Saturday, September 13, 2008

Daily piano tip #10.

Take lessons.

There is a common misconception that piano lessons are only for those interested in learning the classics. Regardless of what you are playing, to do it properly and with any kind of proficiency you need skills that are best gained through regular piano lessons with a certified teacher; not books, not video courses, not trying to learn by yourself. The point of piano lessons is not to learn how to play a particular piece, but to learn proper posture and technique, how to practice and read a musical text, how to follow and play a melody and an accompaniment, how to properly play different types of passages integral to pianistic writing -like scales, arpeggios and chords- transposition and music theory, etc. You can apply the above to whatever you are playing. The point of taking of piano lessons is not to learn how to plunk out a couple of tunes (or even a lot of tunes) but to have all the skills to sit down and learn anything you want to learn, from Mozart and Bach to the complete works of Richard Clayderman and the theme from Titanic.


  1. There is always this misconception in students that teachers yes, only teach classical. I think its popular amongst many students when first taking up piano.

    At the same time ... wouldn't you agree Ahmed that the theoretical approach is different? That a classical pianist can assist a student in interpretation and approach ... whereas a jazz teacher's approach would be a different jargon base or theory base?

  2. But for someone just beginning to learn the piano, it isn't enough to make a real difference; in my opinion.

    A good classical piano teacher will still teach a beginner about different kinds of chords and let him improvise or write a few of his own melodies, if he sees that that is what the student likes to do. A good jazz piano teacher still has to teach his beginner the very same basics that every single piano teacher has been teaching since Mozart: where the notes are, how to sit, how to coordinate both hands, how to actually place the hands on the keyboard, etc.