What Most Piano & Piano Trainings Miss...
One of the things that I see missing in most piano and vocal trainings…is that the training tries to get you to do it “correctly”. Doing things correctly, the first time, is one of best ways to get along with bosses and parents and one of the worst possible ways to learn a movement skill (like singing and piano playing).
Why is this?
Several reasons, but today let’s just look at a couple.
If you don’t experience many different ways of starting a chord on piano or singing a note, then you cannot make distinctions between ways of starting a chord on piano or singing note.
So if you’ve only been presented with the “correct” way to play that particular passage on the piano or sing that particular note, you will not have experienced the “incorrect” way so that you can feel and sense the difference between the two (or really 100 different possible ways…which very experienced musicians know well).
Not only that, if you make a mistake, and play the wrong note, you will beat yourself up for getting the wrong note…because you were “supposed” to play this other note. So instead of learning piano, you’re learning self-criticism. But you are already good at that. Let’s actually learn something new…which is to enjoy the sounds you hear and play, right or wrong.
Not only that…slow down and recall the performances of singers, pianists or other musicians or even non-musical performances that blew you away. Did those performers seem tightly confined and stuck and robotic, trying to be “correct”?…or free, playful, expressive, authentic? Did you come away from those performances thinking “wow they did it correctly!” or “wow I could feel the emotion, the music, the moment?”
When you practice anything, you are also practicing the state of being you want to be in when you perform. If you don’t have a sense of freedom, playfulness, etc. from the start, but instead are just trying to follow rules, then that’s how you’ll likely perform…or how you’ll jam out with others…which doesn’t scream “fun”.
And what gives you a delicious sense of freedom, playfulness, etc? Well one of those things is freedom from rules, and/or rules that you enjoy or even.. breaking the rules.
To truly understand the rules in music, you need to break them. Then you’ll see “oh, that’s what it's like to play or sing out of tune…and oh sometimes singing/playing a “wrong” note is actually a harmony! Woah!”.
This not only helps you not take mistakes so seriously (which often distracts you from the next notes you need to play, so that you miss those notes on top of the first note you missed) but it actually makes you more adaptive as a musician…if something goes wrong, you know a bunch of different ways to make it right, taking it in stride and playing on, vs having no idea what to do the moment you’re off script, and losing all sense of enjoyment and instead being stuck in a negative thought loop about how you’re just not ____ enough.
Growing up, I was a rule follower to a fault. This worked well for staying out of trouble, but not for understanding how music is made more beautifully. Fortunately, I didn’t know the rules of piano when I started. So from the beginning, I was in an exploratory mode, rather than trying to play “correctly”. That meant that playing piano felt, well, playful!
That’s the special magic of synergistic piano lessons…you’ll learn the rules in a way that doesn’t confine you, but free you.
You can play piano, with zero sense of play. In fact, in most piano lessons, that is the default. Bored students playing pieces on the piano…where the goal is to “play the right notes” rather than to fully experience musical playfulness. There is a reason why we don’t say “work the piano”. It's not a job and most of the best professional pianists come to the piano with a profound sense of play, even when their career is on the line.
So when it comes to the Feel Better, Sing Better online class, or piano or singing lessons, we are going to learn the rules…by breaking them. We’ll make completely ridiculous sounds as your ears/voice/fingers begin to sense how those sounds and movements are part of a beautiful, musical whole. If you want to make some real serious progress…you gotta play.
The surprising part is…if you play the right AND wrong notes when you read sheet music, with awareness and intention, you not only start releasing your inner muse, but you end up with more accuracy and precision in your playing.
And that is the magic of how we’ll learn to play piano, to sing, to embody the music, to play from your heart (rather than your head, or just what’s on the sheet music, etc.).
If you want to take piano lessons, not to be a concert pianist, but to connect with your creative, rule-breaking musical self, learn more here.
If you want to connect with your creative, playful, rule-breaking musical self through singing, checkout the Feel Better Sing Better Class Here.
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Gave me the belief I could learn to sing. .”
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Chris is an awesome teacher! He is super kind and super funny. I have no previous experience, and with only two months of lessons I already see significant improvement in my voice/piano skills! Definitely recommend doing both piano and vocal lessons simultaneously. Come to Chris, I promise you won’t regret it!