The following is an excerpt from The Joy of Music
Practice performance with your student. Especially when an older child has finally memorized one or two favorite pieces. For example I have found that Vals by Bartolome Calatayud is a very good beginning piece. I play the piece at lesson time with good expression and tone and usually my student likes the piece and wants to play it. More times than not it becomes a favorite.
If the child has not yet learned how to read music then I teach this piece by rote. We learn measure by measure. The child listens to what I am playing, and imitates where I am placing my fingers. The piece has an A-B-A composition: a beginning, a middle and the beginning phrases repeated at the end. So it’s also a very good teaching piece for form as well as an engaging sound.
Once my student plays the piece fairly well then I ask him to memorize it.
“Oh, I can’t memorize anything” will often be a student’s response.
“Well, let’s try anyway. We will just play the first three measures together.”
Usually we have success with this.
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The balance of the story can be found in The Joy of Music – A Life Time of Teaching.
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