Basic Outline of my Method for Teaching

EVERY STUDENT IS DIFFERENT. I really like to encourage everyone to play the keyboard and not get bottled up in doing everything in eensy weensy steps.   I did not do that when I started, and I don't think anybody has to.   There ARE important eensy weensy steps things, but that doesn't mean you can't get some good sound going right away. The trick is to use creativity with your hands to set yourself in motion.  I call it "wading into the water," and by that I mean the student comes on in, and takes a chance.   We play together in lessons to build the musical sense of timing, etc.   It's really pretty fun. It may go against what some expect instruction to be, and they stay on the shore dry as toast.   No butter, jam, nothing. I've seen that before and patience comes in handy here.   Right after we push you in. 
    Your hands being able to keep up with what you are thinking so you can be in the moment is what improvising and creativity relies upon . That and being a little rebellious.   In fact, a tad of rebellion combined with diligence, though seemingly strange bedfellows, are the combination that gets the juices flowing.

My role as teacher is to give the student the tools to be creative.   This may be done by:   Learning songs and rearranging them; hand independence exercises that develop fluid shifting from left to right; learning chords and playing by 'shapes'; by trading riffs (us going back and forth) and patterns and building a solo; by studying soloing forms; learning groovin' basslines; by learning melodies off recordings; by learning chord voicings; numerous creative games; by exploring the nature of musical imagery, and dialogue; or by just good old sight reading. Each student has a different 'way in' to playing the keyboards, and here at WackoWorld, I help you find it 
    Here are some specifics: I stress rhythm , it's the backbone of your playing; command of chords (with many creative 'games'); grasp of song forms (their structure ) ; hand independence ; basic ability to read a chord chart (lead sheet, fake book, etc); and melodic invention. 
    All music genres are fair game, with an immediate exposure to blues, rock, pop and funk, classical pieces to develop facile fingering, and jazz.   Even practicing scales incorporates free play.

Just to be clear, improv is not required of a student, and a program geared towards reading and fingering is a fine thing as well. We frequently review how the program, designed for you, is working and make sure the direction is flowing towards your immediate and long-term goals.

1 comment

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