i have been approached by several people in my community about giving lessons. i think i would enjoy teaching, so i'm going to give it a try. my question is about younger students. do any of you have a certain method book, or system for teaching sight-reading, etc? i know that one builds up a method over many years of teaching, and was wondering if anyone had any advice for (very) beginning students...as in they have never touched a piano before. how do you deal with this situation? i'm going to do some searching online for method books, but advice from people with experience would be great.
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believe me, the faber method series are by far the best. ask over on piano world and you get almost total agreement on it.
i've used the bastien piano method with my four year old daughter with good results. for a good review of methods go to pianoeducation.org  

if you're teaching childreen try to find ways to keep it fun- sitting at a piano bench for a 1/2 hour is not fun for a kid.
having worked with most of the piano method books (schaum, bastien, alfreds, fjh (faber), john thompson) i have also found the faber to be the best (or at least the lesser of all evils).

it was jazz+ that originally turned me on to this series.

i will "third" the faber & faber series "piano adventures".  i too have seen many a method series over the years and have found the faber to be outstanding, especially for beginners.  they feature a very logical sequence & presentation of concepts as well as some veryy interesting tunes.
obviously they have not helped my typing much though :)
i just remember little elves looking over the pages and
marching across the bars.  was that alfred's?
i give it an a for illustrations.
man you must have had a few that night!
i will agree on alfred's for illustrations!

when i was a kid, my favorite method book was michael aaron, in the upper grades.  it had great repertoire, but i don't think it's even around now.  

the faber books look good to me too, but i don't teach too many kids anymore.  i spend many years teaching suzuki approach, and then incorporating a reading method when the student was ready.  i used to use music tree heavily, but i don't even know if that exists anymore.
i remember suzuki was popular way back in the 80's.
cynbad i would be interested in your impression of that school.
i'm interested in your impression of suzuki too.

i also enjoyed the michael aaron books as a kid.  i think they are still around.  i sometimes use them for beginning piano students that are already somewhat proficient on another instrument.  they really get the students from point a- b quickly.  however they move a little too quickly and leave too many holes for the average newbee
oh yeah, i feel like an old lady now, since i graduated from college way back in the early 80's.
suzuki approach is still very popular amoung certain groups of people.  i actually learned about teaching suzuki in an after-hours class taught by my piano professor's wife, who was a suzuki piano teacher.  
i think the approach (also known as the "mother-tongue" approach) is outstanding for young children, and aspects of it can be incorporated at any age.  young children are taught to play music the same way they learn to speak their native language -- by listening and imitating.  we don't learn to read and write our language first, we learn to hear it and understand it and speak it.  the same can happen with music.
suzuki requires a great deal of parental involvement, because a young child needs a parent (or other adult) to attend the lessons along with the child and help the child practice at home.
on the positive side, suzuki students tend to develop their ears and learn to play from memory or by ear easily and without fear.  they also develop good technical habits, phrasing and articulation.
on the negative side, it can be complex to integrate the reading method into a suzuki student's curriculum -- when to start, what method to use, how good the teacher is.  reading is a separate skill from playing by ear, and it can be tricky to integrate the two.

way back in the 80's, suzuki was still very flexible and there were many good teachers -- most of whom only stuck with the suzuki repertoire through the first three volumes.  after that, the students can read and there's no reason to limit them to the suzuki method volumes.
what i read these days about suzuki gives me the impression that there's a lot of rigid "certification" going on for teachers, and that they've become inflexible and made it a religion.  but that's just what i've read...  i'm not really involved any more.
thanks cynbad.  i never bothered to go there, so i appreciate your
explanation.  sorry about the 'way back' thing.  i graduated in
the late 70's i.e. just after mankind learned to walk upright.
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