Play Piano Today With Dr. J

Posts Tagged ‘online piano tutorials

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

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I hope my piano students learn

How to choose a piece of piano music
How to work through a piece of music
How to find “the music” in a particular piano piece
Choosing an appropriate piece of music can be difficult for an adult pianist. Adults have definite ideas about the music they want to learn.  They are musically literate, they listen, they search the Internet, they buy music, they share music, and they find pieces they want to play now!  It is my job to help them discover the beauty in pieces that are within their technical capabilities.

Once the piano piece or pieces are chosen, it is then my task to help them expediently work through the chosen music.  To look for patterns, to work out fingerings, to assist with note reading skills and to make the learning of the piece a constant pleasure.

Once the notes are in place and the piano piece is beginning to take shape, I help my piano students discover the music in the music.  To play the piece more from an emotional perspective then simply an intellectual viewpoint.  We look at dynamics and nuances of phrases and rhythms.  We look for ways to be creative with the black dots on the page and ways to free themselves from the strictures of simply obeying the written symbols when learning to play the piano.

I have been teaching adults how to play the piano and the organ for many years.  It has been challenging and satisfying at the same time.  Every week I learn so much from my students including patience, perseverance, how to overcome challenges, enthusiasm, happiness, knowledge and of course wisdom.

But, what is it I hope my students learn from me?  I hope they learn

How to choose a piece of piano music
How to work through a piece of music
How to find “the music” in a particular piano piece
How to share their music
How to find joy in making music

Oh and did I mention, I also hope my piano students learn patience, perseverance, overcoming challenges, enthusiasm, happiness, knowledge and wisdom from me.  Yes, the give and take between teacher and piano student is continuous.  The learning and knowledge are constantly shared.  That is why I continue to teach adult students how 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.

Every productive piano practice session is composed of several things.  First, each practice session should have a specific goal in mind.  Is that goal to be able to play a specific cadence of a repertoire piece successfully or to work out an intricate rhythm, or to practice technique only with exercises and scales or to work on memory?  The possibilities are endless, but every piano practice session should have a goal.

Once the goal is set, make sure you know how the finished passage or exercise, or cadence will sound.

Second devise a piano practice plan.  Determine how much time you will spend on specific activities or when you will let yourself move to the next challenge.

What methods will you use?  How will you get to your goal – by using a metronome, by practicing rhythms away from the keyboard, by playing short sections, or by working on fingering?

Determine how you will know when you are finished for the piano practice session.  Has the timer run out or are you finished when you are tired or when you have accomplished your goal.

Answer those questions and your piano practice sessions will be a sucess and it will be a joy to make music 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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  • freeonlinemusiclessons: Hey nice blog. I just picked up you RSS FEEDS. Check out my new website, you’ll like it! http://freeonlinemusiclessons.com
  • 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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