Sunday, December 26, 2010
The importance of teaching and learning piano in these times
I just wanted to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday Season:
Just came across this link and article about the decreasing creativity in American young children. Besides everything mentioned, I am certain that lack of nutrition and lack of purity of water have a tremendous contributing impact as well.
As a piano teacher I have felt an urgency to work extra hard to help students accomplish their goals. From very young and very early on, do I ask for creative ideas, creative ways of looking at music and decision making. Even in little ones, do I ask what they would like to play for me. I leave as much choices to my piano students, as possible.. However, once a program is decided, we work towards it and complete it. Piano playing, since it trains both sides of the brain equally it is a very important area in every student's life to continue to play piano despite so many distractions and school activities, especially nowadays.
I am also always looking for self expression. Music making is a fantastic way to accomplish that. In order to season a piece, the player's personality and feeling need to shine through. I always expect a student to practice humming or singing the tune of the piece during practice, so the individual emotions can shine through.
I am sure my Play Piano in All Keys finger charts books and work books are helping to bring out more personality by providing solid education in Major and Minor scales, chords/ cadences and arpeggios; important patterns that need to be rehearsed very well since most of classical music build on these patterns. These basic patterns are also a foundation for all creative people wanting to create music. If you can pay in all keys, you will be able to improvise and move easier from one key to another.
Here is the newspaper article that I quoted:
Britannica: What are some possible explanations for the recent decrease in creativity in American children?
Kim: The results of my study indicate that children in the U.S., especially kindergarten through third grade, are becoming less creative as measured by the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT), the most respected, tested, and applied creativity test in the world. This is a new finding, so there is no research yet as to the causes for the effect. Still, we can speculate.
Creativity is decreasing for children and adults. For younger children, the decrease probably arises more significantly from their homes than from their schools, because research indicates personality development is most influenced by home environments. Research also indicates that more children are spending the majority of their time in front of televisions, computers, and video games, and less time engaging in what I would consider creative activities.