I think that my students have a lot to offer, so I teach them using a Socratic approach. That is, I ask a lot of questions. Students aged six to eighty-six can benefit from this technique, which causes one to internalize the concepts being presented. Whether this concept is “Where is middle C?” or “How can we manipulate the phrasing in this passage to increase the listener’s sense of musical tension?” the idea works the same.
After awhile, lots of important concepts are learned through study of the piano. The most obvious are musicianship (a fancy word for reading notes), and the physical skill of playing the piano. But perhaps more importantly, it teaches folks to look at a large problem, break it down into manageable parts, and put it back together. Conversely, it teaches someone who only sees the world myopically to zoom out and see the beauty in the whole. Learning the piano teaches the student how to accept constructive criticism. Finally, and this is my opinion, but I think learning the piano makes you a good human. A well-rounded person, as a child or as an adult, will have at least a passing familiarity in a wide range of subjects, music included. Music is everywhere, and it is a good thing to be able to speak about music in an intelligent way.
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