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  • Writer's pictureTalya Umansky

The 5 Key Benefits of Teaching Piano with 'To the Piano with Love'

Updated: Sep 2, 2022

The 89 pieces in “To the Piano with Love” are arranged into 8 volumes by raising difficulty levels and offer a complete and gradual process to acquiring piano playing skills from beginners to high level expertise. Here are the key points you should know about this series when you start teaching with it:

  1. Each piece serves it's own unique purpose. The pieces in each volume aren't arranged by the order they should be studies necessarily. Every piece stands individually inside each volume and has a technical or musical purpose of its own; for instance, some pieces draw inspiration from classical forms such as the Toccata, Mazurka etc. Others lean towards classical harmonies or romantic and modern harmonies, and even elements of pop and jazz. There are pieces that under the guise of pleasant and touching music hide etudes to develop a certain technique, like octaves, arpeggios and the like.

  2. The thrill and excitement of performance can be experienced from Volume 1. All the pieces sound musical and melodic and are suitable for playing in concerts and performances from the first levels of Volume 1. It shows newcomers to the piano there is no reason not be able to showcase their skills even if those are just a few months old. This builds a solid foundation of confidence and increases motivation to keep improving and playing new pieces.

  3. Every piece was rigorously field-tested before being included in the series. The pieces were played many times to students of all ages and based on their responses only the best pieces made the cut. Now is the time to point out I don’t differentiate conceptually between children’s and “adult” music, music as far as I’m concerned is just music; it should be good and touch the hearts and souls of people. That’s why the pieces included in TTPWL were only those who got good reviews and inspired interest among players and listeners alike.

  4. The pieces in the first few volumes were written for the purpose of easy and quick learning. The musical text is designed to be easily remembered by heart. In This sense the series is also very suitable for kids with ADHD/ADD, as well as memory, reading and learning difficulties.

  5. The illustrations of the first volumes make it ideal for kids. My younger students came up with ideas and lovely stories when they heard and played the music. This inspired me to add drawings and illustrations to the first two volumes. I quickly discovered that the drawings also add a depth to the pieces and have value beyond just decoration. They help with understanding and interpreting the pieces, invoke a sense of fantasy and stir the imagination. Many times my students have asked me to play them a piece based on its drawing alone!

Some music critics might say that my music is not avant-garde or innovative enough but my purpose in creating TTPWL wasn’t to innovate or revolutionize any genre or come up with technical novelties. I compose my music with the strings of my heart, and I always hope it will find a common language with the people it meets.

Sometimes when I played my music for piano teachers I would get pleasantly surprising and amusing responses like: “That’s not how you’re supposed to play it…” as if they feel my music already belongs to them, and that is the ideal state for it in my opinion. I brought my music into the world so that everyone can enjoy it and as long as it meets people that are willing to embrace it and interpret it as their own I am content.

The title of the series “To the Piano with Love” presents the main goal of this method – creating love for the piano, whether you are playing casually, challenging yourself, preforming or teaching.

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