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Making Music Throughout Adulthood: Best Practices in Teaching Piano to Adults of All Ages

Did you enjoy this webinar? Please complete our brief survey to help us improve our webinar series and continue to bring you the highest quality resources in piano teaching. Click here to take the survey File Name: Making Music Throughout Adulthood - Handout File Size: 123 kb Download File
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The twenty-five year interlude: An amateur returns to the piano

​ Playing the piano is a marriage of sorts. Just like a traditional marriage, there are three phases. Phase One, "The Honeymoon Phase," is when we are excited about a new piece and can't wait to explore it. Phase Three, "The Silver Threads Among the Gold Phase," is the warm, cozy, and comfortable phase, when we know the music inside and out. Phase ...
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Memorization in adulthood

It really gets my dander up when I hear people say that adult amateur pianists aren't "serious" about their piano study. Why underestimate the thousands of adults who are passionate about performing at the piano? You will find amateur pianists seeking out performance opportunities through music clubs and associations. They find any excuse to perfor...
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How Do You Choose Repertoire for Your Adult Students?

"I'm too old to play pieces I don't like," said Heather at one of our first lessons. Heather is a retired Professor in Romance Languages and Literatures, as well as an expert on the composer Schubert. It's no surprise that her repertoire is steeped in Schubert's music. She loves it that way, and so do I. It's not always this easy picking reper...
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The trapeziectomy diaries: Part two

The trapeziometacarpal joint, also called the "trapezium," is at the base of the thumb. Osteoarthritis, a well-known condition suffered by many adults, affects the trapezium in some people. Sufferers experience pain, stiffness, and weakness in the thumb joint. This is particularly troublesome when the sufferer is a pianist.  Luckily, there are...
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How do you teach the more "serious" adult student?

When my adult students tell me they are "not serious" about their piano study, a red flag goes up- "serious" means different things to different people. Although students may be try ing to say their final goal is not to be a performer, more often than not they are saying, "I don't have time to practice a lot, but I'm very serious about learning to ...
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How do you develop a sense of rhythm in your adult students?

from the series: It's Never Too Late: Adult Piano Study I just finished teaching a particularly challenging lesson to Jeff. Week after week we struggle with keeping a steady pulse. I know he is just as frustrated as I am, yet he has trouble breaking habits developed over years of self-learning. In the "old days," I would simply allow the "puls...
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What Do You Do To Promote Learning Outside of The Piano Lessons?

from the series: It's Never Too Late: Adult Piano Study Brenda Dillon, Editor The challenge for our youth-focused industry is to develop both products and programs designed to attract and serve a vastly underserved older market. Because space was available in the Autumn 2004 issue of Keyboard Companion, I was able to include my farewell commen...
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What Are The Questions (and Answers) That Impact Adults' Piano Study?

from the series: ​It's Never Too Late: Adult Piano Study Brenda Dillon, Editor After reading Barbara Maris' book, Making Music at the Piano: Learning Strategi es For Adult Students (Oxford University Press), I was constantly reminded that we crave a "one-stop-shopping" experience. In a sense this is what I found Barbara's book to be. In additi...
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How is Teaching Adults to Read Music Different Than Teaching Children?

from the series: ​Independence Day: Music Reading Adult beginners seem to challenge everything we think we know about teaching. From the books used to the rate of skill development, adult learners are different from children. One thing we can do to understand our adult learners is to put ourselves in their position by becoming students ourselv...
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It's Never Too Late: Adult Piano Study

Brenda Dillon is on the faculty of Brookhaven College in Dallas, Texas, Project Director for the National Piano Foundation, a member of the Board of Directors of the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy and is a teacher who loves to help her adult students bridge the gap between wishing and doing.  How Do Yo...
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How Do You Begin an Adult Who Has Had No Previous Music Study?

Increasing numbers of adults taking piano lessons didn't just happen overnight. Teachers have been observing that their percentage of adult students has risen steadily through the past decade. Publishers have responded to this change in the marketplace by publishing a diverse array of materials written specifically for adult beginners.  A rela...
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Why Is Playing the Piano Beneficial for Adults With Arthritis?

We are fortunate to have this question answered by two writers who are extremely knowledgeable about arthritis. Charlotte Frazier is a Registered Music Therapist (RMT) who has experience teaching piano to adults with arthritis. Scott Zashin is an MD who stays informed about the most current treatments of arthritis through his position as editor of ...
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How Do You Keep Your Adults From Using The Lesson Times as Therapy Sessions?

If confession is good for the soul, then my soul is about to feel really good. Because I am going to admit to something which may appall most, if not all readers of KEYBOARD COMPANION.  Currently, I teach adults only in groups, but when I was teaching several adult students in private lessons, I actually enjoyed it when one or two of them...
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How Do You Handle the Discouraging Plateaus of Adult Piano Study?

Alt hough this question implies that all  plateaus are negative, our writers very  effectively dispute that contention and give  us very positive reasons for plateaus. It is  analogous to the age-old question about the  glass being half empty or half full. A plateau  from one perspective is viewed as no  progress ...
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