s my list of 5 ways NOT to teach piano:

1. Do NOT hit your students’ fingers with a ruler. (For what should be obvious reasons.) I have students who experienced this when they were younger, and some are still timid about making mistakes.

2. Do NOT repeatedly tell them how “disappointed” you are in them for not having practiced enough. (Remember: it’s not all about you, the lessons are for them.)

3. Do NOT have them report to their parents how badly they played during their lesson. (If shame and humiliation are your best motivational tactics, perhaps you need to expand your repertoire.)

4. Do NOT push them and push them and push them until they’re incredibly stressed out and afraid. (Are you trying to make them hate music?)

5. Do not bring your emotional baggage to each lesson. (We all have bad days, but why make others suffer too? Your students deserve better than this.)

Playing piano is an incredibly rich, vibrant, and fun experience. Make sure that your teacher is leading you in this direction and you’ll enjoy music for a very long time!

Here are some free piano improv lessons for you and your friends to enjoy. Have fun!

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