As a piano teacher, my mission is to provide a well-rounded and engaging music education for young piano students that will develop in them a lifelong love for music. I want my students to (someday!) be able to pull any piece of music off the shelf and be able to play for their own enjoyment and for the benefit of others. Essentially, I’m working to teach myself out of a job!
In order for this to happen, my students need to have a good working knowledge of music theory. A study of music theory is essential to good music education because it helps the student notice patterns and understand the building blocks of music. We study chords, scales, and various rhythm patterns. We work on being able to recognize different chords by sound (this is called “aural skills”). The older students analyze pieces to understand the forms and structures the composer created. All of this speeds up their musical learning process, helps them play more beautifully, helps them memorize better – the list goes on and on!
For my younger students I typically use the Faber Piano Adventures theory books. For my students who are beginning to play full octave scales and more, I use the KITS Music Theory Course.
What theory textbooks do you use in your lessons?
Michal Grace Harris
Piano Teacher & Accompanist