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I have the privilege of teaching a wonderful group of adult piano and organ students on a weekly basis. Some of my students are beginners, some are intermediate and some are advanced. The reasons they are taking lessons vary. Some of the adult piano students are taking lessons to enhance and broaden their skills, some are learning pedagogical techniques, some are studying theory and others are learning to play the piano simply for pure pleasure and enjoyment.
Each of these students brings to their lessons a variety of joys, challenges, needs and desires. I have to but listen to them and to their playing to gain a wealth of knowledge and wisdom. So, what do I learn every week from my piano students?
Perseverance – steady and continued action or belief, usually over a long period and especially despite difficulties or setbacks. Learning to play the piano as an adult can be a daunting task, yet week after week, I have students who continue to diligently practice to attain technical proficiency.
Patience – the ability to endure waiting or delay without becoming annoyed or upset. Learning to play the piano as an adult is a slow process and often the technical ability to reproduce the sounds heard in recordings or in the student’s mind is slow in coming. The patience required to achieve a modicum of success in playing the piano is immense.
Fortitude – strength and endurance in a difficult situation. Learning to play the piano as an adult is not accomplished by playing at the piano for a few minutes a week. It requires mastering difficult eye-hand coordination skills which takes an inordinate amount of time at the piano.
Determination – firmness of purpose, will, or intention.
My adult piano students set goals for each series of lessons. To fulfill those goals and dreams requires a firm resolve to continue practicing and studying even when the desired results are slow to attain.
Discovery – the fact or process of finding out about something for the first time. Learning to play the piano involves a new language and a new set of skills so is replete with discoveries. Watching my students make discoveries is a great joy.
Happiness – feeling satisfied that something is right or has been done right. When one of my students successfully plays a piece that has been a goal or a dream, the satisfaction for them and for me is incomparable.
Pride – the happy, satisfied feeling somebody experiences when having or achieving something special that other people admire. My students form a happy, connected cohort and admire each other’s successes.
Knowledge – general awareness or possession of information, facts, ideas, truths, or principles. Each of my adult piano students posses a knowledge of music that they bring to their piano study helping them resolve piano playing challenges.
Wisdom – accumulated knowledge of life that has been gained through experience. The varied life experience of my students has opened doors of the world to me that I never imagined existed and each piano student brings that life knowledge to their music in intriguing ways.
What a wealth of information my students share with me weekly as they learn to play the piano!
Dr. Jeannine Jordan is a successful piano teacher focusing on the adult learner. Her students play songs in a day. “If you’ve always wanted to play piano songs quickly and easily join Dr. J at Play Piano Today for a free tutorial to play the piano.”
Copyright 2009 Pro-Motion Music LLC
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