Earlier this month teachers from across Australia (and some from around the world) met in Toowoomba for the Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference.
There was lots of chat at the conference about the 40 Piece Challenge and how it is changing the lives of young piano students and changing the way piano teachers teach.
Here are just some of the things that challenge teachers are saying:
• Sight Reading has improved – almost EVERY teacher who spoke to me or who has written to me about their challenge progress has mentioned this.
• Students are eager to learn more music – some teachers were surprised by this. If a child is into Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber or the Hottest 100 or if they love Disney Movies or whatever there is a print music book available for them. I am guessing that piano teachers are not necessarily recommending pop music to their students, but surely anything that encourages more time spent on the piano has got to be good!
• More confidence – students showing more confidence at their lessons both as piano players and as humans
• Improved skill and coordination
• Happy parents! Parents are obviously happy because they are not just listening to the same 4 pieces over and over again. Happier parents will surely mean that students are happier and more likely to learn and play for longer, which will hopefully make the piano teachers happier!
• Coming to lessons prepared – well, that’s got to be a bonus for teachers!
• Enjoy playing the piano more – hallelujah!
• Better exam results – all good all round I would have thought!