Project #2 of the Teacher Profile Projects is “Analyze Four Teaching Pieces.” This is the one project that you cannot complete or even start on until you have paid your certification fee because MTNA assigns you four specific pieces to analyze for this project. Once you pay your fee and begin the certification process you are sent a link to download your four teaching pieces, one from each stylistic period. This is the project I am currently working on, and probably the second most time consuming of the 5 projects (I think the video project is the most time consuming). The four pieces I’ve been given are:
- Bach – Two Part Invention No. 13 in A minor
- Beethoven – Sonata Op. 49 No. 2 in G Major (First Movement)
- Schumann – Waltz Op. 124 No. 4 in A minor
- Bartok – Bagatelle Op. 6 No. 2
As you can see, nothing is too obscure, pretty standard composers and pieces. I was surprised by the difficulty level of the pieces, they are mostly late intermediate and I was expecting a least one or two early intermediate or intermediate pieces. This means that there is a little more work in the analyzation for me, the pieces are longer and the forms are more advanced. There are 6 questions to answer for each given piece. The answers for each must be between 150 and 300 words. The questions include things like:
- When introducing the piece, what kinds of things relating to musical time period, composer, and compositional style would you discuss with the student?
- What major elements of theory would you discuss with the student relating to the piece?
- Discuss at least 4 reading and/or technical difficulties in the piece and how you would address them.
This project requires a lot of knowledge about performance practice, theory, and teaching strategies. If it’s been awhile since you took college theory courses, you may need to review your notes from those classes to help with the analyzation of the pieces. Hopefully you have some notes from theory and pedagogy courses that you can review to help you out. A helpful resource is Jane Magrath’s Pianists Guide to Standard Teaching and Performance Literature, this will help you get a basic idea of the difficulty level of the piece and a few particular technical challenges in the piece. This project may seem a little daunting, but it is do-able! Once you get this one done, the rest should be easy!
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Spring Seals, NCTM, teaches 60 piano students ranging from age 3 to 70 in Fort Worth, Texas. She also serves as the Director of Certification for TMTA. She is passionate about helping teachers become more effective in their studios through professional development, new resources, and fresh ideas.