Piano Basics

For young instrumental or vocal music students, piano skills add a depth of understanding to the music being performed in those ensembles. Piano skills are very useful to all musicians.

For those who are involved with instrumental or vocal ensembles, these skills add a depth of understanding to the music being performed in those ensembles. The relationship between melody (horizontal) and harmony (vertical) will become obvious both visually and aurally. This understanding will make your ensemble experience more complete and much more fun! If you are one of the few who decide to continue music studies at the college level, you will be required to exhibit proficiency on piano, no matter what your major area of musical study is. Four to six years of piano coaching could save you from taking some of these courses in college. Your knowledge of piano can never be taken from you – it’s like riding a bicycle! Coaching in piano includes: * A basic method book that includes basic hand positions, fingering techniques, exercises, theory, and repertoire. * Supplemental books introducing specific repertoire. * Supplemental sheets of scales and arpeggios. * Q&A discussions on all of the above. I have been involved in music all my life. After four years of accordion instruction at Sunny Shields Music in East St. Louis, Illinois, I participated in the studio’s “teacher training” sessions, and began teaching accordion and popular organ while still in high school. After some years of college, my mother and I operated a small music studio called Dino’s in Cahokia, Illinois – the remnants of the above music store. I am currently Associate Musician at Stella Maris Church on Sullivan’s Island. I am offering private instruction in the students’ homes at the rate of $35 for a 45 minute session. Books range from $7.00 to $15.00. The prospective student’s requirements are: * Access to a piano at home, for both lessons and practice. * A love of music. * A sincere desire to learn the piano. * A commitment to daily practice.

Mission: To prepare young musicians who are NOT pianists for college piano or keyboard skills requirement. Lessons given at student's home.

Operating as usual

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don't shoot the pianist » Blog Archive » Resolution

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[10/14/16]   I do have method books and time if you are a Charleston area music student who plans to study music in college. Just send me a message here.

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From the Top

Do you want to go through this at university, when you would prefer to be practicing your instrument that is NOT the piano? Then maybe you should consider a couple of years of Piano Basics while you're still in high school and living at home!

How much practicing actually happens in a practice room? 11-year-old Michael shares what really happens behind the practice room doors.

From the Top. Great Kids. Great Music. A new video every Thursday: http://bit.ly/1qxYp5T

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Piano: the total brain workout (image: Encore Music Lessons)

Haha! I can teach this to you as well. I doubt that it will take much practice, and the fingerings are not difficult. But I'm quite sure it will NOT be part of your piano proficiency test in college!

Made us chuckle this morning.

Pigini Accordions

Is the accordion (my first instrument!) making a comeback? This video is cute!

Let us introduce you Michela and her world of music, with her accordion.
Michela met Elena Mosca, and they really had fun recording this great video.
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWnM7OIbkcU

[07/27/14]   More details:

For the Piano Basics part, I'm using James Bastien's "The Older Beginner Piano Course" because it does start from the beginning, with proper finger techniques and hand positions, and includes melodic and harmonic theory as it progresses. I also like that it encourages transposition at sight as it introduces new key signatures. I also have online resources of scales, arpeggios, and repertoire to augment the method.

As to the AP Music Theory, I have a copy of the Barron's publication. I believe it's what is being taught locally. It is pretty basic, although a bit more advanced than what is presented in the Bastien books. I think that most HS instrumentalist and vocalists spend most of their time on ensemble music - the bands especially concentrating first on football half-time programs, then getting into the regional and statewide competitions. I think most band directors prefer for their students not to be learning solo repertoire at the same time.

Teachers presenting Music Theory I think do just that - present it. I'm not saying that they don't go into detail or answer specific questions in class. But different students learn differently. It's sometime difficult to explain a concept in the exact way that will be understood. My approach is to discuss, at whatever length and depth is necessary, to ensure the concept is grasped.

This is where I believe "Piano Basics Plus" has an advantage: That the piano keys are a second visualization of the two-dimensional printed music. Working on the piano while studying theory works to reinforce both.

[07/26/14]   "Piano Basics - Plus"
Are you planning on taking Music Theory AP in high school? Would you like to increase your score? Do you have students working on Music Theory AP? I can tutor for the course with or without lessons in Basic Piano. Just send me a message on my regular FB page.

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Mount Pleasant, SC
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