Thursday, November 1, 2018

Dr. Carol Ann Aicher's Strategies and Challenges for Teaching Adult Students

We were pleased to have Dr. Carol Ann Aicher present a lecture to the Buck County Association of Piano Teachers in October:

Teaching Adults: Challenges and Strategies

Dr. Aicher is from the Manhattan School of Music and shared ideas for teaching piano based on the Learning as Process theory, which she studied for her Ph. D. dissetation, and which she has since helped to expand and refine. The techniques she presented are designed to engage all facets of learning and result in a relaxed and musical performance.
 For example, she showed how you could practice complicated rhythms by using words to vocalize the rhythms, then tapping - first, hands separately, then hands together - and, finally, moving to the keyboard. Or, to capture the musical feeling of a piece, you could practice by playing the melody with the right hand while playing the left hand on only the first beat of each measure - or vice versa, if the melody is in the left hand. She said that she would never ask a student to come to her with a piece of music already memorized. Rather, she would expect tht memory would come through careful attention to the process of practicing, which would also produce a pleasing performance.
We thank Dr. Aicher and hope to use these and other innovative ideas to help our students fulfill their personal musical potential.