If you’re a piano teacher who teaches adults, and are always on the lookout for new and innovative adult methods, read on!
I’ve occasionally mentioned in this blog that I’ve been developing a new adult piano method based on the popular American keyboard styles of blues, ragtime, jazz and rock. To my knowledge, there isn’t a well-constructed adult piano method not largely based on European folk and classical music. I think it’s about time!
I’ve used the repertoire in my method (both arrangements and originals) for years with many dozens, if not hundreds, of adult piano students, with overall student satisfaction and excellent skill development. This year I plan to finish a complete first draft and organize a group of teachers who would like to test it with their own adult students (more about that in an upcoming post).
The introduction to the course will give you a better sense of it:
The Creative Keyboardist Adult Piano Method is a step-by-step method for learning to play the piano using the popular keyboard styles of blues, ragtime, jazz and rock, with a dash of country. You’ll also learn folk music such as the African-American spirituals and work songs that form the primordial roots of these styles.
Since all of these styles originated in the United States, this method can also be considered an introduction to American popular music by way of the most popular musical instrument ever invented – the piano, and its modern equivalents the digital piano and synthesizer. In fact, blues, ragtime, jazz and rock are the true classical music of America, and the basis for contemporary popular music such as modern pop, R&B, alternative rock, electronic music, etc.
Each of the major styles is related to the others. Consider a simplified version of generally accepted musical genealogies:
Blues + Ragtime = Jazz
Blues + Country = Rock
Styles aside, the focus of this method is learning how to play. As you work through the course, you’ll cultivate a spectrum of proficiencies required for becoming an accomplished keyboard player, including reading skills, rhythm skills, technique, chords and enough music theory so you’ll understand what you are doing. You’ll also be introduced to basic principles and tools for nurturing your own musical creativity through improvising, arranging and composing.
I’ve previously published one arrangement from the course, the spiritual Jericho. If you would like more information about the method, or might want to become part of a group of teachers who will be using and testing it with their own students, feel free to get in touch with me.