From: Louise Donahue <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Piano
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 00:46:00 +0100
Hi Stephanie. Thanks for your imput about teaching science! I really appreciate it! Home school parents typically are continually seeking teaching advice--and assurance--I guess just as any teacher does. (I know I do as a piano teacher, as well.) My son is so thirsty for "knowledge" that sometimes I do think we do too much, and I don't want to "satuarate" him too early, while still trying to quench that thirst. The NASA web site is great, and he loves it! As far as piano requirements for university: it depends on the type of degree and the type of university/college. The highest degree is performance (bachelor of music, MM, DM), and at the best music schools or conservatories, the auditions are horrendous! My daughter went through that, and burned out her first year--actually, even before she GOT to her 1st year-- (switched to pre-med her second year--something that is done quite often). 10th grade piano wouldn't be nearly enough for this one, which requires Bach prelude/fugue, complete Beethoven sonata, very difficult romantic and contemporary literature, and most often the student needs a record of successful competitions during high school, including a few concertos. There are some performance degrees as "lesser" schools with less stringent requirements. Depending what a student wants to do as a career, the latter is sufficient. The next degree is the BA (MA, etc.), which usually includes a minor in a different area (mine was English/communications). This is a more practical degree, and much more well-rounded--also offers more sociability than the above. It does require a great deal of performance, too, which requires very long hours in isolated practice rooms (as do performance degrees). Something that really requires a lot of committment and "love" for music. The requirements for admission are almost comparable to a performance degree, but a "little" less restrictive. Education music degrees (BS, MEd, etc) are the most sociable, 10th grade piano might be enough at many schools, depending upon the instructor and number of piano majors, and the requirements are much less demanding--altho a well-rounded repertoire is still needed. My masters degree is in education, but only because that's what was offered at our local U's. I really wanted a MM in piano and/or composition, and still would like to pursue the composition aspect. (I let myself get too rusty for piano MA or MM.) However, once I got into education, I loved it! I focused on the studio teaching aspect, with emphasis on children at risk, gifted children, learning styles, and child development. I learned a great deal, and did some very rewarding projects! I really love teaching, and incorporate a lot of innovative methods in my studio (very adventurous for Montana, I might add....and risky for business--but they caught on, other teachers followed suit--which I encouraged--the more that do, the better the public accepts new ideas, the better the students learn, etc. etc.) (Incidently, "education-study" in BM, BA is "piano pedagody"--studying only how to teach piano, and doesn't even include education ideas--something I strongly believe should be added. If not, we could get back to knuckly-cracking-piano-teachers....yuk!) Another type of piano degree is one with Christian U's. The requirements are MUCH less restrictive, the study is in church music (very few schools even tap into the classics at all), and the study is probably the most sociable of all piano degrees. I do a lot of church music and improvising, and I love it. But I would have felt very stiffled without a strong classics education! And my love for composition would not have been nourished enough. Now, tell me--I'm really curious--how much piano have you done? Are you in the US? When you mentioned "10th grade piano," I wondered if you were trained in the Canadian school? Are you thinking of a career in music? What do you do now? Teach science? Thanks again for your imput. I plan to do more with NASA Quest. Any more ideas?