Piano Pedagogy

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For more information, please contact Dr. Helen Marlais

Piano Pedagogy Certification (in the Department of Music and Dance at Grand Valley State University) will enable undergraduate piano majors and area piano teachers to focus on the skills necessary for successful piano teaching. Students learn how to teach beginner, intermediate, and early–advanced students.  They learn how to teach pre-college students as well as music majors who take keyboard as their secondary instrument.  They learn how to teach correct technique, how to develop musicianship and good sight-reading skills, how to select and teach repertoire, how to practice efficiently, and how to motivate.  Students learn about the most important competitions and festivals in the state as well as in the nation. 
To gain entrance into the program, an interview with the Piano Pedagogy professor and the performance of one memorized intermediate-level piano work will take place.
This certification provides teachers with theoretical knowledge and practical experiences in accordance with state and national piano teaching guidelines.  
The piano pedagogy coursework includes guided teaching experiences.

Students completing the Piano Pedagogy Certification will have a record of this accomplishment appear on their academic transcript. Students and/or teachers will receive a certificate for their piano studio.

The Piano Pedagogy Certification is 12 credits:
7 credits in piano pedagogy
2 credits in piano literature, and 3 elective credits

MUS 361 Piano Pedagogy I - 3 credits
MUS 371 Piano Pedagogy II - 3 credits
MUS 379 Piano Pedagogy Masterclass - 1 credit
MUS 310 Piano Literature  - 2 credits
MUS 144 and 145 Applied lessons - 3 credits each

Fall-3 credits Pedagogy I, MUS 361

COURSE OBJECTIVES:
Students will develop practical knowledge in piano teaching.  They will be able to:

1) Teach the essentials of reading, rhythm, technique, theory, sight-reading, ear training, general musicianship.

 2) Learn how to motivate students and how to teach them to practice efficiently. 

3) Learn the anatomy of a lesson.

4) An introduction to different learning styles.

5) Learn the basics of technique, and how to teach students to play with physical freedom and ease at the keyboard.

6) Discover and implement the four stages to learning a piece.

7) Learn about the different piano methods. Compare. End of semester project.

8) Learn how to select supplementary repertoire and materials for elementary level students.

9) Learn how to teach interpretation to young students

10) A teaching practicum offers first-hand experience with teaching beginner students.

 

Winter - 3 credits  Pedagogy II, MUS 371

COURSE OBJECTIVES:
Continuation of the method and supplementary materials. Intermediate and early-advanced repertoire and technique; how to teach these levels of repertoire.  Performance of repertoire required, as well as leveling and deciding student’s repertoire goals for the year. The transfer student; Supplementary materials - repertoire, theory, technique, ear training, ensemble music, elementary jazz, and sight reading; peer teaching. How to establish an independent studio; professionalism. Continuation of teaching private lessons to beginners.  Another practicum focuses on an Intermediate level student. Oral presentations are a part of this course as well as teaching demonstrations and performances of intermediate through early advanced repertoire.

Students will develop an even greater knowledge in piano teaching. 

They will be able to:

1) Teach the essentials of reading, rhythm, technique, theory, sight reading, ear training, general musicianship for the intermediate level student.

2) Continue to learn how to motivate students and how to teach them to practice efficiently. 

3) Continue to learn how to communicate with parents.

4) Learn the requirements of technical regimes for the MI state achievement testing.

5) Learn about the various performance opportunities for pre-college students in the community and the state (20th/21st century Piano Festival, Sonatina/Sonata Festival, Guild, Federation Festival, MI achievement testing, GR concerto competition). Volunteer at some of these events.

6) Continue to learn how to select appropriate supplementary repertoire and materials for each age level in the intermediate through late intermediate pre- college years (ages 11-14).   

7) Continue to learn how to teach private lessons in combination with group piano classes. 

8) How to teach the transfer student who is often at a disadvantage.

9) How to establish and maintain an independent studio.

10) Observation of Kindermusik classes, if so desired.  

11) Learn how to teach students how to memorize.

12) How to write a professional studio policy, how to start a studio, how to interview for a community school preparatory level position or for graduate school auditions.

13) Professionalism and ethics in the studio.

14) Learn more about the psychology of different learners.

Winter - 1 credit  Piano Pedagogy Masterclass, MUS 379


COURSE OBJECTIVES:
This class, along with MUS 361 and 371, Piano Pedagogy I and II, will prepare graduates to have a successful private studio or continue studying piano performance and piano pedagogy in a masters degree program.

The course has many facets:

1) Focus on intermediate, late intermediate, and early advanced repertoire.

2) Work through various projects of MTNA national certification.

3) Adjudication.

4) Reading resources for the professional piano pedagogue – including reading one   book and discussing with the class.

5) Curriculum for music majors who are not piano majors  (keyboard musicianship).

6) The continuation of teaching technique, musicality, style.

7) Student Achievement testing in Michigan.

8) Student scenarios, continued.

9) Performances of repertoire required, as well as leveling and deciding student’s repertoire goals for the year.  Continue to learn how to select appropriate supplementary repertoire and materials for each age level in the intermediate through advanced pre college years (ages 11-17).  

10) The transfer student, continued. - repertoire, theory, technique, ear training, ensemble music, elementary jazz, and sight reading.  Transfer student scenarios.

11) Continuation of Professionalism and ethics in the studio

12) Intermediate level repertoire – recital and discussion of 10 works.

13) Continuing to teach Early Advanced works from Succeeding with the Masters and The Festival Collection

14) Teaching the same piece to different learners.

15) Learning Theories and their application to teaching piano students.

16) Teaching Sonatina literature.

17) Learn how to use a Yamaha MLC-200 Keyboard Lab and how to teach music majors as well as adults. 

• Oral presentations are a part of this course as well as teaching demonstrations and performances of intermediate through early advanced repertoire.

• Volunteer for the Grand Rapids Musicians’ League Federation Festival, Student Achievement Testing in Michigan, GVSU Collegiate Chapter Ensemble Festival.

A brochure for this program is available here: Piano Pedagogy Brochure

Any questions regarding this program can be directed to Dr. Marlais at marlaish@gvsu.edu