Robert Pace - National Conference On Piano Pedagogy
3 - The Music for Piano Series

The Music for Piano Series is multi-key since it exposes students to all keys from the very beginning. In distinct contrast to this middle C approaches usually restrict students to a limited number of keys during the elementary phases of instruction. Here are a few of many reasons why I prefer the multi-key approach to piano study:

1. The multi-key approach immediately develops a sort of tactile sensitivity to the black keys similar to that of Braille. This tactile awareness will facilitate the development of reading skills in much the same manner as "touch typing" enables one to type from the printed copy faster and more accurately than if one looks at the typewriter keyboard.

2. This approach is highly useful since it allows one to transpose up or down when necessary and it alleviates the fear of playing pieces in keys with several sharps or flats.

3. There is historical precedent for the multi-key approach since keyboard literature from the time of Bach has encompassed all keys.

Students must be the center of their won learning as they explore ways of acquiring new knowledge and skills. Consider the following points as part of this learning paradigm:

1. The rate of progress is related to the quality of preparation, therefore students must learn how to practice and work efficiently.

2. Students are in a sense their own teachers 6/7 of the time, since they usually see their piano teacher only one day a week. Therefore, materials in the books must be carefully sequenced for ease of practice with brief and clear instructions.

3. The teacher functions as a facilitator or expediter of learning rather than a tutor.

4. The materials and daily practice activities are designed to elicit creative thinking rather than meaningless repetition and drill.

5. A variety of short examples rather than only a few long ones stimulate student concentration throughout the practice period.

6. The numerous slightly differing examples found Creative Music and Theory Papers facilitate indirect transfer of learning to other pieces as students learn to recognize similarities and differences.

7. Instructions on each page encourage students to build positively day by day to avoid the necessity of undoing wrong applications after a week of improper practice.

8. In the book, Creative Music, importance is placed on individuality and diversity through creative activities including the student's own unique interpretation of various music symbols.


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