Why piano lessons?Do you want to try something new or perhaps have a redo? Many of us have had bad piano teacher experiences growing up and I’d like to change that for you!
There are so many benefits to learning the piano, where do I start?
Check out the following articles below or
view the Resources page.
Benefits of Learning Piano
Love From Our Students and Clients
Old School New School
|Old School||New School|
|Fear based motives to drive||Passion based motives and incentives to drive|
|Competitive- got to be better than someone else to “win”||Mindset of sharing and celebrating gifts with others Honoring unique talents, self improvement|
|Over-conformity, robotic, rigid||Structure that supports the individual. Structure that bends|
|Nerve racking recitals based on “must be perfect”||Performance and recital opportunities, to those interested. Performance strategies taught|
|Little to no thinking outside of the box||Flexibility and creativity encouraged and within given structure/concepts to help frame|
Time to include what worked in Old School and move to the New School
Bittman, B. Medical Science Monitor, February 2005; vol 11.
http://www.healthy.net/Author/Barry_Bittman_MD/1 (VERIFY LINKS – One goes to bio, other goes to list of articles)
Calter, M. “Playing the Piano Can Strengthen Fine Motor Skills.” View Article
Gaynor, M. Sounds of Healing, Broadway Books.
Dr. Gaynor explores the science behind how and why sound and vibration affect us on a physiological level and outlines the sound traditions and practices that promote relaxation and body-mind healing. View on Amazon.ca, View on Amazon.com
Schellenberg, E. Psychological Science, August 2004; vol 15. View Article
What’s the difference?
- Upright/grand piano: an acoustic instrument where the sound is produced by the mechanical action of felted hammers striking strings, therefore it is not electronic.
- Digital piano: this imitates an upright or grand piano in several ways – it usually comes with a solidly-constructed stand, internal speakers, built-in pedals, a full-length keyboard with weighted keys, and a library of sounds sampled from real upright or grand pianos.
- Electronic keyboard: sometimes used to refer to any non-acoustic keyboard instrument, including digital pianos – however more often, it means a portable keyboard – possibly with no stand, pedals or internal speakers, and with small, non-weighted or only semi- weighted keys. It will have a large set of electronic sounds and samples for use.
If you are starting off and not sure if you or your child will stick with piano, its helpful to go with a digital piano or keyboard. Ideally, I recommend digital piano because it’s closer, if not full in range and has the weighted keys. Having said this, an electronic keyboard is smaller and more affordable so if you want to just try piano, then this is a good option. In any case, it is best for any keyboard to have no less than 3 octaves. (Unless you’re using a synth for recording sounds…another topic altogether!)Any of the following brands are sufficient: Yamaha, Kawai, and Casio. Purchasing keyboards, digital pianos at Costco, London Drugs I think is sufficient because the refund policy is good if needed. For higher end pianos and more assistance, Long & McQuade is recommended.
Note, length of time is based on deep practice, not just playing what is already known.
It helps for them to try a short term and just explore and see from there. Afterward a short try- out, assess what they liked and didn’t like. Do they often want to switch hobbies after a short time, if so, when does it happen? Is it when things are starting to feel hard? Remembering, it’s okay to change one’s mind but asking why and deciding from there. It’s really about identifying whether it’s just resistance or if they’re sincerely uninterested, not passionate about it and rather express creativity in another way. Resistance to practice is common, if anything normal. Whether they want to learn a new sport, skill, instrument…it really is all the same process, just a different vehicle.
As mentioned above, rewards need to be implemented and delay gratification needs to be practiced for success.
No, we do not. The teaching curriculum still focuses on technique and foundational work and supports the student’s individual learning style.
Opportunities to learn and keep motivated are through fun games, quizzes and performances based on student’s learning/personality style.
- Ear-training through games, playback, visualization of the music.
- Rhythm training through games, Clap n’ Count exercises and “Musical Math.”
- Practicing strategies using the macro and micro sections of phrases, learning to see musical patterns, intervals, sequences, and later more advanced chords and progressions.
- Physical posture including fingers hands, wrist, arm, head-torso connection and back.
- Sight reading, practicing reading easy passages for the first time, what to look for.
- Improvisation and composition through free play and “re-write the ending” exercises.
- I use up-to-date methods in the field of neuroscience, teaching and engaging students in deep practice effective practice.