Imagery Used in Piano Lessons
Imagery is such a powerful tool in teaching music. It is one of my main methods in teaching piano lessons, showing students ways in which sounds can reflect emotion, stories, and images. This is a great way to get young children to explore the sounds of their instrument and create different textures that reflect upon a theme or idea they connect with.
Children are naturally creative and imaginative and this should be encouraged in learning music. They are wonderful at making up stories, so why not use this to help them connect with their instrument.
One can expand on these stories to focus on more details within the music. For example, if one was playing on the theme of a rain storm, one can focus on the big picture; the storm grows out of silence, builds into a climax, and then returns back into stillness. You can then narrow in on how the musical textures change from one part of the storm to the next; what kind of raindrops are falling; are they small gentle drops of water; or are they falling forcefully? This introduces different kinds of articulations in music, for example short notes verses long evenly played notes, as well as dynamics: loud verses soft. These are just some of the elements one can begin to explore.
Teaching piano lessons is all about incorporating what students already know to then introduce new knowledge. By using imaginative descriptions in exercises, it keeps them engaged and their creative energy flowing. By supporting their curiosity about the sounds they are creating, they will want to explore on their own.