Saturday, November 3, 2012

Teaching Piano Lessons

At the beginning of October, I (Beverly) began teaching piano lessons to some children and adults in our ward. (They were students of a Senior missionary sister who completed her mission and went home). I'm using the Basic Keyboard Course developed by the church, the same materials I used to teach students in Peru during our first mission.

The materials, written in Spanish, include (starting bottom left): the basic course book with CD and note cards for learning the names of the keys, a simplified hymnbook, and a cardboard keyboard. Some of the advanced students also play pieces out of the simplified Primary hymnbook and the regular hymnbook.

Here are some materials and motivators that I also use: my schedule of the lessons I teach, a sheet where students record the time they spend practicing, and stickers and candy that I give the students if they practice five days during the week and/or have a good lesson.   

Nearly all the students have their own teclado (keyboard) to practice on. They received the keyboards from a grant from the Harmon Foundation at BYU after they completed a course on directing hymns. The students may keep the teclados on the condition that they take lessons and are preparing to play hymns for church meetings. Many of the students will be playing in the Primary program this month.

Here are some of my talented and dedicated students (left to right, top to bottom): Abish Garcia (12), Dámaris Garcia (10), Samuel Pacheco (10), Gerlind Camino (13), Angel Diestra (12), Mari Diestra (10), Thedius Zegarra (11), Melani Ninán (10), and Adriana Rodrigues (12). Angel just turned 12 and plays in priesthood meeting. Mari broke a bone in her leg but still comes to her lessons (her father brings her in a wheelchair). 

Recently, a couple of teenaged boys have begun lessons. This is Hans Camino during his first piano lesson. He wants to learn to play the piano so he can be a better missionary.

I am also teaching some adults. This is Sister Duarte, a fellow temple missionary. Even though she can't speak English and I can't speak Spanish, we are good friends. We have a wonderful time Iaughing together during her piano lessons.

I love teaching piano lessons to these eager students. It's an added bonus to our wonderful mission.


  1. What a cool experience.
    I'm trying to imagine what it's like trying to teach someone piano with that language barrier.
    I'm sure you do great, though.

  2. What adorable children. They are luck to have you as a teacher.