teaching but not a teacher

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I know the very basics of piano, had lessons centuries ago as a child, can read music a little. Went through Grade 1 and would be considered in Grade 2 of Thompsons. My 16 year old neighbor girl would like to learn how to play the piano. What could/should I do to help her learn? She will have to come to my home to practice as she doesn't have a piano. She might just be "interested" as teens are, but I am willing show her anything that will build a bit of a foundation for her. Her parents cannot afford to give her private lessons, I do not have time to take lessons myself. It's just a fun thing for either of us but I don't even know where to begin: scales? read music? teach by ear? give it up?

-- Mary Ellen Chapman (gsd01614@mail.wvnet.edu), November 20, 2004


my DD is taking lessons, and here are some of my suggestions:

get a book to follow. spend at least a year on playing songs only. stay away from scales, chords, arpegios, studies, etc....... these are simply too boring for a beginner and serve no purpose in the first year..........

just have fun with it, teach her everything you know and take if from there........unfortunately if she is serious she will need a real teacher some day, but for now it will work out great if you just teach her notes in both keys, play simple songs for both hands, by practicing each hand seperatly before puting them together, do not give up and do not teach by ear, not to a 16 year old, :)

-- julie (julia122467@hotmail.com), November 23, 2004.

There is someone on PBS with a "chord" method--usually the show is broadcast around pledge time....Our station did not carry it, but if you get multiple PBS feeeds through cable/satellite or just living in an area with decent reception, you should see it somewhere--then decide whether you want to buy it or not--maybe split the cost with your neighbor. It is also available through Amazon--read the reviews. I didn't care for him that much as an instructor--too cute, not enough content. The book is a thin, dinky paperback that won't lay flat, which is dumb for a music book--I've seen it in regular bookstores.

Okay, found it (also check the schedule of your local PBS stations):


Here is another program, somewhat pricey (again, maybe you could split the cost, and when you cost it out by the number of lessons in the package, it isn't that expensive), but a lot more thorough than most chord methods out there. Not on DVD, unfortunately, as far as I can tell. For a family with more than one child, it would pay for itself pretty quickly!


And do click on the sidebar for more info. (no I do not sell this)

Both of these, again, are "chord" methods. Depending on what your neighbor would like to get out of piano lessons, this may be the way to go, and the fastest, as far as results. And, it may also rekindle your interest in the piano as well.

-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), November 24, 2004.

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