My new RM 700 digital piano is opening up lots of new possibilities for learning and creating music. I am just beginning to understand it features and anticipate using this frequenting in my teaching. Along with my Yamaha Grand piano, I feel that my studio has diversified opportunities for all levels and interest areas. The rhythmic and harmonic accompaniments are incredibly numerous; the ability to record original scores, save and print opens the door to composing; the animation and visual features are delightful and riveting to the students. As I discover attributes, I’ll post them.
1. Recently I have learned to create a digital copy of an original composition, transfer it via USB port to my computer and print out the sheet music. My students are enjoying the possibilities of making their compositions come alive in sheet music form. It has opened a new kind of curiosity and creativity for my students.
2. The Animation effects are fascinating to my students. We have played with the various options and really like the vertical and horizontal staves that used colored shapes, long and short and the rhythm requires. Great addition to rhythm study.
I note hand positions and respond something like, “Those are pancake hands. That’s for breakfast, not for piano playing.” It’s funny but makes a point.
An interesting way to work on scales is to try to balance a deck of cards on the hand while playing. This requires finger crossing without tipping the cards. It makes scale drills a game.
When a student is guessing at a note and looks up at me for a “yes or no,” I say, “Do I have notes on my face? If I do, I’d better go wash my face.” They laugh and realize that I’m not going to give away a chance for them to figure it out instead of guess. Guessing will never create a proficient note reader.
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.