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Where Traditional Music Education Went Down The Wrong Path

Being completely besotted with playing the piano myself, I believe that unfortunately Western music education, that is generally focussed on teaching people to make music by teaching them how to read, has created a society where now there is this mythical idea that making music is only either for those who are mysteriously gifted or for people who started at 3 years of age and practise for 8 hours a day…

it always struck me that I commonly meet two types of piano players:

  1. People who...

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Put On Your Blues Shoes!

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GET INTO IT!

Hold on to your seats (and listen for that I IV V, some grace notes and riffs):

Solo piano; young Luka Sestak (a few years ahead for some of you).

Here is Diana Krall, playing a blues in Bb “Baby Baby, One More Time"

Pinetop Perkins: slow blues

Sweet Home Chicago

Here is Elvis playing Blue Suede Shoes, (he is using A, D and E for his I, IV and V chords.)

Oscar Peterson C Jam Blues

Stormy Monday T Bone Walker

I like this Stormy Monday by Rose Winters too:

And by Johnny...

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How to get there

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With PianoEasy you learn a lot. Within a term people are playing around with their repertoires, making up their own blues or working with all their chords playing pop songs. Some people may already be composing their own song. Within two terms some people are doing lots of improvising; with the blues, with our jazz chords, with all those flat and minor chords. Within a year people are also reading quite advanced pieces and no one’s repertoire is the same. Within two years...

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Feel the fear and play it anyway

PianoEasy Students

I love all of my students. I am so proud of them and I am so happy that I have been able to help them on the joyous journey of musical self expression. Everyone grows together, we have times of fun and laughter, of exploration and celebration and of inexorable beauty when making music together surpasses anything words can say.

And then I go and ruin it all by saying something stupid like “end of year concert”. Actually I try and disguise the trauma by calling it our “end of...

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Fake music - Sad

Musicians Graph

It’s a tragedy that nowadays people generally feel bad about their playing! It’s true! Most people who have had, sometimes years of piano lessons apologise and tell you they are not very good. Even performing musicians say they are scared of being found out for not being good enough. They often will tell you that they are just self-taught and can’t even read. Only a small percentage of our top players and some people who are blessed with a bit less of the “I care...

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Pianos are your friend

Love Thy Piano

  • Pianos are there for you whether you’re happy or sad or however you feel.
  • Pianos connect you with other people, and people from other places and times.
  • Pianos don’t judge you.
  • Pianos make you sound good.
  • Pianos are easy to learn to play, but impossible to outgrow.
  • Pianos don’t get smelly when they get a work out.
  • You don’t need to give up piano when you get old.
  • Pianos don’t want to talk about football.
  • Pianos don’t get lost easily.
  • Pianos don’t get...

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Ten ideas to connect with your inner musician

  1. Open up to a fresh take on an old piece in your repertoire.
    Pay close attention to the way you're playing each note, your posture and breathing, and think of how you are making those hammers hit the strings. Try playing loud, soft, fast, slow, sustained, snappy, straight, or swinging - see how the piece can change completely when you mix up the dynamics. You can also try changing the piece itself by adding notes or doubling up on them, changing words and melodies or altering the rhythm.
  2. ...

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Mood Music: How making and enjoying music can benefit your mental health

 

Image credit: healthline.com

 

Whether we write music for a living or have never touched an instrument in our lives, we all have our own special songs to listen to when we're feeling down. It's widely accepted that music can have a positive effect on your mood, which is probably why Spotify was estimated to have 159 million active usersby the end of last year - everyone loves listening to music, but what about playing it?

 

A child psychiatry team from the University of...

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Salvado's Story: How an Impromptu Piano Concert Saved a Regional Church Mission

About 170 years ago, Dom Rosendo Salvado walked 130 km from New Norcia to Perth to ask the Bishop there for funds to support his mission.

 

To put that into perspective, the average Australian only walks 3.2 km per day - and after Salvado walked the distance of three marathons to ask for those funds, he was turned down.

 

Still in his tattered long-distance-walking clothes, Salvado organised and performed a piano concert in the Old Perth Courthouse, where he played for...

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Learning about music through community - and vice versa

At the beginning of this winter an ad crossed my Instagram feed saying I could quickly and easily learn piano. I wanted to learn piano but I kept scrolling because I thought I didn't have the time or money. The same piano studio crossed my feed again a day later, this time with a video of someone playing a sweet, melancholy tune on the piano. The music was beautiful and clearly had an impact on me, because the third time I saw a PianoEasy ad on my phone I caught the bus into Fremantle to...

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