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Studio policies for your sporadic adult students

​I am a very happy and fairly healthy "Baby Boomer"—my father was a World War II veteran, and I was born in the fifties. We "Boomers" are your current and upcoming adult piano students. Why? Because we realize we have more to learn—we are excited learners. We are not isolated but are well read and intelligent—we are logical learners. We are wonderf...
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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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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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How do you help an adult student who has ingrained poor technical habits?

from the series: ​It's Never Too Late: Adult Piano Study Michelle Conda, Editor by The Adult Learning Committee of the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy Okay, let's face it - I'm not talking about the good habits your adult students have, but the bad habits   that form the foundation of so many recreational pianists' technique...
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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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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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What Do You Do When Adults Are Determined to Play Repertoire They Can't Possibly Play Well? Part 1: Shift to Alternative Choices

The question for this issue should have a familiar ring to it. It's certainly asked often enough when teachers get together. Are there any adults upwards of thirty alive today who don't want to play Für Elise and the Moonlight Sonata before they are technically ready? I'm convinced that there was something in the water consumed by pregnant women se...
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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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Can playing deficiencies in returning adult students be corrected without demoralizing them?

This question implies a great deal of negativity because it includes the words deficiencies and demoralizing. Our writers for this issue have realistically addressed this question and have provided some extremely positive suggestions. We welcome your additional comments on this topic. Please write to me in care of Keyboard Companion. Reme...
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