Geanna’s Teaching Style
Geanna Schwaegerle teaches using both Traditional and Suzuki approaches. She adapts her method to each students’ learning style. Her students study standard repertoire and traditional method books as a foundation for learning piano and supplements other styles of music tailored to the student’s interest, such as popular, sacred, patriotic and jazz. Geanna feels that learning the piano should be an enjoyable experience and encourages her students to practice using a reward system that involves stickers and prizes.
Geanna believes that the first lessons in piano are most important in establishing good posture habits, beautiful technique, strong rhythm skills, and playing a legato tone. Geanna spends the first beginning lessons concentrating on these fundamentals.
Geanna’s lesson plans incorporate sight reading skills, technique development, scales, chords, theory study, as well as repertoire study. Even her Suzuki students work on developing their note reading and theory skills in their lessons.
Pre school students are successful in Geanna’s studio whether being taught Suzuki and Traditional method when their parent is actively involved in participating in the lesson by asking questions and taking notes and when the parent supervises practice sessions at home. She also feels that when the environment at home and in her studio is kept positive and reaffirming from her and the parent the student thrives on the praise and is motivated to learn.
Geanna teaches high school and advanced students, too. Geanna has high school students graduate and go onto to majoring in music in college, studying career fields related to the performing arts, and also non music majors. Geanna’s high school students that have graduated develope a passion for music, and will be patrons of the fine and performing arts throughout their lives.
Besides using a music theory workbook, she incorporates learning music theory through the use of a games and group theory performance classes. During Geanna’s graduate studies at Miami University, Geanna’s graduate thesis project was Designing A Group Piano Theory and Performance Curriculum For Primer to Level 1 Learners. Since then, she has developed her group classes into many age groups and levels. In these classes, the lesson is designed around developing confidence in performance skills, sight reading skills, ear training skills, and featured composers and their great works. Games are incorporated for interval study, rhythm skills, and music vocabulary. More complex concepts are taught in the classes for older students such as chords and inversions, major and minor scales and key signatures.
Geanna’s students participate in many events throughout the year. She offers opportunities to perform in winter and spring recitals, Ohio Federation of Music Clubs Junior Festival, Southwest Ohio Music Teacher Association Auditions Festival, SWOMTA Masquerade Musical and The Royal Conservatory Music Certificate Program. Geanna also helps high school students prepare for auditions to colleges/universities and for music scholarships.