Tips for Teaching Piano
1. Draw the note that was misplayed beside the note in question, rather than write a letter or a finger number when a student plays a note incorrectly.
This gives the student information to work with, and prevents guessing, or simply waiting for the teacher to tell the student what the correct note actually is. Use a pencil, so all the 'bullet holes' can be erased once the student understands the clues.
2. Shift gears without worry. If a task I have given is causing a beginning student to feel overwhelmed, I change it. I often have students choose a gel pen and circle all of the D's, or whatever note they are consistantly not recognizing.
Circling all of one note is a task they can handle, and it causes the student to look more closely at the details of the note. Then I have them try the piece again. (I don't have them use the same color, if we circle D's in another piece, because I don't want them to think they can play by color.)
3. "Would you like to play the game?" I ask, when a beginner student needs to slow down and play more accurately. This brings a smile, and a yes! I make a tally chart on their assignment notebook, and explain the rules:
"I will give you 1 point for each measure you play correctly; if you make a mistake, I get a point. If you fix your mistake, you get a point. If you try to fix your mistake 3 times, and you get it right on the fourth try, you don't get a point because that is guessing. You may go as slow as you want. You may stop at each measure bar to look at the next measure to make sure you know what you are doing before you play it."
With constant tally marks, the student has positive feedback for each measure. The student always wins. If, on the rare occasion, the child cannot get a point, the child is not ready for this level of difficulty. The teacher can simply put that piece on hold, and down shift to a different piece that fits the skill level of the child better.
Read Music Method makes teaching beginners delightfully fun from day one. Students have "Ah, ha" moments every lesson.