Course curriculum

  • 1

    Navigating the Course

    • Video: Navigating the Course

  • 2

    1. Welcome to the Beginner Course!

    • 1. Introduction: Welcome and Course Outline

    • 2. Course Content

    • 4. Using the Forum

    • 6. Summary of Objectives

    • Welcome and Course Outline (Transcript, PDF)

    • Course Syllabus: The Beginner Course: Establishing Strong Foundations for Young Pianists

    • Welcome Survey

    • Discussion Forum Instructions

    • Discussion Forum: Introduction and Questions

  • 3

    2. The Role of the Teacher

    • Session Contents

    • Reading 1: "Finding the Center" by Pete Jutras

    • Reading 2: "How do we define 'success' in piano study?" by Sam Holland

    • Reading 3: "The Power of One" by Marvin Blickenstaff

    • Discussion Forum Introduction: The Role of the Teacher

    • Discussion Forum Question 1

    • Discussion Forum Question 2

    • Discussion Forum Question 3

    • Session Resources

  • 4

    3. How Children Learn

    • Session Contents

    • Video Lecture: "How Children Learn" with Marvin Blickenstaff, Part 1 - Introduction

    • Video Lecture, Part 2: Discovery

    • Video Lecture, Part 3: Large Staff Demonstration

    • Video Lecture, Part 4: Exaggeration

    • Video Lecture, Part 5: Accurate Repetition

    • Video Lecture, Part 6: Modeling

    • Video Lecture, Part 7: Creativity

    • Video Lecture, Part 8: Correct First Experiences

    • Video Lecture, Part 9: Goal Setting

    • Video Lecture, Part 10: Independent study

    • Video Lecture, Part 11: Honest Affirmation

    • Transcript: "How Children Learn" by Marvin Blickenstaff (PDF)

    • Reading: "What Does Research Tell Us About the Learning Process?" by Rebecca Johnson and Suzanne Schons

    • Session Resources

  • 5

    4. Posture and Position for Beginners

    • Session Contents

    • Video and photo: Small Child with Sara Ernst

    • Video and photo: Larger Child with Sara Ernst

    • Video: Posture Chant with Diana Dumlavwalla

    • Video: Correction Game with Diana Dumlavwalla

    • Reading: "Hand Position Basics" by Nancy Bachus

    • Quiz on Posture and Position

    • Session Resources

  • 6

    5. Musical Skills and Development

    • Session Contents

    • Video Lecture: "Understanding & Guiding Children's Musical Development" with Dr. Sara Ernst and Dr. Wendy Valerio, Part 1

    • Video Lecture, Part 2: Stages of Musical Development

    • Video Lecture, Part 3: Building Blocks of Musical Skill

    • Video Lecture, Part 4: Structure of Activities

    • Transcript: "Understanding & Guiding Children's Musical Development" with Dr. Sara Ernst and Dr. Wendy Valerio(PDF)

    • Reading: "Beyond the Keys" by Edwin Gordon

    • Video Demonstration: Audiation Games, Part 1 with Dr. Sara Ernst and Dr. Wendy Valerio

    • Video Demonstration: Audiation Games, Part 2

    • Video Demonstration: Audiation Games, Part 3

    • Video Demonstration: Audiation Games, Part 4

    • Video Demonstration: Audiation Games, Part 5

    • Transcript: Audiation Games (PDF)

    • References for the Video Lecture and Demonstrations

    • Quiz on Musical Skills and Development

    • Session Resources and Related Material

  • 7

    6. The Role of Parents

    • Session Contents

    • Reading: "Parents Attending Lessons: Rewards and Challenges" by Diane Briscoe

    • Reading: "Why Should My Child Take Piano Lessons?" by Sam Holland (PDF)

    • Discussion Forum Introduction: The Role of the Parents

    • Discussion Scenario 1

    • Discussion Scenario 2

    • Discussion Scenario 3

    • Discussion Scenario 4 (optional)

    • Session Resources

  • 8

    7. Concept Preparation

    • Session Contents

    • Video Lecture: "Concept Preparation" with Craig Sale, Part 1

    • Video Lecture, Part 2

    • Video Lecture, Part 3

    • Video Lecture, Part 4

    • Handouts: "Concept Preparation" by Craig Sale (PDF)

    • Transcript: "Concept Preparation" by Craig Sale (PDF)

    • Video Demonstration 1: Eighth Notes with Amy Glennon

    • Video Demonstration 2: Sharps and Flats with Sara Ernst

    • Video Demonstration 3: Scale Preparation with Steven Brundage

    • Discussion Forum Introduction: Concept Preparation

    • Discussion Forum Question 1

    • Discussion Forum Question 2

    • Discussion Forum Question 3

    • Session Resources

  • 9

    8. Reaching Generalizations

    • Session Contents

    • Reading 1: "Nature Is a Model Teacher" by Richard Chronister

    • Reading 2: "I’ve Got It! Planning for Mastery in the Piano Lesson" by Dr. Sara Ernst

    • Video Demonstration 1: Rhythm with Sara Ernst

    • Video Demonstration 2: Sight Reading with Sara Ernst

    • Video Demonstration 3: Dictation with Sara Ernst

    • Video Demonstration 4: 12-Bar Blues Improvisation with Scott Donald

    • Video Demonstration 5: "Half and Heavy" Practice Drills with Steven Brundage

    • Video Demonstration 6: "Fast and Fluent" Practice Drills with Steven Brundage

    • Video Demonstration 7: Self-assessment with Sara Ernst

    • Music Featured in Teaching Demonstrations

    • Session Resources

  • 10

    9. New Concept Introduction

    • Session Content

    • Reading: "To Play and To Study, the Thrill of Discovery" by Sara Ernst

    • Video Demonstration 1: Discovering Intervals on the Staff with Sara Ernst

    • Video Demonstration 2: Half Steps and Sharps with Amy Glennon

    • Video Demonstration 3: Playing Thirds with Amy Glennon

    • Video Demonstration 4: Note Accuracy and Hand Position with Janet Hart

    • Music Featured in Teaching Demonstrations

    • Session Resources

  • 11

    10. Introducing New Pieces with Purpose, Part 1

    • Session Content

    • Reading 1: "What are your guidelines for assigning a new piece?" by Frances Clark

    • Reading 2: "Consider the Sound First" by Scott Donald

    • Reading 3: "The Role of Rote Teaching in the Development of Reading, Technique, and Artistry" by Katherine Fisher and Julie Knerr

    • Session Resources

  • 12

    11. Introducing New Pieces with Purpose, Part 2

    • Session Content

    • Reading: "Four Strategies for Introducing Repertoire" by Dr. Sara Ernst

    • Video Demonstration 1: Rote and Rote-Notation with Dr. Lesley McAllister

    • Video Demonstration 2: Workout, Complete with Sara Ernst

    • Video Demonstration 3: Workout, Complete with Rebecca Mergen Pennington

    • Video Demonstration 4: Workout, Partial with Janet Hart, Week 1

    • Video Demonstration 5: Workout, Partial with Janet Hart, Week 2

    • Video Demonstration 6: Play-Discuss with Amy Glennon

    • Music Featured in Teaching Demonstrations

  • 13

    12. Technique for Beginners

    • Session Content

    • Reading 1: "Four Principles of Teaching Beginning Technique" by Dr. Samuel Holland

    • Reading 2: "Developing Technical Skills via Exercises Apart from Pieces" by Elvina Truman Pearce

    • Reading 3: "In the Beginning" by Marvin Blickenstaff

    • Reading 4: "How Do You Teach Choreography to Young Students?" by Marilyn Taggart

    • Discussion Forum Introduction: Technique for Beginners

    • Discussion Forum Question 1

    • Discussion Forum Question 2

    • Discussion Forum Question 3

    • Discussion Forum Question 4

    • Discussion Forum Question 5

    • Session Resources

  • 14

    13. Teaching Music Reading

    • Session Content

    • Video Lecture: "Teaching Beginners How to Read Music" with Dr. Sara Ernst, Part 1

    • Video Lecture, Part 2

    • Video Lecture, Part 3

    • Video Lecture, Part 4

    • Video Lecture, Part 5

    • Video Lecture, Part 6

    • Video Lecture, Part 7

    • Video Lecture, Part 8

    • Video Lecture, Part 9

    • Video Lecture, Part 10

    • Video Lecture, Part 11

    • Video Lecture, Part 12

    • Video Lecture, Part 13

    • Video Lecture, Part 14

    • Transcript: "Teaching Beginners How to Read Music" by Dr. Sara Ernst (PDF)

    • Video Demonstration 1: Landmarks Introduction with Rebecca Mergen Pennington

    • Video Demonstration 2: Landmarks Treble G, Middle C, Bass F with Sara Ernst

    • Video Demonstration 3: Landmarks High G and Low F with Sara Ernst

    • Reading 1: "Making Sense Out of What We Read" by Dr. Andrew Hisey

    • Reading 2: "Off-staff Notation" by Dr. Meg Gray

    • Reading 3: "Make 'Off-staff' Serve 'On-staff' as Soon as Possible" by Dr. Sophia Gilmson

    • Reading 4: "Using Songs to Teach Musical Concepts" by Amy Glennon

    • Music Featured in Teaching Demonstrations

    • Quiz on Music Reading

    • Session Resources

  • 15

    14. Expressive Playing

    • Session Content

    • Video Demonstration 1: Sound Modeling with Dr. Todd Van Kekerix

    • Video Demonstration 2: Score Study with Dr. Sara Ernst

    • Video Demonstration 3: Tempo Modeling and Score Study with Marvin Blickenstaff

    • Video Demonstration 4: Technique and Touch with Dr. Sara Ernst

    • Video Demonstration 5: Technique and Gesture with Amy Glennon

    • Video Demonstration 6: Singing and Modeling with Dr. Scott Donald

    • Video Demonstration 7: Singing and Drawing Phrases with Allison Shinnick

    • Reading 1: "Singing Through Your Instrument From the Very First Lesson" by Dr. Scott Donald and Dr. Klondike Steadman

    • Reading 2: "Teaching Artistic Phrasing" by Marvin Blickenstaff

    • Music Featured in Teaching Demonstrations

    • Discussion Forum Introduction: Expressive Playing

    • Discussion Scenario 1

    • Discussion Scenario 2

    • Discussion Scenario 3

    • Discussion Scenario 4

    • Discussion Scenario 5

    • Session Resources

  • 16

    15. Rhythm and Movement

    • Session Content

    • Video Lecture: "Rhythm and Movement" with Dr. Lesley McAllister, Part 1

    • Video Lecture: Part 2

    • Video Lecture: Part 3

    • Video Lecture: Part 4

    • Video Lecture: Part 5

    • Video Lecture: Part 6

    • Video Lecture: Part 7

    • Video Lecture: Part 8

    • Video Lecture: Part 9

    • Video Lecture: Part 10

    • Video Lecture: Part 11

    • Video Lecture: Part 12

    • Video Lecture: Part 13

    • Transcript: "Rhythm and Movement" by Dr. Lesley McAllister (PDF)

    • Video Demonstration 1: Steady Pulse with Dr. Diana Dumlavwalla

    • Video Demonstration 2: Ball Passing with Angela Triandafillou

    • Video Demonstration 3: Meter with Inflection with Dr. Rebecca Pennington

    • Video Demonstration 4: Meter Comparisons with Angela Triandafillou

    • Video Demonstration 5: Compound Meter with Amy Glennon

    • Music Featured in Teaching Demonstrations

    • Quiz on Rhythm and Movement

  • 17

    16. Improvisation

    • Session Content

    • Video Lecture: "Improvisation for the Beginning Pianist" with Dr. Scott Price, Part 1

    • Video Lecture: Part 2

    • Video Lecture: Part 3

    • Video Lecture: Part 4

    • Lecture by Scott Price (Transcript, PDF)

    • Video Demonstration 1: Black Key Single-Finger Improvisation with Scott Price

    • Video Demonstration 2: Two-Handed Black Key Improvisation with Scott Price

    • Video Demonstration 3: White Key Improvisation with Scott Price

    • Video Demonstration 4: Question and Answer 1 with Scott Price

    • Video Demonstration 5: Question and Answer 2 with Scott Price

    • Video Demonstration 6: Question and Answer 3 with Scott Price

    • Video Demonstration 7: Free Improvisation with Scott Price

    • Video Demonstration 8: Improvised Canon with Scott Price

    • Video Demonstration 9: Two-Handed White Key Improvisation with Scott Price

    • Reading: "Steps to Teaching Improvisation" by Bradley Sowash

    • Reading (optional): "Music Together: Creativity in Preparation for the Book" by Dr. Scott Price

    • Quiz on Improvisation Videos

    • Session Resources

  • 18

    17. Composition

    • Session Content

    • Video Performance 1: Landscape - Raindrops

    • Video Performance 2: Landscape - The Ocean

    • Video Performance 3: Landscape - Geese on the Pond

    • Video Performance 4: Landscape - Mountains

    • Video Performance 5: Spring - Bees Pollinate

    • Video Performance 6: Spring - Flowers in the Spring

    • Quiz on Composition Videos

    • Reading: "Student Benefits from Learning To Compose and Improvise" by Nicole Martens

    • Session Resources

  • 19

    18. Exemplary Performance, Part 1

    • Session Content

    • Video Lecture: "Pedagogical Strategies for Teacher-Student Duets" with Dr. Diana Dumlavwalla, Part 1

    • Video Lecture: Part 2

    • Video Lecture: Part 3

    • Video Lecture: Part 4

    • Video Lecture: Part 5

    • Video Lecture: Part 6

    • Video Lecture: Part 7

    • Video Lecture: Part 8

    • Transcript: "Pedagogical Strategies for Teacher-Student Duets" by Diana Dumlavwalla (PDF)

    • Video Demonstration: Performance Preparation Guidelines - "Hill and Gully Rider" with Diana Dumlavwalla

    • Video Performance 1: "This Land is Your Land," with Angela Triandafillou

    • Video Performance 2: "Square Dance" with Rebecca Mergen Pennington and Student Teacher

    • Video Performance 3: "Copy Cat" with Steven Brundage

    • Video Performance: "Tick-Tock Blues" with Scott Donald

    • Video Performance: "Holidays" with Amy Glennon

    • Video Performance: "Graduation March" and "Crocodile in the Nile" with Sara Ernst

    • Beginner's Music Featured in Duet Videos

    • Quiz on Exemplary Performance

  • 20

    19. Exemplary Performance, Part 2

    • Session Content

    • Audio Interview: "The First Recital: A Podcast Interview with Amy Glennon and Rebecca Mergen Pennington" with Sara Ernst

    • Transcript: "The First Recital: A Podcast Interview with Amy Glennon and Rebecca Mergen Pennington" by Sara Ernst (PDF)

    • Discussion Forum Introduction: Exemplary Performance

    • Discussion Forum: Statement 1

    • Discussion Forum: Statement 2

    • Discussion Forum: Statement 3

    • Discussion Forum: Statement 4

    • Discussion Forum: Statement 5

    • Discussion Forum: Pros and Cons

  • 21

    20. Structuring Lesson Time

    • Session Content

    • Reading 1: "Complete Musicianship and Lesson Planning" by Louise Goss

    • Reading 2: "Putting It All Together: Creating a Great Lesson" by Steven Rosenfeld

    • Reading 3: "Planning for Short and Long Term Success" by Arlene Steffen

    • Sample Lesson Plan for Beginner (with reflective text) by Todd Van Kekerix

    • Sample Assignment Sheet for Beginner by Todd Van Kekerix

    • Session Resources

  • 22

    21. A Whole Lesson

    • Session Content

    • Video 1: 30-Minute Lesson with Rebecca Mergen Pennington, Part 1

    • Video 2: 30-Minute Lesson with Rebecca Mergen Pennington, Part 2

    • Lesson Plan by Rebecca Mergen Pennington

    • Assignment Sheet by Rebecca Mergen Pennington

    • Video 3: 45-Minute Lesson with Sara Ernst, Part 1

    • Video 4: 45-Minute Lesson with Sara Ernst, Part 2

    • Lesson Plan by Sara Ernst

    • Assignment Sheet by Sara Ernst

  • 23

    22. Preparing Home Practice

    • Session Content

    • Video 1: Demonstration of Rote Piece by Sara Ernst

    • Video 2: Demonstration of Practice Steps by Sara Ernst

    • Video 3: Composition Assignment by Sara Ernst

    • Video 4: Five-finger Warm-up by Sara Ernst

    • Video 5: "Drop-lift" Warm-up by Sara Ernst

    • Reading 1: "The Home Practice Environment" by Richard Chronister

    • Reading 2: "'Time Spent' vs. 'Mind Spent'" by Elvina Truman Pearce

    • Reading 3: "Practice Steps for Successful, Independent Learning" by Angela Triandafillou

    • Reading 4: "Playing Through a Piece Is Not Practice" by Richard Chronister

    • Reading 5: "What Do You Do in the Lesson When the Student Has Not Practiced?" by Craig Sale

    • Handout 1: Practice Steps Level Primer by Angela Triandafillou

    • Handout 2: Practice Steps Early Elementary by Angela Triandafillou

    • Handout 3: Practice Steps Elementary and Late Elementary by Angela Triandafillou

    • Discussion Forum Introduction: Preparing Home Practice

    • Discussion Forum Question 1

    • Discussion Forum Question 2

    • Discussion Forum Question 3

    • Discussion Forum Question 4 (optional)

  • 24

    23. A Piece from Start to Finish

    • Session Content

    • Holidays by Jon George and Bingo from Music Tree 1

    • Video Demonstration 1: "Holidays" with Scott Donald, Week 1

    • Video Demonstration 2: "Holidays" with Scott Donald, Week 2

    • Video Demonstration 3: "Holidays" with Scott Donald, Week 3

    • Video Demonstration 4: "Holidays" with Scott Donald, Week 4

    • Video Demonstration 5: "Bingo" with Janet Hart, Week 1

    • Video Demonstration 6: "Bingo" with Janet Hart, Week 2

    • Video Demonstration 7: "Bingo" with Janet Hart, Week 3

    • Video Demonstration 8: "Bingo" with Janet Hart, Week 4

    • Video: Course Conclusion with Dr. Sara Ernst

    • Transcript: Course Conclusion (PDF)

    • Exit Survey