Play Piano Today With Dr. J

Posts Tagged ‘online piano lessons

The weather outside is still pretty frightful in many places in the US or just that end of winter dreary, so…………why not spend the last of those dark and dreary days practicing the piano?  Nothing to do outside, still too early for spring gardening and all the other excuses – so………..why not practice?

It is time to make great music and enjoy yourself.  Happy practicing! Dr. J


After answering the questions, “What did I do well?” and “What can I do differently?”  you must ask yourself, “How can I make changes in my piano practice and performance?”

The third question is one that is also often slighted.  Piano students are excellent at knowing what should be done better but knowing how to make changes to create better sounding music is often a mystery.

What are the root causes of piano music played poorly or with mistakes?  Incorrect notes, inaccurate rhythm, and carelessly performed cadences form the core of poorly played piano exercises and repertoire and keep a pianist from progressing.  In addition, poor fingering, sloppy pedaling, tempo variations,and little regard for dynamics and articulations exacerbate practice sessions and inevitably lead to lackluster performances.

It has been said that an incorrect note played three times simultaneously takes thirty three repetitions to correct.  It is imperative that notes be played correctly on the piano from the start.

The playing of inaccurate rhythms can undermine the effectiveness of any piano piece.  Rhythmic accuracy is attained with the same careful attention to detail as note accuracy.

Analyzing cadences away from the piano keyboard to determine the movement of the bass line and the chordal progression is a must.  Knowing the make-up of a cadence before putting it on the keyboard will help the pianist avoid a change of tempo or the playing of incorrect notes in these most difficult but most necessary parts of any piano piece.

Attack the root causes of poor performance in every practice session.  Make note accuracy, rhythmic precision and well-prepared cadences an absolute must in every practice or performance of exercises or repertoire of the piano.

Are you learning to play the piano?  Have you been playing the piano for awhile?  Are you taking piano lessons to enhance your skills?  Are you studying the piano to play for friends and family and in recitals?  Are you playing for your own enjoyment?

Every person who plays the piano no matter at what level needs to keep a reasonable perspective about the learning process and their successes and challenges.  One way to keep a healthy perspective about playing the piano is to ask yourself three questions as you work through exercises and repertoire or find yourself performing for a You Tube video or for a live audience.

Ask yourself

What did I do well?
What can I do better?
How can I make changes?

The first question, what did I do well? is the question that is rarely asked when starting to learn a new skill like playing the piano.  It also is the question a seasoned pianist needs to ask themselves and rarely does.  But, it is a very important question.

Any person playing the piano needs to notice and celebrate small
accomplishments.  They must recognize what was done well.  Learning to play the piano involves physical, mental and reasoning skills simultaneously.  It is a challenging instrument to play.  Thus the absolute need to celebrate accomplishments whether they be successfully crossing a thumb under on a scale passage fingering, using the damper pedal cleanly, performing a piece by memory, or recognizing a key signature is critical to one’s self esteem in learning to play the piano.

I discovered in all my years of teaching that what people really want to do from the first time they sit down at a piano is play a song. Right now, today.

Most people in our busy world don’t have the time for traditional weekly lessons, traditional lessons in which scales and exercises come first and the actual playing of a song might take weeks or months.  They want the thrill of success in hearing themselves play songs immediately.  They want to amaze their friends with their playing prowess.  They are looking for a way to quickly master songs and then deal with the how and why of playing later.

So, with those piano players in mind, the rote pentantoic method was created.  This method is a really enjoyable and successful way to do just what many people want to do and that is to play a song on the piano today.  The pentatonic method would allow that, but the challenge remained of how to get the information to would be piano players quickly and efficiently.

Once I became aware of just how many people want to play the piano without the encumbrances of a teacher and weekly scheduled lesson times, I looked for a solution for those students.   I developed the concept of downloadable piano tutorials.

With these tutorials, the student decides when to try the ideas, and better yet, these tutorials can be viewed right in the comfort of the student’s home using their own keyboard or piano.   Never again does a person have to make sure to block out every Thursday to get to the studio of a piano teacher halfway across town and back.

These pentatonic method tutorials start exactly where would be pianists want to start with playing songs.  They do not start with the, this is a G on the treble clef, stuff.  The idea is to play the piano today.  Not tomorrow or next week.  Today.

Downloadable tutorials give the would be pianist all the information and skills needed to wow their friends and amaze themselves.  The tutorials let the beginner hear how awesome your song will sound and show the student just how to get these mind blowing skills.

The tutorials can be reviewed time and again until the player is You Tube ready. Besides that, learning to play songs on the piano with the rote pentatonic method really is fabulously fun.  So start playing the piano using the pentatonic method and play songs on the piano.

Downloadable Piano Tutorials – Save Money, Time and Learn At Your Pace

There are many people who spend hundreds and thousands of dollars trying to learn the piano, but never actually PLAY the piano!  These same people waste countless hours traveling to and from private lessons and practicing boring drills and exercises but never really PLAYING music.

You can take private lessons for $75-$100/lesson or buy courses that cost hundreds of dollars and still end up not PLAYING the piano.

There are so many frustrated “wanna-be” pianists in the world today who have spent loads of money on private teachers, study courses, and instruments.  But, there is a more economical way to experience the joy of creating music on the piano.

Downloadable piano tutorials provide the same information an expensive teacher or a set of theory, technique and repertoire books. Some mini-courses with a half-dozen or more downloadable tutorials for piano study do not cost as much as just one private traditional lesson.

Downloadable piano tutorials are also a way to learn to play the piano at your own pace.  The information is on your computer waiting for you to explore.  The teacher is always right in your home providing playing examples and guiding you through the more intricate technical aspects of playing the piano.  You can watch the online videos once, twice, a dozen times, or whenever a clarification is needed on a song you are learning to play on the piano.

What does a person need to become a pianist?  A piano and a desire to play?  Or is there more to it than that?

Definitely a keyboard instrument is a necessity.  Having an instrument on which to develop your skills and share your music is a must if a person is to become a pianist.

Having a method to study and a teacher to guide you are also important.

However, most everything else that allows a person to become a pianist is intrinsic.  These are values that come from inside a person.  We will say that the first intrinsic value, the innate desire is there to become a pianist, but what else is necessary?

Attention to detail
Goal Orientation

To understand what it takes to become a pianist a person must take the journey in his or her own way, using his or her own abilities, fulfilling his or her own dreams, passions and desires with effort, patience and perseverance in his or her own time.

Visit Play Piano Today With Dr. J if you are ready to start the piano playing adventure.


  • None
  • freeonlinemusiclessons: Hey nice blog. I just picked up you RSS FEEDS. Check out my new website, you’ll like it!
  • 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.