Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Learning Piano Like an Art Lesson!

I've always admired the method visual artists use to create with. They know what they're doing. And they understand how to go about finishing a painting. I wondered why music instruction couldn't be more like that.

Some of you may remember Bob Ross, the PBS painter with the big afro and serene smile. Now here was a guy who bypassed art school entirely - yet was able to create complete paintings in less than 30 minutes. Astonishing! And he could teach his method to others. I found this very inspiring.

My "method" is somewhat similar. Instead of giving you a palette of colors, I give you chords. Instead of creating a mountain landscape, you create aural landscapes. How? By understanding how to use your materials!

For example, in Lesson 5: "Winter Scene," you use the ostinato technique along with a few chords to improvise with. You see, once you have your materials and know how to use them, it makes creating very easy. You now can focus on capturing a mood and can actually play what you feel!

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