Putting “Play” back in Music


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Classical Training versus “Everyday Music”

I decided to do this because I found that what I was taught classically wasn’t too much help when it came to playing  music needed in people’s day-to-day life. Things  such as playing for a choir, playing a nursery rhyme song for a young child, or playing a popular song you heard on the radio. Everyday pop music is much more about patterns and playing by ear. Unfortunately, conservatories nor classical teachers spend much time developing a musicians audiation ability. But everyday pop musicians often struggle substantially to play any virtuosic-level music, nor do most pop musician have good dexterity, and even fewer of them can read much past the basic single melody-line musical notation, and theory.

Teaching Music Should Combine the Best of Both Worlds, and it should be FUN!

Because of that background of real-world experienced coupled with classical academic training, I have combined two main schools of teaching piano. The Classical Method and the Suzuki Method. I teach piano lessons in the San Diego areas of 4S Ranch, Del Sur, Rancho Penasquitos, and Rancho Bernardo. I do offer mobile teaching for students in those immediate areas.

What will a student learn with me?

The pros and cons of both the Classical Method and the Suzuki method aside, students will learn a compilation of abilities that I call the Core Pillars. The Core Pillars are as follows:

Piano Lessons - Music Pillars Cirriculum

Mastery of the Pillars gives students tools for life

Through the mastery of these pillars, students will be able to play both music they hear from the radio as well as a Mozart Sonata or a Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody. Learning to play by ear, while also being able to sight-read is unfortunately a fairly rare combination. This is largely a result of current teachers having had a previous classical college conservatory experience that placed tremendous emphasis on the virtuoso performances. Unfortunately, far less emphasis is typically placed to whether or not the musician knows what the theoretical foundation is behind the music they are playing. And while learning and memorizing a piece of music is valuable, it is far more valuable that a musician learns theory. Having studied at a conservatory in piano performance myself; I learned many technically difficult pieces and concertos. There is nothing wrong with memorizing pieces that can dazzle people. However, the lessons I learned in theory have served me far-better in life as a musician than any Chopin Etude ever did. What I aim to do as a teacher is to give beginners and advanced students tools in music that will allow them to participate and contribute as a musician throughout their life, rather than simply learning a few pieces of music that will quickly be forgotten after just a few short months.

So in summary, my goal is to give my students the tools that will be valuable to them 30 years from now, and not just to learn something dazzling to play (although if you are ready for Flight of the Bumblebee, we certainly can work on that piece together!). So that when a former student is sitting around a piano on Christmas eve with no music, but their family wants to sing a bunch of Christmas Songs, that they can do it. And when their son/daughter asks to help them to learn a piece of music that they bought online, that they can also help them. And if they are inspired by a poem, that they can compose music to go along with it. I strive to give you the tools of music, and not just how to play a technically challenging Etude or Concerto.

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