Review of Piano Teaching Methods

Are you looking for a piano teacher near you? If so, you have already found that many of them use different teaching methods. In this article, we will go over some of the different piano methods out there. If you are a parent looking for a teacher for your child or are starting to take piano yourself, use this guide to help find a teacher that uses the method that is a perfect fit! Check out our reviews of some of the best piano teaching methods.

The Suzuki Method

The Suzuki method was developed by the late Japanese violinist Shin’ichi Suzuki. Ideally, Suzuki’s goal was to develop a whole human being with the ability to contribute positively to society. Suzuki believed that, from a young age, children could learn a musical instrument the way they learned a language. Pedagogical steps are small at first so that the student can take their instrument to heart. The hallmarks of the Suzuki method for piano include emphasis on sight-reading and the development of individual style.

Basten Piano Basics

This is probably one of the most popular method books out there available for young people. It has the primer and levels 1, 2, 3, and 4 with increasing difficulty. This method teaches theory well and is correlated at each level. The biggest critique of the Basten method is that it focuses extensively on clef position. So, after using this book extensively, a student might have great difficulty in approaching harder repertoire.

Alfred Method

Some piano teachers find that this method also focuses extensively on clef position, but it is a little bit more extensive than Basten in terms of repertoire. There are many arrangements of Baroque, Classical, and Romantic pieces. Many teachers find that this method is perfect for the more serious and self-motivated piano student.

John W. Schuam

This is probably one of the most renowned piano methods in circles of piano pedagogues. This is a series that gets students playing in both clefs from early on but also is a little bit heavy on the focus on clef position. Students don’t get a lot of technique study in these books, but overall, are great for the young student who is looking for something more “fun.”

John W. Thompson

This is also one of the more “old-fashioned” piano methods out there. This book does have some black and white images demonstrating technique on occasion. After introducing the young student to techniques through easier pieces, the Thompson approach brings students into contact with more difficult repertoire. One of the gemstones from the Romantic period found in this repertoire is and easier arrangement of “Still wie die Nacht” by Carl Bohm for young hands to play.