Piano teacher student relationships vital to encouraging play from the heart


Billie Filleman, a piano teacher of many years, says that trying to ‘bypass the heart’ during the teaching of music and piano proficiency can lead to frustration for both teacher and student.

“The skill of music can be taught to anyone capable of learning. But to play music so it comes from who a person is . . . well, I don’t know any way to communicate that except through relationship,” she said.

She argues that the most gifted chidlren are also often the least disciplined. Her own experience bears this out:

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“I flew by the seat of my pants my whole life, but music was the place where there was no satisfaction because it wasn’t an inside-out learning situation,” she said.

Read the full article: When gauging students, piano teacher plays it by ear