Tutor profile: Christopher B.
Subject: Study Skills
How do you teach your students how to practice?
Perhaps the most important skill at the keyboard is knowing how to practice. The idea is to practice the least amount of time for the most amount of gain. I might have a student practice each voice of a passage individually. A student may need to practice large leaps in the left hand with their eyes closed to aid them in their spacial sense of the piano. Practicing difficult passages with broken rhythms, mental practice, different touches, and many more ideas will be discusses and assigned. I cater a practice plan for each student after each lesson.
Subject: Music Theory
How would you teach someone who has a small amount of theory knowledge?
It is always of critical importance to determine a students level of understanding in music theory as quickly as possible. I usually ask rudimentary questions that relate to a student's knowledge of key signatures, rhythm/meter, and reading. If a student as a good grasp of these concepts, I move on to other areas such as part-writing and basic counterpoint. Along with all of this, I provide examples of these concepts in the scores of real pieces.
What is your teaching method?
I teach each student as the individual that they are. Music is a form of art that requires this approach. If a student has technical issues, I can provide them with exercises and repertoire that helps develop them in this regard. If a student has trouble understanding how to shape a phrase or break down a passage, I can help guide them through it and sharpen their understanding of the score. Above all else, I make sure to create a low-pressure environment with my students and work to achieve whatever goal they wish to obtain.
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