Piano Lessons

Piano Lessons in Horsham

My approach to teaching the piano

Let me say straight away that if you're looking for a piano teacher in Horsham to teach you how to play classical music, Beethoven sonatas, Chopin concertos and Mozart etudes etc., then I am not the piano teacher in Horsham for you. I focus on the modern contemporary styles of music, pop, rock, blues, jazz etc. As a piano player and singer I teach more of an accompaniment style although I do teach how to play melody as well.

When beginning to play the piano I was more interested in learning how to accompany myself while singing. I was influenced by the singer songwriters and piano players such as Billy Joel and Elton John and wanted to play what they were playing. I could already read music as I learned to play the clarinet and saxophone as a young boy but found it very difficult to find piano arrangements that didn't contain the melody of the song but instead showed you what the artist was actually playing to accompany the vocal melody. This is still the case today; most piano sheet music and song books that you can find which say they are arranged for piano and vocal just give you the melody and a bass line which you don't want if you want to sing the melody or accompany another singer or instrumentalist.

In order to be able to play full, rich and rhythmical accompaniments, you need a thorough knowledge of harmony, rhythm, chords, chord progressions and chord voicings. This is what I teach. Understanding how chords are built, different ways of voicing chords, common chord progressions and how different chords and keys relate to each other arms you with the knowledge to be able to play without being restricted by the notes on the page. It gives you the freedom to be able to play your own arrangements of tunes and not to be bound by what someone else has written down. Once you understand the building blocks of music you can be much more creative, develop the ability to improvise and play what you hear in your head and what you hear on recordings. Our ears are the best tools we have when we play the piano. I teach students to really listen to what they are playing and to continually develop and improve their musical ear.

I have met many technically proficient piano players who can only play if they have the music in front of them and can only play exactly what is written on the page or pieces that they have memorized. Whilst this is a skill in itself, I think it is very restricting and limiting and allows no room for creativity and improvisation. I have also met many people who had piano lessons as children, passed a few grades and have never played since. This is often because the traditional method of teaching piano which focuses on scales and arpeggios is essentially quite boring, bears little relation to actually playing songs and is why most people give up as they have had their love of music beaten out of them by these monotonous and repetitive exercises.

Playing music is predominantly an aural pursuit and should be fun. I encourage students to play with feeling and to express themselves through the music that they want to play rather than sticking to the traditional grades system and music that the student doesn't like, doesn't want to play and nobody wants to hear.

My approach to teaching the piano and keyboard is to convey my love and passion for music to the student in a creative, imaginative and fun way and to encourage creativity and individuality rather than to suppress it. If you are looking for a piano and keyboard teacher in Horsham and would like to explore this way of learning to play the piano then give me a call to book piano or keyboard lessons in Horsham or book lessons online by completing the booking form. If you have any other questions then feel free to call, email me or check out the FAQ section.

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