With very rare exception, whenever a student transfers to a new teacher the new teacher will identify one or more areas where review or catch up is needed. Sometimes it is something as clear and basic as theory, sometimes it is technique, and sometimes it is a mesh of small things that will require careful identification and remediation.
TECHNIQUE: Most transfer students will need to review a significant amount of technique in three general areas: 1) Basic Skills: If the student is lacking in scales, arpeggios or other similar technique expected for the student's playing level, the student will need to learn these missing techniques; 2) Execution: A student may know the basic techniques, but the new teacher will want to review HOW the student plays them for possible improvement. There may be issues of control, accuracy, musicality, finger motions, articulation, velocity, hand motions or other technical issues which require improvement; 3) Facility: The ability to play a technique on command is as important as the ability to learn a new piece of music or to sight read. At KMI all technique is approached as layers of skill, each of which is built upon the previously mastered layer to form the foundation of the student's musical abilities. The student must be capable of performing any already learned technique at any lesson, even if the student has not practiced it recently. Facility of technique is the cornerstone for advancement to the next level.
THEORY: The student WILL be assigned a theory book, and unless the KMI faculty have indicated otherwise, theory will be the priority subject throughout the student's transition months. Lessons must be written as assigned each week, and there will ALWAYS be playing examples which the student must also master as part of theory homework. If a student fails to do theory homework, lesson time will be taken in order for the student to do it on the spot. Parents will not appreciate this kind of utilization of lesson time, so transfer students MUST learn to be responsble regarding their theory homework.
MUSIC BOOKS: If the student needs to be transfered to the method system used at KMI, the parents will need to purchase new method books. Old method books can be used if there is still significant material the student has not yet covered within them. The transfer student will likely be assigned a new repertoire book that will be used for the "on your own pieces" or other catch up work, and the student may be assigned a special workbook that helps with technique and theory. If the student is beyond the level of books she/he owns and requires new repertoire and technique books, the faculty will establish a plan for acquiring the new books - as most likely they will not be needed all at once.
(Proceed to NEW EXPECTATIONS to understand how to deal with the different feelings that can occur during the transition period.)