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pop-jazz piano keyboard skills?
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The First Step To Success!
How taking private lessons beats YouTube, etc.
There are a million ways how we can get free information today. So why would you spend money on a teacher, you ask.
Truth being told, I too use YouTube and other internet resources to get inspired. But from my experience, nothing beats lessons with a great instructor!
Taking lessons with an experienced instructor offers you benefits the internet just can't give you
In order to explain what I mean by that, let me tell you about my own frustration with trying to improve my piano playing, especially when it comes to contemporary music like blues, jazz, soul, latin, and other popular music genres.
My biggest frustration with practicing
My biggest frustration with practicing pop-jazz piano can be summed up in one simple question: WHERE TO BEGIN?
After I decided to become serious about playing pop and jazz music on the piano, I bought a lot of books and videos on improvisation, piano licks for blues, scales, transcriptions, technique exercises, voicings, and what not.
Unfortunately, having all these great resources made my decision about what to practice even harder. Should I practice scales, learn a song, or maybe study some voicings. But even when I knew what to practice, I still was unsure about how to practice it effectively. Do you know this feeling?
So how does one get out of this jam?
The answer is simple.
We get out of this jam by taking lessons with a great teacher!
What defines a great teacher?
For me a great teacher is someone who has the ability to recognize instantly what a pupil's strengths and deficiencies are, and then, based on those findings, devises a practice method perfectly tailored towards the pupil's personal needs, so that he or she can get better fast.
The ability to do this takes years of experience derived from teaching many students with all kinds of backgrounds. I can honestly say, that after teaching contemporary keyboard classes and private lessons from elementary school to college to retirees for over 25 years, I am exactly this kind of instructor!
Characteristics of a great instructor
There are of course many characteristics a great instructor possesses. Here are some:
Finding the practice method that's right for you
It's a fact that every person learns differently. This means that a practice method that works great for one person, might be a waste of time for someone else, or you.
An experienced teacher can quickly find out how you learn most efficiently so you don't waste time practicing in a way that is wrong for you.
One other important advantage of taking lessons with a real person as opposed to e.g. watching a YouTube video is that you get instant feedback.
For example, whenever you play for your instructor, there is a chance a new deficiency comes to the surface that needs to be addressed. Without an instructor you may have never noticed it.
A great instructor will motivate you
A great instructor motivates you to work harder. Receiving praise by a person you respect can go a long way. A great instructor has a way of letting you know when you are not doing so well in such a way that makes you wanna overcome your deficiencies, rather then becoming discouraged. Again, it takes an experienced instructor to find the right balance, since every student is different.
When to schedule lessons Regularly versus On Demand
From my experience, less experienced piano players benefit greatly from taking lessons on a regular basis. Here is why.
Above all, when taking lessons on a weekly bases under the guidance of a great instructor you will learn how to practice methodically and develop an efficient practice routine, which is the ticket for improving fast!
After you took lessons on a regular bases for a few months, you might expand the time between lessons from once a week to once every two weeks, and so on.
Lessons On Demand
Should you be an advanced players, you might prefer taking lessons on demand. For example, you may take a lesson to address one specific problem, and won't come back until you have another one that needs solved.
Not sure yet?
Check out what some of my students say about me.