Whenever I go to a Borders bookstore here in San Diego, I make it a point to look at the art instruction books. I'm not a visual artist, but I've always enjoyed the step-by-step approach authors of the better books take to teach students how to create a finished painting.
You get to see it all demonstrated within 2 pages or so.
Everything is explained and while I may not understand it by just reading about it, (you have to do it!) a complete finished painting was always the goal - a very attractive goal too for someone wanting to learn how to paint!
You have something worth working for by doing this. I've always wondered why music instruction couldn't be more like this. If you could explain, in a step-by-step approach, how to complete a piece of music, then students would be able to sidestep the tiresome harmony and theory courses taught at college and University.
This is what I've tried to do with my online piano lessons and while there is nothing wrong with learning theory, it's not the end all be all that many piano teachers would like you to believe.
Instead, a step-by-step method, where students get the materials they need to create with right away (scale, chords, technique) can be used with great success! Students are able to use these materials to create unique compositions and improvisations of their own!
Edward Weiss is a pianist/composer and webmaster of Quiescence Music's online piano lessons. He has been helping students learn how to play piano in the New Age style for over 14 years and works with students in private, in groups, and now over the internet. Visit http://www.quiescencemusic.com/ now and get a FREE piano lesson!