Piano Lessons Outside the Box: A New Approach to Learning Piano
Usually, piano lessons consist of a teacher assigning a method book to students in an attempt to teach them how to play the music of the "masters."
The hopeful student learns to read music (in a year or two) and begins to play his first pieces.
For most, this is satisfactory. All they really want to to do is play classical music and entertain themselves and others. Nothing wrong with it at all.
But what if there was a way to play the piano that allowed you to express yourself creatively - just like painters do? There is a way. And it all has to do with a chord-based approach!
You see, chords are to the pianist as what colors are to the visual artist. The artist uses color, form, and technique to create with. The improvising and composing musician uses melody, rhythm, and harmony to create music with.
Yet the sad truth of the matter is music students rarely learn this art. If they do, it's after they've mastered note reading and piano technique. The truly creative stuff doesn't appear until well after in most cases.
Now, I don't know why this is. But one thing is for sure? it doesn't have to be that way!
For example, by using a few chords and a way to play these chords, you can create your own music. Be it improvised or composed. Take my free lesson "Reflections in Water" for example.
Here we have 4 chords in the Key of C Major. The chords are modern sounding seventh chords and are all played in open position. By using the materials of music (chords) we can quickly begin creating music - much like visual artists do.
You don't have to be Beethoven or Mozart to do this. On the contrary, the less you know, the better you will be able to improvise because you haven't learned what you "should" be doing.
I believe piano lessons can be taught much like an art lesson. You first have the title of the piece you'll be creating. You then use a step by step method that shows you how the piece was made. I've been using this method to teach with for years now and my students love it.
In short, don't think going the classical route is the only way. It's not. If you want to create your own unique music, you can!
Edward Weiss is a pianist/composer and webmaster of Quiescence Music's online piano lessons. He has been helping students learn how to play piano in the New Age style for over 14 years and works with students in private, in groups, and now over the internet. Stop by now at http://www.quiescencemusic.com/piano_lessons.html for a FREE piano lesson!