(or maybe not), and come back the next
week either sheepish or proud to show
off your new skills.
For many families, finding a local
teacher is the answer to the “Now what?”
question. Don’t be so quick to dismiss
online lessons though. Learning online
has become a popular way for homeschool families to learn the piano along
with many other subjects.
Sure, it is easy and convenient, but
there are many other benefits of online
learning like not needing to travel, learning on your own schedule, recordkeep-ing, and community.
If using the Internet to learn the piano,
be cautious of using sites like YouTube.
Sure, it’s easy to find a tutorial on just
about anything on these sites. However,
this unfettered access to information can
cause students to learn less, not more. It’s
a fact that information overload can result in a loss of ability to make decisions
or process information.
Look for a program that has a clear
structure so you know what you are going to learn in the end.
No One Could Play “Happy
On more than one occasion, I have heard
the stories of a room full of trained pianists not being able to play a simple song
like “Happy Birthday” without music in
front of them.
As a professional, gigging musi-
cian myself, I have learned in my more
than 25 years of teaching that there are
six steps that successful students must
master in order to avoid ever saying these
words: “I can’t play without my music.”
Let’s focus on the last step, improvisa-
tion, because this is the ingredient that
is missing in many traditional piano les-
sons. Improvisation is what allows us as
pianists to create music on the spot and it
can be taught to students of all ages.
In my HomeSchoolPiano.com method, I teach improvisation to my students
using a system I developed that uses
rhythm and notes to help students find
success each step of the way.
You can try it yourself. Start by choosing three words like, “strawberry, chocolate, banana.” Next, say the words and
clap the ‘beats’ of the syllables.
Say the words again but this time play
You Can Do It
around with the length of each syllable.
Try saying a long “straw . . . ber-ry” and a
By changing around words that you
already know, you can quickly start to
create new patterns from what you’ve
already learned. This is the basis of im-
provisation–putting together what we
know in new ways to create something
new to us.
You’re never too old to learn the piano. It
takes practice, but with the right method
and a good attitude, anyone can learn to
play the instrument! HomeSchoolPiano
.com has many free lessons to get you
To your piano success!
Willie Myette is a husband and proud father of three. Willie has written over a
dozen books for beginners to learn improvisation at the piano and has created a vast
online learning program called Jazzedge®.
Willie’s HomeSchoolPiano™ program is
used by both homeschool children and their
families to learn the piano from home using any Internet enabled device. With up
to six students per household, the Home
SchoolPiano program is a convenient and
cost-effective way for the entire family to
share in the gift of music. Try a free lesson
at www.homeschoolpiano.com or call 401-
too old to learn