[Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/martijndevalk/]

I have been teaching piano privately for several years, and have recently been teaching a semester-long elective piano class at my school. Both environments have their advantages and disadvantages, but I find that my teaching style and content remain fairly consistent.

There are three areas that I cover in each lesson I design: theory, technique, and repertoire. Below are my favorite resources in each category and a brief description.

Theory

I used to use Edith McIntosh Theory and Musicianship, Book 2, Part 1 but they are becoming very hard to find! I liked the sequence and organization of the content, especially for beginner piano students. Lately, I’ve been using G Major Music Theory for supplemental worksheets for my piano classes at school.

Technique

My absolute favorite piano resource: Hanon: The Virtuoso Pianist in 60 Exercises. If you want to develop muscle memory and general technique, these exercises are fantastic. I found in my own piano study that my hand position and reading skills really developed from beginning each lesson and practice session with this book. The exercises are built around scales, so I typically combine scale work and technique together to create a quality warm-up. I have found that most students find them challenging and fun!

Repertoire

While method books are great for beginner and intermediate students (I recommend Alfred or John Schaum), I think the first place to venture into real repertoire would be Clementi: Six Sonatinas, opus 36. I absolutely love how the agility techniques developed from the Hanon book compliment these pieces so well. Plus, they are gorgeous! Here’s my favorite:

 

Of course, there are several other great resources, but these are my absolute must-haves! Feel free to share your favorites in the comments below, or continue the conversation on Twitter @LindsayBrazell