Tag: choosing the right piano teacher
Learning To Improvise On Piano: When Is The Right Time?
“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.
Piano Lessons In Sarasota
Piano Lessons Shouldn’t Be “A Bore And A Chore”
Let’s face it. Your intentions were good. Your decision was a positive one. If the enthusiasm for learning wears off, there are other factors to focus your attention on. Blame (toward anyone) doesn’t need to be a part of the picture. But the truth is that, if the experience turned stale, it needs to be acknowledged.
Communication with the teacher is important in such a scenario. Now, that said, if things don’t change, there remains the possibility that the material being fed to the student isn’t compatible with his or her personality. A common stance that is taken when the excitement fades goes something like this: “If the student isn’t interested in doing what the teacher demands, then maybe piano lessons aren’t the way to go.”
More often than not, the authoritative role assumed by the teacher isn’t questioned. But the truth is that not every teacher is for every student. Some instructors have one basic approach. If it doesn’t work, then the responsibility is placed on the shoulders of the student, thus the conclusion being that “it can’t be the teacher.”
Yes it can.
Ask yourself one important question: Why did you see to it that those lessons were started in the first place?
Did it perhaps have something to do with having fun?
If it’s not fun, an alternative is always available. Don’t place blame on the student, whether it’s a child of yours or yourself. If the initial goal was to have the student engaged in lessons to become musically involved, to enhance his or her appreciation for music, and have music be a part of his or her life for the long term (whether or not it’s going to be their main focus in later years), then you owe it to yourself to see it through. If another teacher is in order, then do what you need to do.
Piano lessons should be fun… and spending time at that piano or keyboard at home should be fun, too.
If the incentive is there, it won’t be any effort for the student to take initiative to spend some time at the instrument every day. If that’s not happening, then it’s because he or she simply doesn’t want to. Looking at the “why” is crucial if you are indeed concerned about the best interests of your child (or you, of course!).
Pianocadabra offers piano lessons in Sarasota that are customized to the student, based on his or her individual personality and goals. Your instructor will not take on the stance, “Do it my way or forget it.” Not even close. You’ll be dealing with a teacher who genuinely appreciates the individuality of each and every student who walks through the door. The student’s personality and strengths are recognized, capitalized on, and a plan is established to see to it that the learning experience doesn’t become mundane but, rather, a vehicle to enhance self esteem, self appreciation, and creative potential.
In short, you can look forward to enjoying benefits that go beyond what one is likely to expect from the traditional piano lesson. Students at Pianocadabra learn to understand music and create in a fashion that many teachers never do!
Did you know that the very thought of piano improvisation scares people, including many of the successful traditional piano teachers out there who have been primarily focused on learning and teaching people to read and interpret written music? Unfortunately, although these teachers have their positive traits, such teachers are not able to share something they don’t possess.
When it come to learning piano improvisation, nothing can replace the experience of obtaining the guidance of a piano instructor who knows about it, does it, loves it, and can teach it. When you’ve got the right coach, learning to improvise on piano can serve as a nice addition to a well balanced diet of “musical nutrition.” Sure it’s one thing to be able to prop up a piece of sheet music on the piano stand and play what’s you see. It’s quite another to be able to do that as well as play your own interpretation of you see, adding freshness to the music as you perform it with a creative flair.
Learning piano improvisation includes becoming familiar with a variety of strategies and techniques, in addition to understanding theory that can make everything more comprehensible. Learning from a piano teacher who has extensive experience in both performing in an improvisational fashion and coaching people along this avenue is a necessity if you truly want to discover your personal creative, musical potential.
So many people endure years and years of piano training without ever getting a glimpse of what they are capable of in the area of improvisation. A main reason for this is because there are fewer teachers who have such a background and, again, what one doesn’t have cannot be shared with others. Because this is true, it has become a misconception that learning to improvise is only for a select few of for more advanced students. Actually, an instructor who is competent along this avenue can nurture creativity in even the earliest beginner as long as the student is interested.
People have different reasons for getting hooked up with piano lessons and having a teacher whose methods are in line with those specific reasons is of utmost importance. That is why it is recommended that you ask questions of a prospective teacher prior to getting started. Some of the areas of focus that an experienced teacher will be able to demonstrate may include:
Reading Traditional Music
Sight Reading Improvement
Psychology of Practicing
Modern Chord Theory
Reading Lead Sheets
Exploration of a Variety of Styles
It is true that, with some self-initiative, one can learn much about piano improvisation on his or her own and there are learning tools available to help along with that. Of course, combining such efforts with taking advantage of the guidance of a professional will prove to be of ultimate value.
If you would like to discuss this topic in further detail with a professional, please visit here. Your communication will be greatly appreciated and acknowledged.
Sarasota Piano Lessons: Getting Started
Is This Preventing You From Starting Piano Lessons?
Are you a soon to be a beginning piano student who is reluctant to take that first step because you’ve allowed certain reservations to get in your way? Though this doesn’t apply to every person out there, it does ring true with so many people that it warrants being acknowledged…
Often times, the individual thinking of starting learning the piano is confronted with mental images of tedious work that must be endured in order to enjoy the benefits. Thoughts of having to learn and play endless scales and exercises congest the imagination to the point of causing the ambition to face an impasse even before the new hobby has a chance to even breath.
So, is it really true? Do you have to put up with the drudgery of all those painstaking exercises before even being able to enjoy the benefits of having fun playing a favorite song? Do you need to learn how to read all those notes before you can start having fun on that piano or keyboard of yours? Should you really think twice before getting started with those lessons due to the fact that the demands at the beginning will be great enough to discourage someone who simply wants to have fun making music at those keys?
Although it may be true that certain traditional piano instructors have an agenda they expect their students to follow, these are often the same teachers who are quick to witness some of those students quitting after a few short weeks (if they last that long). It doesn’t have to be that way. There is no legitimate reason that the fun shouldn’t start from the very beginning.
The right teacher for you will make your time invested in lessons an experience that’s nothing short of fun. Let’s face it… if you’re not enjoying yourself, your incentive to continue is likely to fade pretty quickly. The truth is that it isn’t any more necessary to learn all those fundamentals before you can have fun making some music than it was necessary that you learned your entire alphabet and learned how to spell a certain number of words before you exclaimed as a child that you were hungry. Seriously, your first words were spoken well before you knew how to spell what you were saying. But that didn’t stop you from getting your message across, did it? Now you are starting to get the picture.
If you have even the slightest bit of enthusiasm for exploring your musical potential, even if it’s something you want to pursue as a hobby (a terrific reason!) without placing heavy demands on yourself, then go for it. As long as you have your expectations in perspective and are able to commit to have fun with your adventure regardless of the circumstances, hooking up with a piano teacher who can respect that attitude and is willing to show you how to enjoy the learning experience can undoubtedly lead you to making a decision you’ll be happy about.
To get started with piano lessons in Sarasota or to simply learn more, visit Pianocadabra…
Don’t put it off any longer. Have fun making music!
Sarasota Piano Lessons
Piano Lessons: The Motivation Factor
Is Your Youngster’s Motivation For Piano Lessons At A High Level?
Okay, so you understand at least some of the long term benefits of providing your child with piano lessons and have made the commitment to make it happen. Since it’s been a few weeks or a few months since those lessons started, how would you rate his or her motivation for practicing on a scale of 1 to 10? Are you noticing that he or she runs to that piano or keyboard every time the opportunity arises? Or, rather, has it become a chore for you to get that little maestro of yours to spend just a few minutes at that piano keyboard a couple times a week?
If your situation is closer to the latter, then it’s very likely that something’s missing in the big picture. How’s the rapport between the piano teacher and your youngster? Have you ever been an observer at any of those lessons? Have you taken the opportunity to study the interaction between them? Does your son or daughter respond to the teacher’s suggestions in a receptive way with enthusiasm? When that’s not the case, does the teacher seem cognizant of the student’s lack of enthusiasm? Does this instructor seem to have a handle on the difference between what makes this student “tick” and what doesn’t?
This is an issue worthy of your attention. It’s more than a matter of your getting your money’s worth for those piano lessons, although we are not minimizing the importance of that. What’s more crucial is the long term affects of your child’s experience with those lessons. At a young age, your son’s or daughter’s perspective of engaging in new things such as piano lessons or any other hobby is most probably going to have a significant impact on future endeavors. If he or she is investing a number of weeks or months in lessons for which no genuine passion exists, consider the fact that, at his or her age, that is a significant portion of life – and your youngster is probably not going to forget it. That’s why you may be able to recall more than just one instance of a fellow adult sharing a childhood piano learning experience with statements like, “I took lessons as a child but it wasn’t for me” or “My piano teacher didn’t think I had what it took to play piano“ or “I didn’t enjoy my piano lessons because my teacher was too strict” or some other words that reflected an unfavorable experience.
That said, doesn’t it make sense that, while your child is involved with piano lessons (for however long), the experience should be nothing less that a positive one? Remember this: the feelings that your child associates with those lessons will have an absolute impact on the feelings he or she experiences while exploring other avenues as well. For this reason, your role and interaction with both your child and the piano teacher is a significant one. Also keep in mind the truth that it’s not just piano your child is learning. Your son or daughter is learning (and teaching himself or herself) how to respond to challenges while nurturing a love for music, and anything else you can think of that includes one-on-one correspondence with a teacher of any kind. That’s why it’s most important that the right teacher be selected.
A most important suggestion is to simply pay attention to what’s going on. Leaving the matter completely up to the teacher and your youngster just might miss the mark when it comes to your assuming the best role that you possibly can. Do what you can to nurture that triangle of communication between your child, the teacher and yourself. By doing so, you are likely to learn quite a bit yourself. Also, the next time you’re listening to that rendition of Hot Cross Buns or Bach’s Minuet In G coming from the living room, what you hear will represent a whole lot more to you than just music to your ears!