Category: Jazz Piano

Learn Pop Piano

Learn Pop Piano In Sarasota, FL

Pop Piano Lessons

The reasons for people wanting to engage in piano lessons vary widely. Many aspire to learn pop piano, jazz piano, or classical. Some do not have any preconceptions of what they will be playing. Rather, they might simply have references of others playing the piano and it seemed like an interesting thing to do. Whatever the reason for getting started, it’s a good one because, let’s face it, having fun learning to make music at the piano are sure to bring with it satisfying rewards.

Of course, if a person does have a particular focus on, say, learning to play pop piano songs at the piano, it only makes sense to connect with a teacher who will eventually be able to lead that individual down that path. If you would like to learn how to play pop piano and you go to a person who is trained to teach classical piano, then you might be faced with some disappointment at some point in the journey. Sure, any competent piano teacher can help you learn to read sheet music but keep in mind that if learning to play note-for-note what you read exclusively will limit your musical potential. Remember, when it comes to popular song sheet music, getting it to sound like you would like it to will more than likely involve you knowing how to do more than play what you read. Can your average classically trained piano player or teacher help you with that? You’ll have to inquire with any particular teacher that you are considering but don’t be too surprised by what you discover by investigating.

Playing pop piano is an art form in itself. It involves thinking and playing “outside the box” and being equipped with certain creative skills that can make a song really come alive. What most people do not know is that, although those teachers have specialties in their own right, the majority of piano instructors that you will be exposed to at that local music lesson studio do not have a clue as to how to go about playing in this fashion. Therefore, it only makes sense that they are not prepared to teach others how to do it.

When it comes to playing pop piano songs and really enjoying yourself in the process, you’ll want to learn how to tap into the depths of your creative ability. Who would be better to show you how to do that than one who knows how from personal experience? At Pianocadabra, you can look forward to a well-balanced, wholesome approach to learning how to play piano, including how to read and interpret music, how to embellish melodies, how to improvise, and more. If you have an area of preference that you would like to focus on more, you know that you’re in touch with a resource who can guide your efforts toward reaching your goals. Pianocadabra is the people’s choice in Sarasota when it comes to having fun learning to play piano. Inquire today about getting started with lessons now!

Learn To Improvise On Piano

Learning To Improvise On Piano: When Is The Right Time?

Improvise On Piano“I want to learn how to improvise on piano.”

Walk into almost any local music studio that offers piano lessons, make that request, and have fun with the reaction you’re likely to be faced with. By mentioning the word “improvise,” you’ve just automatically disqualified the majority of prospective teachers you’ll meet. It’s just fact: piano teachers can’t teach what they aren’t aware of how to do.

A popular response to such a request goes something like this: “You’re not ready for that. That’s down the road a bit.”

If you’re willing to accept a prospective piano teacher’s remark like that, just be warned: that road is likely to be a very long one. You see, just by presenting this desire of yours to the average teacher, you’ve scared them a little. It’s not something he or she has experience with. Just hearing the word “improvise” might cause that teacher to inwardly cringe. It’s unfortunate that the lack of know-how on behalf of a teacher can lead to that kind of deviation and misrepresentation.

A teacher with his or her integrity in tact will be honest with you. If that person is being truthful with you, the response you get might be, “I never learned to improvise and I don’t know the first thing about teaching someone how to do that. I recommend you find someone who is qualified.” But are you likely to hear that? Unfortunately, the ego gets in the way too much of the time, even to the point of misleading a student or parent into thinking that improvisation is for “the more advanced.”

The truth is that a person’s journey learning to improvise on piano can start from Day 1. That’s right. If your teacher has an approach that is conducive to your learning to play piano creatively, your first lessons will be used to set you on the right path. Your learning to improvise will be part of the agenda if: 1) It is something you are interested in doing; 2) Your teacher has what it takes to guide you properly.

Yes, when it comes to how most traditional piano teachers function, the paradigm is: learn to read what the page of music dictates and play it (and perhaps memorize it).

There is certainly nothing wrong with learning to read music. Actually, it should be part of a well-balanced plan. Learning to read music opens the door to a whole world of music available for you to enjoy. That said, if the student’s piano education is limited to that, it’s a shame that student won’t be introduced to his or her creative ability simply because the teacher “doesn’t know how.”

Learning to improvise on piano includes many different aspects of creativity, including being able to play a variety of chord structures, voicings, rhythmic variations, melodic embellishments, and more. Wouldn’t you like to learn (or have your child learn) how to have fun at the piano in a creative fashion? Well, going to a teacher to do that who hasn’t a clue about playing creatively would be a little like going to a dentist for a new set of contact lenses.

Considering that you’ll be making a healthy investment of both your time and money, it makes sense to learn the facts about what you are getting yourself into. Asking questions of a prospective teacher will lead you to a greater understanding in advance. You’ll be better informed so that you can make a sound decision. Once you establish a connection with a piano teacher whose talent, skills, and personality are in line with your reaching specific goals, the benefits can truly be priceless.

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Jazz Piano Lessons In Sarasota

Sarasota Piano Lessons

Jazz Piano Lessons Available In Sarasota

Jazz Piano LessonsJazz piano lessons? You bet! That’s one of our specialties here at Pianocadabra! That’s right… in addition to traditional lessons, you can look forward to enjoying a more well-rounded piano education than you’ll find anywhere around here. We help aspiring players in important areas such as sight reading, interpretation, ear training, practice strategies, and more… and we focus on the genres you prefer. In addition, if improvisation is an interest of yours, you are at the right place!

We offer jazz piano lessons that focus on reading and interpreting lead sheets, modern chord theory, chord voicings, improvisation, and more! Some reader may be asking, “What is a lead sheet?” Well, traditionally, people are taught to read and play from a grand staff (treble and bass clef combined). We certainly help with that! However, a lead sheet is a piece of music that consists of only one staff that includes the melody of a song, with chord symbols above which represent the harmony to be played. A classical player who has been trained only to play from a grand staff might look at a lead sheet with confusion, not knowing what to do with it. However, a professional jazz/pop player who knows how to interpret a lead sheet considers it to be a luxury because it offers the musician “poetic license” to play a tune with his or her own personal playing style (yes, we help you develop that, too!).

Reading chord symbols and learning how to play chords in different ways is a huge part of making the most of your experience with lead sheets. Here, at Pianocadabra, you can learn about all of this. If you truly want to enjoy a well-rounded experience, learning how to read traditional music as well as lead sheets is highly recommended.

Here is an example of music written on the traditional piano staff (or grand staff):

Grand Staff






Here is an example of music written on a lead sheet:

Lead Sheet



Looking at that lead sheet, the melody, in most cases, would be played with the right hand. What is the role of the left hand? Well, actually, it has lots of freedom as long as the performer has a handle on those chord symbols above. This is a topic that warrants more in-depth discussion, of course. But you can have the confidence that we can help you along this avenue!

People of all levels join us, including beginners who have never played before, more advanced classical players who would like to enhance their playing experience with more improvisational flair, and pop and jazz enthusiasts looking to take their skills to higher levels. Whatever your reason, we welcome you and look forward to helping you realize your personal musical goals!

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