The piano is one of
the most important instruments for a musician to understand.
Most musicians have had piano instruction and colleges require
all music majors to pass a piano proficiency exam in order to
graduate. It is common for a future instrumentalist to first
play the piano and gain an understanding of music and then choose
an instrument to study.
I believe the piano
is one of the most fun instruments to play. You need no accompanist
and can express almost any musical idea or emotion expressed
by another instrument or orchestra. I try to pass my enthusiasm
for the piano on to my students.
I pick songs, and allow
my students to choose, songs that they are motivated to practice.
As well I work to teach them the skills that are so important
for becoming a well rounded musician.
Practice Techniques -
Piano is a great way to learn to take a seemingly impossible
goal and persevere by breaking it down into small easy to accomplish
Both through scales and arpeggios as well as keyboard based
book work. Theory becomes more exciting when a student sees
the connection between the music they play and the abstract
Sight Reading -
Learning to turn black dots on a staff into beautiful music
at first site is one of the most rewarding skills a musician
can have. I appreciate and work on this skill more and more
the older I get and seek to pass that enthusiasm on to my students.
Often the ability to analyze harmonic structure or chord names
and create your own original arrangement on the spot is neglected.
This is one of the most valuable skills a musician can possess
however. Most popular music is played off of lead sheets which
consist of only a melody and chords. Although all four of these
skills fit together I use this skill directly the most. Plus,
when you make the music inside of you and don't need a piece
of paper or a book, you never run out.
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