What To Do With A Piano Student Who Refuses To Look At His Music

We’ve all had one… a piano student who stares at his hands while mostly ignoring his music. And we’ve all probably engaged in a struggle to get him to view his score as a tool (not as an enemy)…

And chances are, during the struggle, you’ve covered the keys… you covered his hands… you’ve make him wear dribble specks… and still the problem remained… or it got worse.

So, when a teacher asked us to help her with this very same struggle, we knew for the sake of blood pressure readings in studios all over the world that we had to solve the “Won’t look at his music!” conundrum.

In today’s post we’re exploring a world where “looking at hands” may be indicative of a learning style instead of a problem, and how you can use your understanding of this learning style to get students to actually read the notes on a page of music.

What To Do With A Piano Student Who Refuses To

How To Help Students Who Refuse To Look At Their Music

Grab a pen and paper and prepare to take notes as you listen to today’s podcast below. Our guest, Bradley Sowash, discusses how students who choose to look at their hands are actually employing a valuable tool that works with their personal learning style, and how teachers can use this as a springboard to note reading rather than a detriment to note reading.

In this 8 minute episode we discuss:

  • Why some students are more apt to play by ear than others
  • What should you do with a piece that has been learned by ear
  • How you can teach improvisation while still using a score
  • How can you encourage students who play by ear to use their score as a tool
  • … and much more.

Click the player below to listen, or visit our iTunes page where you can download this, plus our other 31 episodes to your iPod to take us on the go!

Want more info on this topic?

Bradley Sowash and Leila Viss are presenting a webinar along this same vein – Groove Your Theory is set to take place on Friday, April 22nd. This webinar will show you how to take your theory instruction to the next level including (among many other topics) the best way to create your own lead sheets and how to use backing tracks to develop improv skills. Find out how to be involved here.

Read Also:

How to Teach Piano Chording To Kids

Teaching Piano Students To Play From Lead Sheets: Expert Step-By-Step Advice

How To Teach Piano Students To Play By Ear… And Why You Might Want To


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