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seniors
treble clef
playing the piano
piano lessons
granddaughter
six weeks
Teaching Seniors To Play The Piano
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Teaching Seniors to Play the Piano

After playing the piano for over 60 years, I thought I would try my hand at teaching my fellow seniors to play the piano. The reason I thought I could do this is the method I use to play the piano is very simple and I thought that showing this to others would be easy. Don't get me wrong, I know what I do is a product of years of practice and I do it professionally.

The basic premise of what I do is very simple. I cannot read music per se I can only read the treble clef (what the right hand plays) and I play chords on the left hand.

My Senior Center offers many classes. They offer yoga, art, ceramics, quilting,study courses,etc., but they have never had piano lessons. I prepared an outline for teaching the piano in six, one hour per week classes. The course for five students sold out in one day and we had four more potential students on a wait list.

The first lesson went well as far as the enthusiasm of the students was concerned. There I learned what a wide diversity of abilities my students had. We concentrated on only playing with the right hand.

Most of the students were able to read music a little bit, but one student could not find Middle C. In fact, after six weeks he still had no idea of where Middle C was. He could have learned but he did not exert any effort outside of the classroom (in other words - practice).

In the first week they were playing Silent Night with one hand. I considered this a major accomplishment and the students were thrilled.

Each week there was progress. The students that progressed the most were the ones who practiced the most (go figure).

I gradually introduced chords for the left hand concentrating mainly on C, G and F major chords. Knowing these three chords, you could make a case for being able to play most country music.

I learned more from the students than they learned from me. One student wanted to learn to play Chopsticks for her granddaughter. I hadn't intended to teach them they could play more than one note at a time with the right hand, but this was the perfect song to introduce the concept.

The students confessed that when they had to play in front of their peers in class, it was a harrowing experience. But I think they did extremely well. In fact, and I can't explain this, I made many mistakes when I played in front of them. Apparently, they made me nervous as well.

We recently finished the six week course and I got a good review. The Senior Center is going to offer new classed beginning next month. I am really looking forward to another group of students. I am going to have a class of seven this time.


Street Talk

Teaching helps us grow, doesn't it? Bravo for you teaching something so complex as piano like that in six weeks at a senior center.

Reply
  about 3 years ago
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