Supporting Your Piano Playing Journey
Written by ANDREW EALES
It is vital for musicians to understand the music we play: its history, context, structure, style and the conventions of music notation used to write it down.
Like many piano teachers, it is my priority to ensure that such knowledge is embedded as a relevant component of lessons. But like many, I find that written work can be difficult to fit into a practical music lesson. Not only so, but some elements are better suited to the classroom context, or to self-directed learning.
Many of my students want to dig into the subject in more depth, learn aspects of theory and composition that go beyond the obvious remit of a piano playing session, whether to develop a broader understanding or simply to pass a Grade 5 Theory exam as a prerequisite to taking one of the higher ABRSM practical grades.
I have always been ready to recommend additional resources and courses that meet the need for a more focused academic approach to learning music theory. And whether for an exam or otherwise, I find that students who develop a more in-depth knowledge of music quickly see benefits in their ongoing playing.
I have previously recommended Dave Hall’s excellent study book and video series There’s More to Playing the Piano, which my students have found helpful, but for those wanting more in-depth support I have been enthused by the number of excellent online courses I have seen recommended.
Keen to know more about suitable options for my students, I have recently interviewed four leading educators delivering music theory courses online. I wanted to compare what they offer, get a feel for their approach, and give them an opportunity to present their courses in their own words…Continue reading Music Theory • Online Courses