Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
1. Is THE MAYRON COLE PIANO METHOD a franchise or licensee business of some sort?
Ans: No, we are a music publishing company only. Anyone can buy from us.
2. Why is this piano method not sold in stores?
Ans: We started selling directly to teachers when our music publishing business was launched in 1988 . We still sell directly to teachers with our web page, catalog, and our toll free 800 number. We accept all major credit cards! We like to do business this way because it's more personal, and we get to know some really great people.
3. Do I need to get certification training from your company before I can teach THE MAYRON COLE PIANO METHOD?
Ans: No. We offer training to help teachers feel more secure about their group piano teaching skills. Attending the training programs is not mandatory to teaching our material.
4. Why are your books so expensive?
Ans: Our large books equal three to four method books of "other" publishers. That's because we put all the practice pieces, recital pieces, music history, analyzing theory, and scales that are needed for each level in one large textbook. When you consider the size of our books, they are really cheaper than purchasing three or four of the smaller music books from other publishers.
5. Why are the music notes larger than the notes in "other" music method books?
Ans: Larger objects imprint on a more surface area of the brain. This enables a child to see, comprehend, and retain knowledge easier. As students progress into higher levels of our method, the notes become smaller.
6. Why did most group piano teaching fail in years past?
Ans: Most "group" teachers were not actually teaching group piano in years past. Most of them were wrongly trying to teach many little "private" lessons to students that they had put together in a piano "class". Most piano teachers were trained in private lessons and had prior teaching experience only in private piano lessons. Because of their training limitations, they didn't have any idea how to teach piano in a class environment. That's why we offer group piano training seminars every year.
7. How do I convince my "piano parents" that their students should quit taking a private lesson with me and start taking a piano class?
Ans: You don't! Do not put privately taught piano students into a piano class and expect success! Most privately taught piano students cannot play in ensemble with other students so a piano class filled with them would be a disaster! Keep your private lesson students as they are and begin your group piano classes with "new" students who have never had piano lessons.
8. Is there any way to put transfer students into piano classes?
Ans: Students transferring into piano classes from other teachers or from your studio will have trouble working in a piano class. Every student will come to the piano class with a different gap in their piano playing knowledge. (Click on STEPS TO LEARNING by Anne Haacke.)
9. Is there any successful remedial work that can be done with transfer students?
Ans: Yes! Transfer students can complete all three of the Older Beginner books no matter how many years of piano they have had! This way, you can make sure that all of their musical knowledge is there and there are no learning gaps! Upon completion of the older beginner series, transfer students can then join other transfer students who have completed the older beginner series. They would be in a Level III class.
10. How do I test transfer students?
Ans: Let the computer do it! Use Noteplay by Ibis. But be sure the parent is at the "testing" to watch and hear the results.
11. What do I say to a parent who complains that this method goes slower?
Ans: Tell the parent that there are basically two ways to learn to play the piano: by rote and by note. The "rote" method involves the piano teacher playing music for the child and the child attempting to replay the music by ear. This is a quick method and has the child playing advance music rapidly. But, obviously, the child is musically illiterate and is dependent on the piano teacher to play the music. A variation on the "rote" method is to teach the child to put his hands in various keyboard locations and read fingering numbers. This approach is found in most piano method books. Again, this method gets quick results but the child is too often musically illiterate and hits a "brick wall" without the "hand positions". This is why you hear so many adult students say they took piano lessons for years as a child but can't read music now. THE MAYRON COLE PIANO METHOD is built upon the "note" method. This means that the child must learn to read the notes and rhythms that he sees in his music. This is an active learning process and takes more time. But it is ultimately more successful and pays off years later when the student can easily read music by himself. You must ask the parent which type of learning she prefers for her child.
12. How many students should I put in a piano class?
Ans: We recommend that you start with four students. As you gain confidence, you can increase the number of students.
13. How long should each piano class be?
Ans: Most piano classes work well within a 45-minute time frame.
14. How does one divide the time in a piano class?
Ans: Most classes can be divided into four periods: "Old" music time, "new" music time, game time, and theory time. "Old" music means hearing, as a group, the music from the previous lesson.
15. How do I customize every piano class for each student in the class?
Ans: You don't. Every student in the class will study the same music at the same time. It's like any other school class. Students study the same page of Algebra at the same time, don't they?
16. What if a student memorizes the music?
Ans: Put a different sound on that student's keyboard so that you can hear it over the other keyboards. ("Harpsichord" is good for this!) The student then closes his music book and plays the composition by memory as the other students play the piece with him--but with their music opened.
17. What if I feel more confident teaching only younger students?
Ans: Specialize! Teach our EZ Keys program! It's perfect! When your students graduate, send them to some of the other teachers in your town. (Click on EZ STARTER.)
18. Does every student need a keyboard in the piano class?
Ans: Yes. And the keys should be full-sized, too.
19. Do the keyboards need to have 88 keys?
Ans: Not if you intend to teach only the early levels.
20. Can I use THE MAYRON COLE PIANO METHOD with private lesson students?
Ans: You bet! A large percentage of our sales are to private lesson teachers!
21. How do I know which levels of The Mayron Cole Piano Method my students need?
Ans: Click on Music Programs. Beside the description of each book's contents is a small image of a page of music from that book. Click on the small page of music and it enlarges. Using the "print" icon on the tool bar, print a copy of the music for your students to sight-read and enjoy. All of these music samples are for you to use to test your students.
22. How can I hear the music and sequenced accompaniments?
Ans: You can't hear all of our sequenced music, but you can hear some great samples. Download QuickTime 4 onto your computer and you can hear an orchestral accompaniment for each page of sample music that we've put on this web site. (To download QuickTime, click on Home. Look below our picture on the Home page and you'll see the words "QuickTime". Follow the instructions.)
23. I'm considering grouping some of my private piano students into piano classes. What is the best way to go about this?
Ans: Re-read questions 8 and 9 (above). But if you think you have a group of private students who would finally start working if placed in a piano class then go ahead and try it. The best way is to put those students into The Mayron Cole Piano Method while they are still in their private lessons. Teach each of them our method in their private lessons for at least a semester. After each student is comfortable with this new material, form piano classes with students who are basically at the same place in our material. Group your students according to age and ability. Your students will enjoy their new piano classes if they feel confident with their new teaching material.
24. I'd like to teach my beginner students in piano classes because I think the group learning environment would be beneficial to them. What do you think?
Ans: I agree with you! Most small children like to learn in a group environment because more musical activities can be offered! Private piano lessons for young children can be very tedious for the student as well as the teacher! Try our EZ Keys program. We have a great EZ Keys "starter kit". (click on EZ KEYS Starter) or our Menehune Music course (click on Menehune Music) . We have good teacher manuals that walk you through every lesson!
25. Do you think group piano lessons are for every student?
Ans: No! Group piano lessons are not for extremely slow students and may not be for extremely fast students! But as the bell curve shows, the large majority of students are average, and piano classes are great for them! Even extremely fast students can benefit from a piano class if it is made up of other extremely fast students. We have had several of these "fast" classes through the years, and they are fantastic to teach!
26. I'm convinced of the benefits that piano classes give to students: Motivation to practice, musicianship, improved rhythm counting skills, sight reading skills, performance skills, ability to follow a conductor, etc. However, I have several teenagers who have been trained only in private piano lessons and who could never make the change over to group piano classes. Yet, I feel that a piano class would offer them a lot. What should I do?
Ans: Try teaching your advanced teenagers three private piano lessons and then a group piano lesson with other teens every fourth lesson. Give them some of our great ensemble music for teenagers. Click on Ensembles. You are right about the benefit of group piano classes for your teens. I find it interesting that we train pianists to play the piano by themselves and then expect them to play with organists on Sunday and accompany choirs on Wednesday and wonder why it is so difficult for them to work with other musicians. I think playing the piano with other musicians and following a conductor's directions should be part of every pianist's training.
27. I really need to build my piano studio enrollment this summer. What are your suggestions?
Ans: You need to advertise your studio, and you need to teach Blast Off With Piano! Click on Blast Off With Piano. We have a great Blast Off! teachers manual that tells you what to do. Blast Off! is a five lesson course that should be taught in one week! Parents are invited to attend the last lesson and hear some of the fun ensemble music that's been learned. Since it's only one week long, you can offer this course many different times during the summer. To read about another teacher's success using Blast Off With Piano! to build her studio, click on MUSE NEWS Spring 2000. Then go to "I was looking for an 'at home' means of earning a living!" Page 6, by Stacy Caldwell.
28. I am very impressed with your business training sessions at your summer certification seminars. Your company is the only one of which I am aware that teaches the private piano teacher how to run a studio like a real business! Why do colleges neglect this area of teaching?
Ans: I have no idea. But thank goodness they do! We love filling that niche. To find out the cities in which we will be conducting seminars this summer, click on Seminar Schedule.