Ways of Ascertaining a skill level?

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Is there a standard book out there somewhere, where one can ascertain skill levels- i.e -where should an average student "be" at one year, two years, three, four, five and so on? something like reading, theory, technique, improvisation, etc.



-- joan (zippydee@email.com), March 23, 2001


James Bastien's "How to Teach Piano Successfully" (Kjos) has an extensive listing of what Bastien feels should be covered in the 1st, 2nd, and (I think) 3rd years.

(You can find this at Amazon.com.)

Off the top of my head, I can't think of anything like this other than the Bastien--and Bastien doesn't include such things as improvisation, as I recall.

-- Brent Hugh (bhugh@mwsc.edu), March 25, 2001.

There is no easy answer here Joan

The fact is, each student is going to progress at a different pace. Their development as you know is determined by a number of factors, natural inherent talent, interest, time ( competing with other aspects such as sports, computer, school, peer influences. I have found over the 20 years of being in the music education business some interesting factors.
Each student learns differently and the teacher has to be aware of the changing needs of the music student as they grow their talents into abilities.
Sometimes the average student will begin to blossom, due to the years they have been playing, and because of the teachers diligence of providing them with a variety of music styles.
This coupled with the technical aspects, such as ear training, sight reading and general rudimentary theory lessons built into their regular piano or other music studies.

Perhaps read a little book called " The Outline of Piano Pedagogy"
by Beryl Rubinstien
Carl Fisher, ISBN 0-8258-0171-0
There is another book worth reading entitled
"the Art & Teachnique of Practice"
by Richard Provost, published by Guitar Solo Publications and distributed by Music Sales Corp.,
ISBN 0-9627832-0-X
It is an eye opening book on the how to approach, covering preparation,technique, memoration, visualization, problem solving and Repertoire maintenance
Well worth the read.
Another book which you probably have, or heard of is a standard and has been reprinted many times over the years, entitled
"For All Piano Teachers",
by Ahrens and Atkinson, published by the Frederick Harris Music Co. Ltd

ISBN 0-88797-123-7
It covers the Pscyhology, Physiology, Piano Teachnique and many important aspects of piano teaching and the development of piano students.

Hope this helps
Music Web Site,
PianoTeacher.org Music Teaching Resource site

-- Bryon Tosoff (webmaster@pianoinstructors.com), July 24, 2001.

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