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I would like to ask a question or two about teaching music, but I'm not sure if I should ask it because I feel like there are many methods of teaching that work there would be multiple correct answers and they would be largely opinionated. I keep going back and forth with myself if it fits with the other questions of the site and I would like to know how the rest of the community.

Here is what I've been thinking about the topic:

Reasons to post questions about teaching music

  • Teaching is at the heart of musical practice and performance.(we all had to have been taught a little about it)
  • There are a variety of musicians here with different backgrounds that could offer a unique perspective on learning music.
  • There are music teachers on the site that have a lot of experience teaching and would have a lot of insight on the topic.
  • It will highlight the basic ideas of practice and performance at a beginner's level.

Reasons to post not questions about teaching music

  • Answered opinionated.
  • Questions would be better suited for discussion
  • Multiple correct/good answers possible.

Question I was thinking about posting

I've been teaching a 9 year old kid piano for about 10 months and it has been going pretty well, but recently I was asked to teach a few more kids (one as young as 6) to play piano. Teaching the 9 year old kid was the first experience I've had teaching music and I tended to cater to his abilities while still challenging him and teaching him music and piano fundamentals. Now, I worried that if cater to all of my new students I will essentially be teaching them different ideas and miss some fundamentals.

I would like to know if when teaching young kids piano and music fundamentals if there are certain areas to focus on and certain areas to avoid to maximize their interest in music and their playing ability.

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    Music Education is DEFINITELY on-topic here, (I'll fight anyone that disagrees! ;P teaching) but there are certainly ways to ask a question that are better than others. Can you give an example of one of the questions you're not sure about? – NReilingh Nov 8 '13 at 2:57
  • Sure I'll make an edit to my post and include it. – Dom Nov 8 '13 at 13:40
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Pursuant to my comment above, I give your example question a definite 'go', with the following advice:

Rather than ask "what are the most important areas to focus on" (which, as you suspect, is a bit subjective as worded), take a step back to examine the problem you actually have: "How do I balance maximizing the student's interest in music with maximizing playing ability?"

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Questions of pedagogy, as with other superficially-subjective musical topics, may well have consensus among experts. In the alternative, there may be only a few leading theories that answer the question.

Granted, often the questioner is more interested in the practical application of that consensus, or those theories, to the problem at hand. While it is certainly possible that various respondents will suggest multiple applications of the same concepts, this possibility does not mean that the question is subjective. Rather, it means that differing experiences of people capable of answering the question cause them to suggest different practical applications, some of which may be more valid than others.

In short: ask away, as you already have.

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Five years too late, maybe! Cannot see problems here. A lot of the questions (and answers) relate to teaching - or more specifically, what we might or might not have been taught by teachers - and a lot of the answers will inevitably contain some subjectivity, as the experienced ones amongst us will give their best opinions. And why shouldn't we?

The pros and cons of what to teach/challenge our students with are the bread and butter of musical progress, so we will all have nuggets to share.

As far as 'multiple correct/good answers possible - so what? If the answer is 2, there are a million ways to get there, all valid and interesting! We can't afford to be too strict with questions, but I'm sure the community (and the mods) will guide any re-phrasing of questions on this kind of topic.

  • I much prefer 5 years too late to never. Plus, it might just breathe some life into the question, which can't be a bad thing! It's never too late... – user45266 Dec 8 '18 at 5:15

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