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Cross post from Piano Forum..

Posted By: ShaneLu

Cross post from Piano Forum.. - 02/18/13 04:39 PM

Hi Everyone-so I posted this in the Piano Forum incorrectly so I'll post here:

Little bit of information about myself - I was born into a musical family where my dad is a DMA out of UMichigan and my mom a concerto pianist out of China. Needless to say I was brought up in a very musically competitive environment. I grew up to win multiple awards and have played at places such as Carnegie Hall while I was in High School.

Here's some of my previous performances (all of which done sophomore year in high school)

[2] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VJpciouQdg

[3] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWHNtNtm8h0

[4] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1rxcvO_1l4

I have since gone out of the serious piano scene after college, but was wondering the other night - I should start up a video blog aimed at the beginner or intermediate crowd. This is the crowd that is maybe OK at reading music but needs help interpreting it, or needs that extra little exercise to bring their finger dexterity to play that Prokofiev they've always wanted to play.

My videos would probably be 5-10 minutes long each, updated biweekly or weeky. Areas of interest would be:


Form - how to start to play the piano correctly, so injury doesn't occur. Also a lot of people overlook the fact that without correct form the piano skillset is drastically diminished.

Basic music theory - major/minor scales, how to read staff, basic chord progressions, etc

Finger exercises - Hanon, scales, arpeggios, etc

Simple song transcriptions - would probably be popular among the folks that "just wanna play that Beyonce tune".


Finger dexterity - I didn't put this in finger exercises because it focuses more on the type of sound you get with different ways to press the keys

Interpreting musical passages - taking standard repertoire and dissecting certain parts. This part I'm flexible on because I can take suggestions from viewers. I will probably include pieces like certain Chopin Etudes, Mozart sonatas, Bach preludes/fugues, maybe even some modern pieces such as Prokofiev sonatas or Liszt Transcendental Etudes (more advanced). New age stuff like Phillip Glass and Steven Cravis would also work but less challenging..

Composers, musical eras and how that relates to interpretation of their pieces.

Memorization tips - different theories into how to memorize music & when to do it.

Other general tips that I think up as I go along.

So, here's the question: Most pianists would rather learn to play popular songs instead of classical. Would this blog really benefit a large audience? I'm excited but I'm on a high horse right now and possibly I need to be brought down to reality and reminded that maybe this idea goes outside of the general population's motives. My goal for this project is to have a supplement to formal piano instruction.

Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Cross post from Piano Forum.. - 02/18/13 05:20 PM

Welcome! You play (or at least played!) very very well!

Originally Posted by ShaneLu
I have since gone out of the serious piano scene after college....

What are you doing now?

I ask mainly out of curiosity, but also because it might affect how we answer what you're asking, as would some other things. Are you still in the field of music, and would this fit in with that? Would it be totally an 'outside' thing? Is it to try to make money, or just for fun?

....Would this blog really benefit a large audience? I'm excited but I'm on a high horse right now and possibly I need to be brought down to reality and reminded that maybe this idea goes outside of the general population's motives. My goal for this project is to have a supplement to formal piano instruction.

Anything like this could benefit a large audience, but you should be aware that there are lots of things like it. Are you familiar with what's already out there, and do you feel that your material would be different or better? Even if the answer is no, that wouldn't mean you should be discouraged from doing what you want to do, because there would still be reasons for it. In any event it could be fun, could help clarify and develop your ideas for your own benefit, and would open yourself up to interaction about this on a large scale. It all depends on what your aims really are.
Posted By: ShaneLu

Re: Cross post from Piano Forum.. - 02/18/13 05:25 PM

It's really just for fun. I taught in college, was too overwhelmed as I was also an engineering student. I really just listen to classical now, and occasionally play on my Steinway L some pieces I placed in my youth. I am 26 now and am a full time metallurgist/technical sales support at a Ohio based Steel Mill. I live in Dallas TX. smile


To answer your other "market analysis" question, you're right. I have no clue what is out there. A simple google search didn't yield much but I have to admit I didn't try very hard. I know there are a lot of youtube channels that have sporadic tips and tricks but I would like them to be in one central place- like a constantly updated blog. Do you have any such examples?
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Cross post from Piano Forum.. - 02/18/13 06:03 PM

Originally Posted by ShaneLu
It's really just for fun.

I think that makes the answer easy: Do exactly what you feel like doing, whatever it is, and regardless of what anyone else has done, unless you're very interested to see what that might be. This is an advantage of being a total amateur at something: we have the option to do absolutely whatever we want, what we love, and what we're most motivated to do at any given time. Besides, I think that if your main aim were what we might call 'higher' than just fun, the amount of required work would be hugely greater and of a completely different sort than just developing and presenting your own ideas -- and I think it wouldn't particularly be "fun."

....Do you have any such examples?

No, because although I see such things referred to quite often (including here), I don't pay much attention because I'm not highly interested. But I'm sure others here could mention some.
Posted By: Sand Tiger

Re: Cross post from Piano Forum.. - 02/18/13 06:42 PM

Welcome ShaneLu, as a beginner I have visited several blogs and viewed many YouTube tutorials. Many on YouTube let the comments be their guide as to what to teach next. There are websites that use YouTube to drive traffic to the site. Some author blogs include The Musicians Way blog, Nancy Williams (links below). A popular YouTube driven site is Piano-play-it.com

Popular songs, movie soundtracks are going to tend to draw much more traffic than classical, especially intermediate level and above classical. However, there are more people writing and posting on Youtube aiming for that lower difficulty audience. So there isn't a straight answer.

If a person wanted to start today on YouTube, I might suggest posting a tutorial on a top-40 song from the charts, or a movie song. For example, there are already a lot of tutorials on themes from The Hobbit movie. If a person wants to draw traffic, try to be early out of the gate with a decent tutorial on those kinds of new pieces. Some will transcribe music from movie previews to be among the first ones out there.

Other lists might be top songs from the singing contest shows such as American Idol, The Voice, or popular musical series such as Glee, Nashville, Smash. Each show has millions of people watching and many hear a tune and want to be able to play it and go on Youtube to see if anyone has done a tutorial. A person doesn't have to actually watch the shows. There are summaries showing the top sellers on Itunes and some will be from recent TV shows.

For real beginners, a Youtube instructor has to go real slow, and repeat information several times. For advanced beginners or intermediates, that slow a pace gets boring and more of a bare bones version with a few hints gets the message across in a better way. It is important for many to be able to see the keyboard and the fingering. Some use software to clearly show what keys are being played.

I have no connection to the blogs or website listed below. They are some that I have come across as a beginner and the original poster asked for some examples for clues as to content.



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