In Taiwan, most of the piano teachers are used to score-reading oriented teaching
strategy, and the teaching materials commonly used are Beyer’s instruction
books, which have been popular here for the past century; the author edited the
contents and processes based on beginners’ development of abilities to read
scores (Kuo, 2014). Lately, American piano teaching materials have been introduced
into Taiwan; those books feature using children’s songs massively. The children’s
songs are surely familiar to American children, which takes advantage of “familiar to
the ear” in order to learn new skills; it is the basis for hearing-oriented teaching.
However, those American piano teaching materials are used as the score-reading
oriented ones. Accordingly, the researcher has been using the Suzuki method, the
Kodak method and the Gordon method, which emphasize hearing first for music
learning, to teach children the piano. For the past 20 years, the researcher has
conducted a study for observation and records of children, aged four to eight.
The findings are as follows.
1. The children made it to participate in a class for more than 50 minutes.
2. The beginners were able to play the piano without the ability to read scores,
which built up a sense of accomplishment.
3. The growth of the beginners’ playing abilities, not limited by the ability to read scores, increased quickly.
4. The tunes were chosen based on the familiarity, gradually from tunes of bi-tonal
to the ones of all kinds of modes.
5. The three domains for progress planning: tunes, development of skills and score
6. For the beginners, before the familiarity of score reading, hearing was based on
singing; the processes for tune playing teaching were libretto ; solfege;playing without reading scores -> playing with reading scores -> knowing
music notes and music theory -> practicing variety.
7. Applying the songs in life
8. Chronically listening to the tunes which might be learned in advance could build
up the hearing basis.
9. The solfege is based on movable-do but goes with pitch names to build up the
concept of fixed and absolute pitch.
So, in the two sessions, I will demo and descript the teaching strategies, music
materials and practice.