Q & A:
What Makes the
Pace Approach Different?

Big Picture

Piano methods often teach information as a series of isolated elements. Example: “The key signature for G major has one sharp on F.” Later, “The key signature for D major has a sharp on F and C.” Still later, “The key signature for A major has sharps on F, C and G…,” and so on.

Pace students instead learn big-picture concepts. 
Example: “To identify ANY major sharp key signature……look at the last sharp and name the line or space directly above it.” 

C# Major Signature

Big pictures give students the tools to learn on their own, along with learning from a teacher.   

  Lifelong Learning   

Basic Levels

Many approaches simplify material for basic levels by restricting students to a few highly similar tonalities.

Developing aural acuity is a central goal of the Pace approach. This approach therefore favors a rich soundscape for beginning levels, and onward. Simplification is accomplished through careful structuring of concept sequences. This enables students to play and hear a lively range of sonorities—including all major and minor keys, plus pentatonic, whole tone, 12-tone, chromatic, bitonal, blues, and modal tonalities—rather than depending on teacher or CD accompaniments for tonal variety. 

  Aural Acuity  

Student Centered Curriculum

Piano methods frequently emphasize teacher-scripted activities over student-directed ones. Teacher-scripted activity: “For a different effect, change the final C to G.” 

Boy Girl play guitar & keyboard

The Pace curriculum encourages student-centered learning by featuring student-scripted activities regularly. 

Example: “Improvise your own new musical question-and-answers each day.” Student-scripted experiences build confidence and self-sufficiency.

  Confidence & Self-Sufficiency  

Mastery thru Creative Practice

Some methods base mastery of material mainly on multiple direct repetitions. Creative activities are intermittent, and not a primary means for reinforcing learning.

boy at piano x200

In-the Pace Approach, creativity is a cornerstone of the curriculum.

By regularly varying and transposing new material many ways, students practice recall while also creating  something new. 

This promotes student-directed learning and critical thinking skills. 

  High-level Thought Processes  

By Cynthia Pace, EdD