Developing Full Musicians Using National Music Standards

HomeSchoolPiano follows a 6-step cycle to make it easy for students of all levels to master the piano. By laying a foundation based upon tested musical standards, students will enjoy success at the piano faster.

1) Technique: It is critical to learn proper technique at your instrument right from the beginning. This section will teach you how to develop speed and dexterity.

2) Rhythm: We focus first on rhythm because it is the ‘engine’ that drives music. Our unique vocalization approach, makes it a snap to accurately perform rhythms.

3) Ear Training: We’ve all heard of having a ‘good ear’ for music. Using our ear training exercises you’ll learn to hear rhythm, melody and harmony which will improve your playing and improvisation.

4) Reading Music: Sight reading is an essential skill for musicians. Knowing how to read music makes it easier to learn and compose songs. Using a step-by-step approach, you’ll learn how to create a strong music reading foundation.

5) Song: It is fun to sit at the piano and play a song. Our method is different because our songs sound like songs rather than exercises. You’ll be playing music right from the beginning!

6) Improvisation: After you learn to read music and play songs, improvisation allows you to tap into your own creativity to make your own music. Music is a language and improvisation let’s you create what you hear.

Teaching To The National Music Standards

HomeSchoolPiano’s 6-step cycle works with the National Standards for Music Education to create a well-rounded music curriculum that touches all nine NAfME requirements.

“Assessment in music is not only possible…but necessary.” 

Every school district should develop reliable, valid, and useful techniques for assessing student learning in music. Assessment should be based on explicit objectives that identify clearly the skills and knowledge expected of students.

  1. Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
    • HomeSchoolPiano exposes students to singing through our unique rhythmic vocalization approach. Students learn piano by vocalizing different rhythms and use their voice to recreate the rhythm.
  2. Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
    • HomeSchoolPiano teaches students how to perform a multitude of different musical styles on the piano. In addition to a set repertoire, students are encouraged to create their own variations and little pieces to add to their repertoire.
  3. Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments.
    • Improvisation is at the core of HomeSchoolPiano. Created by a Berklee College of Music graduate and professional touring and recording musician, HSP students are taught ‘from the ground up’ how to improvise on the piano. These improvisation exercises have been endorsed by the Piano Teacher associations and have been published by both MelBay® and Alfred Music Publishers®, two of the largest music publishers.
  4. Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines.
    • Every unit in HomeSchoolPiano contains a section for students to compose and improvise their own original melodies and songs. Students learn how to create their own music using both specific techniques and guidelines as well as opportunities for free-form exploration.
  5. Reading and notating music.
    • Learning to read music is an essential skill needed in order to become a well-rounded musician. Students learn how to read music in the ‘Reading Music’ section found in every unit
  6. Listening to, analyzing, and describing music.
    • There are many aural (ear) building lessons found at HomeSchoolPiano. These include the ear training quizzes, the rhythmic vocalization along with improvisation analysis and call-and-response patterns.
  7. Evaluating music and music performances.
    • To be able to evaluate the performances of others, it is important to self-evaluate first. Our quizzes and reporting allow students to visually see their progress. Our improvisation exercises require students to consistently evaluate what they are playing and make choices based upon that evaluation.
  8. Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts.
    • Our lessons on improvisation cover concepts like form, tone, shape and many other concepts that are multidisciplinary in nature. These concepts follow the student through their artistic careers. What they learn at HomeSchoolPiano carries over to other performing arts like dance, theater or the visual arts. For instance, as a dancer, it is helpful to know the form of a song. As a visual artist, tone and shape are important elements. Theater students are often required to sing, another skill reinforced through piano lessons.
  9. Understanding music in relation to history and culture.
    • This standard is achieved at HomeSchoolPiano through Willie’s vast music knowledge and real-world performance experience. Willie adds anecdotes to the lessons which give students a better understanding of music and its relation to the world. Willie makes it fun to learn piano in the comfort of your home!


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