Tag: piano instructor

Piano Improvisation: It’s About Expressing Yourself

Piano ImprovisationDid 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

Interpretation

Technique

Practice Strategies

Psychology of Practicing

Modern Chord Theory

Applied Theory

Improvisation

Reading Lead Sheets

Exploration of a Variety of Styles

Self Appreciation

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.

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Keeping Your Child Interested In Piano Lessons

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Piano Lessons: The Motivation Factor

Is Your Youngster’s Motivation For Piano Lessons At A High Level?

 

Sarasota Piano LessonsOkay, 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!

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Your Piano Practicing Habits: Are They Erratic?

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Practicing Piano: A Chore Or A Bore?

How’s YOUR Piano Practicing Going?

Practicing piano ought to be a joy… a delight… a privilege… something to get excited about…

What? It’s not that way for you?

Well, the truth is, it could be. Unfortunately, this is a matter that is sometimes not dealt with Sarasota Piano Lessonsin an effective way. Much of it may have to do with the communication between student and teacher. In short, if you’re not looking forward to each and every practice session at that piano or keyboard of yours with a twinkle in your eye and a feeling of enthusiasm, this is a matter that is worth taking a closer look at. In addition, it’s a matter that you should feel super comfortable talking about with your piano teacher.

By the way, whatever is being mentioned here, it applies to you if you are an adult student and it applies to your youngster if he or she is taking piano lessons. Either way, if practicing piano is not something you or your child normally gets enthused about, you can take the initiative that many students/parents do not, and that is to communicate with the piano teacher to discuss creative ways to make sitting at those keys a more enjoyable experience. Actually, this is an area where many piano teachers fall short of being effective. All too often, there’s an implied “law” that goes something like, “That’s what the teacher said so that’s how it has to be.” But what if the teacher doesn’t have much to offer in this regard? What if the teacher’s practice slogan goes something like, “I want you to practice a half hour (or whatever time duration) a day no matter what!”

How Do You Improve Those Piano Practice Habits? Begin With This

That kind of admonition might work with a few people but, really, it lacks something. This is a matter that is worth looking at with a magnifying glass. Don’t have any reservation about approaching your teacher and presenting the matter. If you have a child student, for example, who isn’t feeling inspired to go to that piano or keyboard on a regular basis, the next time you’re in the presence of his or her piano teacher, declare and ask, “The desire to practice just isn’t there. What creative ways can we discuss to get him or her more interested?”

Once you ask that question, pay really close attention to the response you get. Is there hesitancy? Does the teacher treat the question as though he or she wished you didn’t ask? Are you getting any creative solutions? If not, it might be time to consider your options. Remember, the feelings associated with practicing piano over the long haul tend to stick. Doesn’t it make sense to see to it that those feelings are great ones?

We will be touching upon this topic of practicing piano more in future messages, so stay tuned. In addition, if you have any questions whatsoever, please feel free to share here.

Happy Practicing!

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Do I Have What It Takes To Play Piano?

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Do I Have What It Takes To Play Piano?

What Does It Take To Learn To Play The Piano?

Sarasota Piano LessonsThese are questions received often. Several analogies could be used to properly illustrate the answer. One might ask, “Do I have what it takes to plant a tree?” Of course, if you have possession of a tiny tree, you have a shovel to dig a hole big enough to accommodate the roots, and you are willing to go through the steps, including placing the tree in the ground, replenishing the dirt, and watering that tree, it’s pretty much a given that you have what it takes. Before all this, however, you needed the desire to plant that tree in order to make it happen. Would you agree?

Well, when it comes to learning how to play the piano, you also need what’s necessary:

1) You

2) A piano (or keyboard)

3) Desire to proceed through the steps of learning

4) The right guidance

Now, we’ll admit… there’s more to playing piano than planting that tiny tree, and thankfully so, because, once the journey is taken, discovering your musical potential at the piano keyboard can be a whole lot more fascinating.

There seems to be an implied “law of learning” when it comes to learning how to play piano that many people adopt even before pursuing their dream of having fun making music. It’s more of a “stigma” that has developed over the centuries and much of it has to do with the concept of learning that manifested from colleges, universities, and yes, individual teachers. Stories are told by adults, time and time again, of a negative childhood experience they endured with a particular piano teacher. Very seldom is the case that the individual would place the blame on the teacher because, after all, the teacher knew better, right?

No. Not necessarily. Taking it even further, it’s not likely. Such negative experiences are usually described as “negative” because the teacher did not have what it took to deal with that particular student. This still happens to this day. The teacher who stands by his or her sense of “righteousness” when it comes to how to learn piano still exists today. More often than not, this stems from the “university approach” to learning which is more or less equated with learning to play to the proficiency of a classical concert pianist. The stigma that goes along with learning classical piano has unfortunately caused many individuals who have had a passion for making music to bow out and never try.

Nourishing the existence of this stigma or subscribing to it is nothing short of absurdity. The author of this message has never met an individual during all his years of training who did not have what it took to play piano. If you have the desire, then that enthusiasm will carry you through any obstacles you will face. In fairness, it should be stated that if the desire isn’t there, that’s a different story. However, not having the desire to learn and have fun doing something and not having what it takes to learn and have fun doing something are two completely different matters.

If you have come to terms with the fact that you do, in fact, have the desire to learn to play piano and have a whole lot of fun in the process, then it becomes necessary to find a teacher who is willing to understand you and nurture that desire in an unconditional fashion. Please read that last sentence again because that’s where things can get a little challenging. It is highly suggested and recommended that you do your homework when it comes to looking for the right piano teacher for yourself or your child. Have no fear when it comes to asking a few questions of a prospective teacher to help determine whether or not he or she is a match for your needs and wants. Stated simply: if you have the desire to learn and have fun, that teacher exists. You may not find him or her the first time but that doesn’t mean your journey should stop.

You are here because you are either considering getting yourself or a child started with piano lessons or you are exploring your options. Consider this a new beginning and treat the adventure ahead of you in an unconditional fashion. It’s possible and you’re going to make it happen. As a result, unlimited rewards await you!

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