Teach and Learn with ACE

To the student, Piano Adventures implies an exciting exploration.

To the teacher, Piano Adventures implies a philosophy and mission to develop the student’s musical mind and heart.

The process of guiding a young person to develop the mind (intellect) and the heart (expression) can help form valuable life skills: confidence, curiosity, discipline, self-esteem, sensitivity to nuance, work habits, and understanding how process relates to product.

To this end, we teach and learn with aceanalyze, create, and express.

These three action words sum up our philosophy for teaching and our own self-renewal.

With this Teacher Guide you begin an adventure!

analyze ... think about it

The origin of “analyze” is Greek and means “to break apart.”

The way we teach a piece should “break apart” its elements–show how the music is put together. This constant mini-analysis will develop a secure and rich musical understanding and be a model for independent learning.

We can also analyze or “break apart” our own instruction. Using this Teacher Guide we will learn to evaluate the larger aspects and smaller details of our teaching just as we would a performance.

  • All ten Units open with an article termed The Pedagogy (the practice of teaching). This article analyzes the musical concepts underlying each unit. It is directed to you as the teacher.
  • All ten Units end with an article named Self-Enrichment. This article challenges you to think about ideas influencing your personal growth. It is directed to you as the learner.
  • The pedagogy pointers (shown for each piece) highlight not only what is important, but why it is important.
  • The see it in action videos show students learning with the action words of ace™.

“Where does the pattern repeat?”

create ... explore and imagine

The origin of “create” is Latin and means “to make.”

In the lesson, an easy entrée into student creativity is to build opportunities to make choices and changes. Short bursts of creativity using the pieces within the lesson make teaching lively, exploratory, and fun. Choice, change, and challenge = creativity!

A master teacher is always curious to learn how to foster a student’s creativity using imagination, metaphor, and a spirit of play. Creative play engages a student’s attention and energy and promotes deeper learning.

  • The opening let’s get started section offers creative ways to introduce concepts and the specific piece through a spirit of play.
  • The next explore & create section suggests imaginative ways to ignite creative thinking.
  • Remember, two articles bookend each unit. The first article addresses the pedagogy for your students; the closing article offers self-enrichment techniques and ideas for your own self-growth.


“Help me tell the musical story.”

express ... communicate

The origin of “express” is Latin for “a pressing out.”

This “pressing out” implies there must be some impulse that sparks original expression. In music, expression begins with listening that primes the student to communicate an emotion or mood. The student makes a personal connection to the music, the words, or the art. The teacher is the bridge!

Our own expression as teachers should be characterized by a variety of communication and teaching strategies. These will animate and elevate our teaching.

  • The see it in action videos offer realistic and vivid examples of students responding and “expressing.”
  • The Pedagogy and Self-Enrichment articles for each unit will give new meanings to words taken for granted and invite you to consider all the ways you communicate your own ideas.

Taking time to accept the challenges in this Teacher Guide will increase your confidence and knowledge.

“Pretend a balloon is gently rising.”

Your own adventure will grow … and grow … and grow!