Do I have enough time to take piano lessons?
Given the demands of our over scheduled lives, most adults will have to give up something to make room for something else.
Search this "how many hours does the average adult spend surfing on their phones?"
Cutting that in half will free up enough time to learn anything.
Call me when you are ready.
This is what Rick is working on.
Rick’s memorized list
Preparing to succeed is the first step. Here are some things you can do to prepare.
1. Understanding how to use Zoom. Setting up the camera so that I can see your hands and you can see me as well. Most students set up the laptop on a table to the left side of the piano.
2. You need to create a realistic schedule for practicing. This may take longer than you realise. But with realistic thinking it is possible.
3. Organize and dedicate a practice space for productive work.
4. Fully understand the costs involved.
5. Tell all your significant others of your plans so that they can support you.
6. You will need to lean on your strengths when the going gets tough and life gets in the way. I'm a learner too, you can ask me how I organize my learning.
Here's to learning.
The internet is full of hucksters telling you that learning to play the piano is easy. It's not, but it is fun. Every day I watch my students grow; the days turn into years. And, inch by inch progress is made.
If I can help you on your journey, call me.
Everyone understands that the piano is played with the fingers. But, not all students understand the role of the wrists, arms, and shoulders in piano playing. Here is a partial list of techniques introduced in my studio. They are tried and true, I've not invented any of them, and can be observed in the playing of fine pianists. Here is a starting list. There are many more.
Mixing the techniques creates a kaleidoscope of colour in our playing. Modern piano teaching introduces each of these techniques at the appropriate moment. I wish my early teachers had spent more time on this when I was a kid. At age 30 pianist and music director Donald Himes introduced these to me and changed how I sound evermore.
If you would like help, call me.
Donald Himes: Music director/composer for the Mr. Dress-up show CBC. He played from the 1st show to the last. A fine pianist, great teacher and avid Francophile.
The three most neglected aspects of music study.
Theory: knowing what you are doing makes everything easier. The knowledge and application of theory allows us to discover and understand the notes which leads to insight and artistry.
How you think about the drum set, what you have heard, and what you understand about the musical past of the instrument determine how you play the instrument musically. Ed Soph, master teacher
History: Different eras of music sound different. Why? The study of the history of your instrument and the history of music in general will answer that question and help your interpretations.
Now the big one.
The list goes on.
Some folks have it easier here than others, but I can confidently say I started with a tin-ear and over time developed it to a remarkably high degree.
I can help you too.
Yesterday fourteen music students got together and played jazz. What a blast!
Next up February, Covid willing.
Playing the piano well is not easy, but it is possible with time, effort, and focus. Click on the photo to enjoy the whole story.
Number 3 is the saddest. “I tried teaching myself “. Trying to teach yourself from YouTube or a half-baked app is like trying to teach yourself to drive a car from YouTube. Let that sink in for a moment. A teacher will make you a plan, sequence the material for you, respond to your concerns, and inspire you.
Number 1 and 4? " I have no talent, I have no rhythm." I take ballroom dance classes with my wife. She is a natural and trained dancer. I’ve no talent or rhythm. But, I’m having fun every week. Nobody cares, not even my wife/dance partner. We are having way too much fun together to worry about my lack rhythm or talent.
If I can help your overcome the resistance, call me.
I. Dust off your instrument.
2. Watch some YouTube concerts featuring pianists playing the music you love.
3. Find your metronome.
4. Read some inspiration material about folks like yourself who have succeeded.
5. Start noodling on the piano. Review some old favorites. Explore some new music. Dream.
6. Plan practice time in your schedule to succeed.
The happiest students know what they want, why they want it. They've made time for it, and stuck with it. Come join us.
Jane is learning how to play chords to her favourite pieces. Here is how I've recommended she spends her time.
Practice time breakdown
25% scales and chords with metronome at various tempos
25% review of old work
25% new pieces
25% sight reading tunes off the internet. Notice the search terms in the image below. Click on images and viola things to practice.
Keeping your positive attitude on your ability to learn the piano
3 Mini-shorts Breakfast piano minute
It was an all adult teaching day. It was a great day. If I can help you, please call me.
#scirabin #modernism #improvisation Scriabin reimagined by a jazz pianist. Scriabin Prelude op. 16 no.4
It depends on what musical skills and experiences you already have.
It depends on what expectations you have. If your desires are modest, yes you can likely make some simple music from watching online videos. If some level of musical competency is desired, online videos are a trickier proposition.
Why? No feedback.
Teachers give feedback, sequence learning material, correct technique, inspire when the going gets tough, and make the journey fun through collaborative learning.
If that sounds like what you need, call me. I can help.
"Spending winters in the sunshine, reading, playing golf and socializing seemed a wonderful way to spend retirement. With both of us being music lovers, our sound system is always on all day with great music ranging from Classical, Jazz and some pop. But I felt something was missing and it wasn’t snow. My wife encouraged me for years to take music lessons. I was not too keen because my memory of lessons was the Nuns whacking my fingers with a ruler insisting, I keep my lazy fingers off the keys; that ended in 1958 when I got my Grade 8 piano. But the seed was planted. I decided to look on the net for a music teacher near Burlington and came across David’s website. This really looked interesting. During our cocktail hour that night, I said – when we get back to Burlington, I am going to take Jazz lessons from this David Story guy. On April 23, 2013 my life changed.
Of course, I thought I would be rattling off Jazz tunes within weeks; grief! As time progressed, I realized how complex Jazz really is, especially soloing; how do they do that? Practice, practice, practice every day and soon I started to see the tunnel – no light yet! After a few years of toil and trouble, something that sounded akin to music emerged; I encouraged my cousin to take lessons from David. Then, 4 years ago, David encouraged us to attend the Jamey Aebersold Summer workshop in Louisville. There we were for 6 days: 2 old guys, jamimg in groups, attending classes and intense listening, from 7am to 10 PM. Hardly time for a Scotch closer at night! At last, all those lessons from David were clicking into place like a Rubik’s cube. We went back the next summer and did it again. Then, David encouraged me to try and get a group together to Jam. The pressure was on; my 2 songs would not cut the mustard. More practice. An advert in Kijiji did the trick; we ended up with an exceptional drummer, bass, guitar – and me. We met every week for 3 hours until covid.
My lessons continue. The Jam will continue after we all get our shots. I am still amazed at what some practice along with amazing guidance and encouragement from David has done for my life and continues to do so. Not bad for an 80 year old!"
Tomorrow Part 2. Learn more about Gary's jazz journey.
Short, charming, relatively easy, level 5 and 6. What can a harpsichordist teach pianists? How to pace the music, notice the subtle flexibility to the flow of the music.
In the 2nd video the performer talks about the works.
The rankings follow the descriptions:
In my experience of teaching jazz, I would rank these traditional methods in the following order:
Jazz attracts adults of a certain type. Likely just like you. Professionally successful, academically trained, and determined to figure it out. The kind of person who sets goals, allocates resources, makes time, gathers intelligence from books and the internet, and then applies focus to solve a problem or pursue an opportunity.
Alas the kind of learning traditionally associated with professional success can lead a student off in the wrong direction when learning to play jazz. First, music is a manual skill which requires many years of practice to play at even a basic level of competence. Second, playing jazz is an aural skill. Manual skills and aural skills are not traditionally part of most people’s education. So, a mindset shift must occur. Those professional skills will come in handy though; I’ll just help enlarge them.
(Authors note I own more than 100 drum books, I’ve listened to hundreds of hours of podcasts on drumming, I’ve subscribed in the past to a Jazz education subscription service promising great masterclass from my jazz heroes, and I live on YouTube. Furthermore, I own too many drum sets, snare drums, and cymbals. So, I understand.)
What can I do for you?
In short, I will present material to you in a logical fashion based on your specific circumstances and provide weekly feedback. Old fashioned teaching in a modern 21st c. multi-modal manner.
How does a impatient student find the patience?
How does the piano teacher maintain the students enthusiasm while working with this constraint?
As long as we find time to work on core skills, it's great to explore repertoire way over our heads. We will have fun and learn a lot from the experience. But, if we neglect to cheerfully embrace the discipline of mastering core skills, we will grow bored and discouraged. In the end it's faster to learn the skills, embrace this discomfort of hard work than to jump all over the place.
Core music skills:
Here is a short story from my parallel passion of drumming. I devote a large chunk of my practice time on the core skills and fundamentals of drumming. I spend hours a week on time and tone. Yep, left, right, left, right or LLRR or RLRR and LRLL. I listen intently to the results. I analysis my movements. And on and on. I've learned to be patient. I've made some real progress over the last decade of study. I'm confident I will make more.
To learn more check this out: What do drum teachers practice? (superfundrumlessons.com)
Let me help you.
Call me. Let's get started.
Planning an interpretation
I can help you understand the plan my student and I created prior to "practicing" the piece.
www.finchcocks.com/Finchcock Piano Courses UK
One week of piano among other pianists with 1st rate tutors, food, and wine.
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You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.
I'm a professional pianist and music educator in West Toronto Ontario. I'm also a devoted percussionist and drum teacher.