Piano Academy for Advanced Students
It’s an unfortunate truth of most music lessons that there tend to be more beginners than advanced students. Students quit piano for a myriad of reasons – before they get to the best part of lessons! By the time they’ve completed the highest level of their method books, students have a solid foundation of reading, theory, and technique and can really start to explore the music of the masters. Here’s an outline of what our advanced students at the Piano Academy focus on in weekly lessons:
- The solo teacher helps the student choose up to 4 solos rotating through the 4 musical periods (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern) and coaches the student on 2 of them
- A concerto (virtuosic solo with orchestra accompaniment) may be assigned as one of the 4 pieces or in addition to them
- The student has memory assignments in each piece weekly
- Students are encouraged to participate in the Honors division and related events in the spring (competitions and evaluations)
- The pass-off teacher works with the student on their additional solo pieces, including memorization and preparation for performances
- Daily sightreading is assigned from the Children’s Songbook, hymnbook, or other repertoire books checked out from the solo library. These may include collaborative works to perform with a group or another soloist.
- The student continues working through the green technique sheet (scales, arpeggios, chords, etc.), focusing on both accuracy and artistry.
- The student should spend 15 minutes per day on technique exercises not including etudes, rotating through keys regularly.
- The technique teacher assigns classical etudes (technical teaching pieces meant for performance – check out one of my favorites here!) and helps the student prepare them for performance
- Once the student can sightread from the hymnbook, they are assigned hymn arrangements to prepare for church performance
Students may also choose to work on projects such as the following:
- Prepare for a solo recital of 30-50 minutes of music
- 40-piece challenge – Student learns 40 pieces of varying level in one calendar year
- Prepare to accompany vocalists or other instrumentalists in church or other settings
- Learn arranging, composition, or improvisation techniques based on applied music theory
- Tutor younger students in the Piano Academy’s Theory Lab
There are SO many options and so many great pieces to learn! If you know an advanced student looking for a teacher, or even a beginner student who thinks they might want to get to this level one day… send them our way!