Do you play along with your students during lessons?Â Clearly, much of the time it’s important for students to get used to playing on their own, and for you to be able to focus, listen, and watch them without trying to play yourself.Â For piano teachers, of course, playing along requires a second piano or a high or low part on the same piano.
But sometimes it’s very useful to play along.Â The benefits of doing this stood out this week with one of my students in particular, so I thought I’d throw it out for discussion.
As a student is learning a tune, or piece of music, playing with them can model for them what you find important.Â At times, it may be your priority that the student play through a section for the sake of continuity.Â By playing along and not stopping for mistakes, you communicate your priority without a word.
Another time, you may want to stop when a note is out of tune or a wrong note is hit, modeling a certain kind of awareness you want the student to think about.
When you play along, [···]