I teach beginner piano up to grade 3. My emphasis is on developing rounded musicians, not just passing exams. I aim to teach pupils to play both by ear and to become skilled sight-readers. I use the voice in the lessons and encourage pupils to sing or hum the tunes they are learning. For the earliest stages I focus on learning by ear prior to introducing notation and aim to get pupils playing little tuneful songs as soon as possible. I work on teaching them to understand rhythm, melody, dynamics and articulation. Later on we start working on sight-reading, for which I have developed a very efficient method that helps pupils make the most of the time given during an exam to look at the sight-reading assignment before playing.
When working on pieces, my aim is not just to learn music in order to pass exams, but to develop understanding and joy of music, to learn a bit about the composers and to be able to tell the story of each piece and find the characters and meanings behind the notes. I encourage pupils to learn from great pianists, either by going to live concerts or just by watching clips on YouTube. We also work on aural-skills, understanding of rhythm, dealing with performance anxiety and of course on developing the start of a healthy technique.