Play Piano Today With Dr. J

Playing the Piano Is A Multi-Sensory Experience

Posted on: June 8, 2009

Playing the piano is a multi-sensory experience.  It involves three of the senses – tactile, visual and aural.  To really create music, a pianist must engage each of those senses to be successful.   And, to learn to play the piano, it is equally as important to engage all the senses from the first day of study.

Learning to play the piano using the pentatonic scale is a method of study that appeals especially to adult learners.  Why?  Because it is immediately gratifying and because success comes easily through a multi-sensory learning style approach.  Playing the piano is a multi-sensory experience.  It involves three of the senses – tactile, visual and aural.  To really create music, a pianist must engage each of those senses to be successful.   And, to learn to play the piano, it is equally as important to engage all the senses from the first day of study.
Adults just coming to the piano for the first time, have preconceived notions of what they should be able to play.  They have the sounds of great music in their ears, they know good piano playing, and because they are adults, they are convinced they can and will easily learn to play the piano.  Unfortunately, traditional methods for learning the piano can quickly turn an excited beginner into a frustrated upset adult who will probably never touch the piano again.

The pentatonic method works best with an adult who is ready to play, is ready to discover how to create songs and is ready to develop technique to play those songs quickly.  The pentatonic method uses only five notes – in fact these keys are visually very easy to find as they are the five black keys on a piano.  Tactilely, the hands easily cover all five of the keys in a relaxed natural position.  And, best of all when simply creating music by just letting the fingers “wander” over the keys, everything sounds right.  There are no “clinkers” – just beautiful sounds – pleasing especially to that person who is attuned to their aural sense.  This is the perfect method for the adult learner – for the learner who wants and needs to be successful quickly – who wants to make music now – and who wants to play songs on the piano today.

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    • bhundley1: I'm interested in your elaborating on the "fingering" aspect of practice. Are you a fan of Czerny, for instance, in terms of building up dexterity wi
    • promotionmusic: Thanks for your response. Congratulations to you on the work you are doing in the piano world.

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