What do Hartmann’s Youkai Girl, Love Colored Master Spark, Piggy Horror Song, and Coconut Mall all have in common? They are songs that involve piano playing. In my studio, it’s all about piano. My piano students bring me songs they want to learn and I teach it to them. Especially since the pandemic, that has been the usual order of things. It’s usually the students and sometimes the parents. I recently had a request for Joker and Thief. I mentioned in a previous blog that some of the piano parents are former headbangers.
So what would you do if a student brought you a song that they had been trying to learn on their own? Would you teach it to them or would you tell them to go ahead and keep learning it until you get? In the case of teaching a student to play the Psycho Piggy song from Roblox, I have opted to teach them the song. These days it appears to be a win-win if you can take something from YouTube and make it meaningful, applicable and teachable in your lessons studio.
I recently had a student who was so passionate about learning a song that they figured out the notes as best they could, totally ignoring the key signature. They were so determined to learn the song that they played it in class without regard to time signature or anything else, just the notes. It was because of the correct title that we were able to turn things around. Now we play it in it’s proper major key, in 4/4 time and we’ve figured out the bass notes and chord changes together. It’s become a partnership of sorts between teacher, students and parents who want to hear select music playing in their homes and in their communities.
I’ll share one more example of a Beyond the Purple Dot experience in my classroom. I learned from a parent that my student had initiated a public concert all on his own. It happened in a museum in New York City that happened to house a retro version of a Steinway. I think the proper word is “vintage”. Anyway, the student was so excited about what he could play on piano that he asked permission to play the songs that he had learned in class on this century old piano. I couldn’t help but think that it was a good thing that we decided to let him play what makes him happy during the lessons. It didn’t take that long to realize that the student who had studied with previous teachers before coming to me cares about three things: patriotic songs, folk tunes and Christmas Carols.
It’s all about the piano and the music making. I hope that this week you will discover what makes you smile, musically speaking. I’ll see you on the next blog and podcast. It’s always a pleasure to connect with you through coffee culture and music making.
Peace, Love and Latte