Different approaches to learning piano

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I am a parent interested in learning to play and also exposing our two young children to the piano. Are there alternative methods to what I'll call the "rote scale" approach? I'm wondering whether there's a way to get a feel/ear for where the notes are, possibly learning chords in this manner. When I sit at the piano and tinker around I enjoy just joining notes and chords that sound good to me. Is there anything out there? Thank you for any feedback, Michael

-- Michael Moylan (mfmoylan@yahoo.com), July 03, 2002


Perhaps you can find a teacher who includes improvisation and composition as part of his/her regular piano curriculum. Or there are teachers who specializes in the Suzuki method (make sure they have received the training and didn't just buy a Suzuki book from the store). This method starts with playing by ear and then moves to note-reading. The parent attends all lessons and participates in daily practicing. Maybe one of these methods would meet your needs.

-- anon (noname_poster@yahoo.com), August 18, 2003.

I have heard of the Suzuki method, but am not familiar with it. However, you can also learn a "chord" approach to the piano, sometimes referred to as the "pro" method. You learn chords and rhythms that you can use to play popular music in fake books, for example.

Why do you want to learn piano? Do you want to play classically, or are you interested mainly in being able to play most popular music? It is quicker to learn the chord method for piano, just as it is faster to learn chord method for guitar, but I do realize that there are those who look down on this method.

"David Higginson's Professional Chord System for Keyboard" is one such system--I'm sure there are others out there. This particular system consisted of 2 books, 4 video tapes and an audio tape. I forget how much it was but at the time I think it was over $100, which, while not cheap is a lot cheaper than private lessons, and of course you can use it for you and your entire family.

I even see what is called "chord method" taught in local community education classes, usually as an all day seminar-type class.

Try also asking at your local music store. I found out about the above system because the author actually came to the music store and demonstrated it. I read music more or less (played flute in band), so I found his approach refreshing compared to the thought of years of taking conventional piano lessons.

-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), August 18, 2003.

Here's the link to the site--man, has the price gone up!


-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), August 18, 2003.

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