Elements For Success
Oral/Aural Tradition / Learning to Play by Ear:
Students enjoy learning to play songs at the piano from the very first lessons. Folk Songs and simple classical pieces are a rich resource used for this purpose. A beginning piano student is taught to play dozens of songs to help develop their ear as they also gradually learn to read music notation and chord symbols.
Beat Competence: “I Got Rhythm”
Students are taught that the piano is a percussion instrument that can sing, and as such a solid grounding in rhythm and beat competence is essential to becoming a pianist. Steady Beat and Rhythm are instilled by learning elementary conducting, drumming along with a thorough study of counting.
Solfege (Do, Re, Mi) Sight Singing
The European system of “Solfege” is taught alongside our piano playing to improve a student’s ear.
I had the privilege of studying Solfege from a master teacher, Dr. Matthew Colucci at The New School of Music in Philadelphia as a boy. This class gave me a music grounding that I have relied on now for many years. Solfege is standard academic fair at all American and European University schools of music and was certainly a requirement in my years at The Boston Conservatory of Music, my Alama mater. Students learn to sing, and learn to hear, and thus we call this whole process Ear Training.
Harmony and the study of chords is taught through a practical approach that helps students learn to use their knowledge to play by ear.