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Learning unfamiliar music in lessons

Posted By LaurelS 42 days ago on Education

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Learning unfamiliar music in lessonsI’ve said before that learning how to play or sing a piece of music isn’t the only thing a student is learning in lessons. But it’s certainly a big part of what we do in lessons, and being able to perform pieces is, arguably, the main purpose of lessons.Sometimes students make requests to learn particular pieces, and sometimes I accommodate them. People always want to learn to sing or play something they already know and love. It’s such a great motivator, and I want my students to work towards goals they care about.But I also choose music my students didn’t ask for. Level-appropriate music that helps my students learn and develop their skills is my priority. Especially for piano, this usually means going through a lesson book full of songs you don’t already know. I also feel that exposure to a wide variety of music is an essential part of music education. Lots of students initially turn up their nose at unfamiliar pieces. And here’s what I say to them:Each piece of music is like a person. Some people are popular and everyone likes them right away, but those aren't the only people worth knowing! You never know if someone might become a good friend until you spend some time with them. So treat each new piece of music as you might treat a person you've just met: give your new piece a chance and get to know it for a little while before you decide how much you like it or dislike it.Just about every one of my students has told me, at one time or another, “I didn’t like this song at first, but now I love it!”

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