There is no better instrument to learn music on than the piano, with that distinct visual piano landscape of two black, three blacks, courtesy of maths proficionado Pythagoras. Our brains really like those sort of patterns. If the keyboard was just black white black white it would be near impossible to figure out where to start, go or finish. Also with the piano it is impossible to play those off-tones, that new trumpet or violin players are so good at.
PianoEasy is a “play to read” rather than “read to play” program, showing students the songs on the piano before showing them what the sheet music looks like. This is much more natural and effective. Imagine if we taught our kids how to read and spell in order to learn to talk, and have them only speak from a script. That would really inhibit natural expression and creativity. PianoEasy players commonly become much better readers than people who have only learned how to read, but who often don’t quite understand the patterns in the music, the landscape they are working with and the common progressions that the music provides.
Right from the beginning PianoEasy familiarises players with the intervals between notes, which are the same in the fingers, on the piano, in the chords we learn and on the treble and bass staves of the sheet music.
In the long term PianoEasy players learn everything there is to playing the piano and understanding western music, grasping the theory of what they’re playing and why it sounds and works like that. Theory is always explained in context of the songs we’re playing; never as a prerequisite.
Music is nature expressing itself. Did you know that at its smallest particle level matter is vibration? So you could say that the universe is made of music. PianoEasy helps people figure out how to connect their bodies and minds with the piano to let the music express itself.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do you think I can learn to play the piano?
Yes. In 20 years there has not been one PianoEasy student that couldn’t learn how to play. If you want to get good you have to make a bit of a commitment and put time in.
Do I have to sing?
Absolutely. Singing is our birth right and the instrument that we can already play without any further tools. You don’t have to sing well though. You can sing badly or out of tune, or in a whispery voice. It’s so great when within a year you can accompany yourself to any song that you can sing; you don’t want to miss out on that fun! (For those not keen on singing yet, we do plenty of instrumental songs though. Movie themes, blues improvisation, classical, jazz and we learn how to play the melody with the right hand while you’re using chords in the left.)
Do we learn to read?
Very much so; reading (and writing!) is a wonderful skill, which allows you to access other people’s music and for music to be stored without having to memorise it. Traditional players often comment that reading music becomes much easier and makes more sense once they learn with PianoEasy.
Are there PianoEasy exams?
No exams. You’ll know how you’re doing from experiencing your increased ability and knowledge, from seeing how your piano repertoire is growing and how you’re getting more and more “safe pieces” that you can trot out any time. You’ll notice how over time you’ll be able to tackle more and more advanced music. PianoEasy does nurture opportunities for sharing your music, encouraging piano clubs, play dates and piano parties.
How long does it take?
It takes the rest of your life. There’s always more music to learn, but you’ll find that it’s about the journey, not the destination.