Last week I talked about teaching families as opposed to teaching children. I used my grandsons' karate school as an example. You can grow your piano studio by offering the parents and grandparents of your current piano students their own ‘Experience the Piano’ course.
Create a 10 week course that adults can take to get their feet wet or rekindle their love of playing the piano. Just 10 weeks, during the day or in the evening.
Adults who are learning piano want and need a different method than their children. They want a musical experience that teaches them enough music to understand and be supportive to their child, and they want to play music for themselves.
Your 10 week course has to be FUN, and full of great music they can learn quickly. If they love it (and they will), they’ll sign up for more!
I wrote the Play Piano Chords Today method to fill this need in my studio. PPCT Book 1 can be taught in 10 weeks. My experience has been that adults often want to learn something different than traditional piano. They want to learn and play songs quickly, often songs they heard on the radio when they were teens. Learning to play piano from a Lead Sheet achieves this result beautifully.
Don’t be concerned if you haven’t been taught to read lead sheets and don’t feel comfortable teaching this way. I was taught to read classical scores, not lead sheets and when I took the leap and started to embrace them, I never looked back. If you want support to teach this way, become a PPCT teacher. CLICK HERE to find out more!
Why Lead Sheets?
Starting an adult with a lead sheet teaches note reading in one clef, one note at a time and provides simple, repeatable chords for the LH.
Lead sheets can lead to learning classically. When an adult wants to learn Fur Elise, you can start with a lead sheet and that may eventually lead to Beethoven’s score. At the very least they will be able to play the opening for their friends and sound great!
An added benefit, is they are much more prepared to learn bass clef when they approach it with a basic understanding of chords and how to make them sound good by voicing them.
Teaching with lead sheets, right from the start, combines playing piano and music theory, beautifully. It incorporates listening too. We listen critically to the chords and decide if that’s the sound we want or if we should rearrange the notes a different way. It’s creative and never boring to teach as there are many right ways.
Can I learn this as a teacher?
The easy answer is YES! You can’t learn it from YouTube (which provides tones of scattered information wrapped up in a myriad of distractions) and you can’t learn it from reading a book any more than you can learn to speak Spanish by reading a book. You learn by doing and experiencing it.
As a classical teacher you will discover teaching lead sheets involves thinking like a chord player which is foreign to many classical note readers. I love to guide and mentor teachers through this journey and watch them come out the other side. When they do (and they all do), their classical knowledge combines with a new way of thinking and an explosion of creative ideas for teaching and playing pours out.
Learn more about the Play Piano Chords Today teacher training here.
Families and your Studio
Remember, whatever method you choose for teaching the adults of your young students, bringing them into your studio brings in support for the child. Someone to champion their practice sessions. Someone who understands just how hard it is to learn a scale hands-together. Someone to share their journey.
When you teach families, you can increase your studio size without advertising. Each student has the potential of 2 parents and 4 grandparents (sometimes more!). Here’s a downloadable PDF that you can use as a template to email to your parents inviting them to join your piano studio. Email me if you would like the MSWord doc.
Don’t expect everyone to sign up right away but, like my daughter and karate (in the last blog), when one adult is curious and tries it out and starts creating music with the kids, the others get curious too. Maybe another will sign up and, who knows, you may become part of creating a new Sound of Music family!
Click here to contact me today,
I'm always happy to answer any questions you may have!