Individual lessons are 30 minutes for young children, 45 minutes for older children and adults. Hour lessons are also available. During each lesson, the following catagories will be covered. Arpeggios, scales, review of assigned pieces, introduction of new material, a theory lesson, and tips for improving and polishing performance pieces. Aspects of music history are included when helpful with reference to current material. The amount of information in each catagory varies with the skill level.
I use the Faber method primarily for beginning students. The Piano Adventures is successful with very young children, ages 4 to 6. It comes with a CD which helpful for home practice. Having attended a workshop with Randall Faber has enabled me to better utilize the materials presented by this talented and creative resource.
Supplimentary materials are widely varied, such as Bastien’s “Piano Literature” series, Gillock’s series of solos, Mier’s supplimentary books, FJH Celebration series, FJH “In Recital: Jazz, Blues, & Rags,” and many more. I also use several online sites to print free sheet music or buy music online. Especially teenage students have special requests that are often able to be satisfied with online sites.
Not every student wants to explore improvisation but for those who do, there is ample material included in my curriculum to learn the basics of chord progressions, 12 bar blues patterns, and individual compositional techniques. Building skills through a step by step process learning of rhythm, theory, harmony and melody, students are able to create original compositions and tranfer them to the computer for a polished printed copy.
Some of the materials used in this area of study are 5 finger pattern drills, primary chord recognition, melodic patterns of repetition, variation and inversion. Ear training exercises are helpful in interval recognition, major/minor modes, and understanding of rhythmic patterns.