Play Piano Today With Dr. J

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Jeannine at Piano-JPG-sm-webWelcome would-be-piano players, pianists, musicians and music-lovers to Dr. J’s blog.  Check back often to see what my latest thoughts on playing the piano and making music are on any given day.  Enjoy.  Talk to you soon.     Dr. J

PS  See what you can have at Play Piano Today With Dr. J

Give the gift of music to yourself, to a friend, to a family member.  I am not talking about yet another CD or Mp3 file.  I am talking about lessons – piano lessons. Give a lasting gift of music or challenge of excitement.

I spent the summer developing an online piano course for adults based on the black keys of the piano.  It is a rote learning course with eight tutorials and daily email and video help.  So, check it out and order a copy today to GIVE YOURSELF THE GIFT OF MUSIC this Christmas – visit Play Piano Today with Dr. J and really just do it!  Learn to play the piano!

So, you are already playing the piano – you have found the joy of investing time and energy into a long-held dream – you have found the joy of sharing your music with others – you have found the joy of starting a project and seeing it through to a beautiful conclusion – you have found the joy of stress reduction and relaxation – you have found the joy of meeting other pianists and sharing your music stories with them – you have found that playing the piano creates joy.

So, now what are you doing to share the joy?   What are you doing to get more people interested in playing the piano? of experiencing the same joy as you have in playing the piano?

I am sure you – like I – have often heard the words “I always wanted to learn to play the piano.”  Well, it is time to spread the joy.  Invite these would-be piano players to your recital.  Make a YouTube video and share it with your would-be pianist friends.  Tell these would- be piano players about “Play Piano Today with Dr. J” and invite them to discover for themselves the total joy in learning to play the piano.

The successful pianist has developed the skill of memorization by using visual, aural, or tactile memorization skills.  The successful pianist knows in what way they most fluently memorize a piece and use the other two skills to enhance and enlarge their memories.  A successful pianist combines all three memorization skills to their complete advantage.

The successful pianist easily and willingly shares their music.  They enjoy giving their gift and allowing the ideas of the composer to flow off the written page into glorious sound.

Are you a successful pianist?  Do you have a toolkit of skills, traits, and habits to aid your journey of studying the piano?  Start today to create your personal toolkit filled with self-discipline, technical skills, reading skills, memorization skills and performance skills.  Allow your joy to show in the playing of the piano.

Are you a successful pianist? Do you have a toolkit of skills, traits, and habits to aid your journey of studying the piano?  Start today to create your personal toolkit filled with self-discipline, technical skills, and reading skills.

A successful pianist has achieved success because of self-discipline.  The successful pianist has learned the importance of regular practice and has learned exactly how to use their practice time efficiently and prudently to achieve a goal.  The self-discipline may come in the form of a practice schedule closely followed day after day or not allowing oneself to attempt pieces beyond their current abilities knowing that with continued self-discipline and goal setting the more difficult piece will be learned at the right time.

The successful pianist has achieved success because of diligently practicing technical exercises.  They know the importance of technical warm-ups and finger dexterity and strengthening exercises and regularly make those part of each practice session.  A successful pianist knows how to work out difficult passages by trying various fingering combinations.  They look for creative ways to move the arms, hands, and fingers to create the desired musical effects.

The successful pianist has achieved success because they have developed music reading skills.  They carefully peruse a piano piece before playing it to make mental notations of key, rhythmic relationships, harmonies, dynamics, and tempo markings.  They develop the trait of looking ahead and of anticipating the flow of the music to and through the cadential points to the conclusion of the music.

The successful pianist has achieved success because they have honed the power of musical analysis.  A piano piece is more than a group of black dots, lines and instructive words on a page.  The successful pianist can hear in their mind the move and flow of the music through harmonic analysis, key and rhythmic relationships, dynamics and tempo.  Before the successful pianist plays an audible note on the piano, they know what sounds they want to create on the piano.

Every piano practice session should include:
A warm-up – time to focus the mind and start moving the fingers
Exercises – scales, Hanon, Czerny, arpeggios
Repertoire – working on chunks in a careful focused manner
Sightreading – read through a four part hymn
Theory – test yourself on key signatures, scales, terms
Reward piece – play something you know just for fun

Happy Practicing on the Piano!

I have the privilege of teaching a wonderful group of adult piano and organ students on a weekly basis.  Some of my students are beginners, some are intermediate and some are advanced.  The reasons they are taking piano lessons vary.  Some of the adult piano students are taking lessons to enhance and broaden their skills, some are learning pedagogical techniques, some are studying theory and others are learning to play the piano simply for pure pleasure and enjoyment.

Each of these students brings to their piano lessons a variety of joys, challenges, needs and desires.  I have to but listen to them and to their playing to gain a wealth of information.  So, what do I learn every week from my piano students?  Patience, perseverance, fortitude, determination, discovery, happiness, pride, knowledge and wisdom.  How wonderful it is to be a teacher of piano.



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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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