CDC-Fall-2007-cropped-smallerAbout the Teacher

Doug Hanvey has played the piano since the age of 6, and has more than a decade of teaching experience. Doug studied classical piano and music composition at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University Bloomington (one of the foremost music schools in the US), later working as an accompanist at the School. In Los Angeles, Doug studied contemporary (jazz/blues) keyboard styles with John Novello, one of the country’s leading keyboard teachers, who has taught and/or played with Chick Corea, Stevie Wonder, Andy Summers of The Police, and Mark Isham, and was mentored as a teacher by Novello. Doug has regularly gigged and worked as a music director in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to his musical training, Doug holds a master’s degree in adult education. He is the author of the instructional methods The Creative Keyboardist and 88 Keys to the Blues (see below) and the composer of hundreds of piano pieces and songs and the score of a full-length musical. He is a member of the Oregon Music Teachers Association.

Piano Methods by Doug Hanvey

The Creative Keyboardist

The Creative Keyboardist is a comprehensive text that covers both basic and advanced keyboard and musicianship skills, and related creative abilities including improvising, composing and arranging. The book is modular, meaning that students may choose to focus on their weaker skills and/or study the areas of most interest to them. Topics include:

  • Aural skills and ear training exercises
  • The fundamentals of reading music
  • “Sight playing” music
  • Playing by ear
  • The four types of musical memory
  • Essential piano technique
  • Intervals and chords
  • Chord inversions
  • Advanced chords and jazz chords
  • Scales, modes, and principles of fingering
  • Efficient and effective practice habits
  • The six steps for learning any piece
  • Composition and songwriting
  • Music appreciation (essential keyboard recordings)
  • Improvisation
  • Arranging and playing lead sheets

The Creative Keyboardist Adult Piano Method

The Creative Keyboardist Adult Piano Method is a step-by-step method of 80+ pieces for learning to play the piano using the leading popular keyboard styles of blues, ragtime, jazz and rock. Since each of these styles was born in America, this method is also an introduction to American popular music by way of the most popular musical instrument ever invented: the piano. Like most methods, the course is progressive, meaning that each piece builds on skills learned in previous ones.

Each of the four main styles of American popular keyboard music are related to the others. Consider a simplified version of generally accepted musical genealogies:

Blues + Ragtime = Jazz

Blues + Country = Rock

Along the way, students learn the musical skills required for becoming an accomplished creative keyboardist, including reading standard piano music and “lead sheets,” playing by ear, and improvising.