FREMANTLE music teacher Anneka Pearton believes her piano course is so revolutionary it could go viral.
“In my wildest dreams it might put Fremantle on the map,” she says while seated at her grand piano in the historic Fremantle Boys School.
“The program draws on all the advances of the Internet, of visual and audio sharing and connecting.
“It bypasses traditional teaching techniques that many students didn’t enjoy, like doing exams, learning by reading music first and practising scales.”
The trusty mnemonic Every Good Boy Deserves Fruit is tossed out by Pearton in favour of stickers of cartoon figures.
Locating the keys CDE is easy when they’re represented by a cat, dog and elephant, she says.
The F key is a front door, followed by a gate for G, an apple for A and B is the back door.
The program accommodates up to six students in one class, each playing at their own pace.
Instead of rote learning and practicing endless cords, from day one students learn a song a week.
“In 10 weeks they learn 10 songs,” Pearton says.
When students are ready they overcome stage-fright by playing at a local nursing home.
“And sometimes we go busking, with a battery-powered piano we take to the Esplanade.”
Originally from Holland, Pearton learnt piano as a youngster, playing in a band as a teenager.
Tinkling the ivories at hotels, restaurants and on a cruise ship helped finance a degree in psychology at Murdoch University.
As a therapist Pearton ran personal and professional development courses, helping others find their calling.
It was advice she ultimately took herself when she became a full-time piano teacher.
“My philosophy is to help everyone share and celebrate their strengths. Over 15 years, hundreds of my students became way better players than I was at their age.”
by JENNY D’ANGER
92 Adelaide Street, Fremantle
0448 609 049