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Re: Adult only wants to learn chords? [Re: chasingrainbows] #2772072
10/13/18 08:33 AM
10/13/18 08:33 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 1,389
Florida
cmb13 Offline
Silver Level
cmb13  Offline
Silver Level

Joined: May 2013
Posts: 1,389
Florida
Maybe; personally, I'm a very curious person, and a little obsessive. When I started to learn piano, I had no interest whatsoever in classical music. Couldn't tell Bach from Debussy. As I learned more and more, my curiosity had me delving deeper and deeper, and now I'm hooked! I'll bet there are others out there....


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Re: Adult only wants to learn chords? [Re: chasingrainbows] #2772255
10/13/18 10:34 PM
10/13/18 10:34 PM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 314
Toronto, Canada
T
thepianoplayer416 Offline
Full Member
thepianoplayer416  Offline
Full Member
T

Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 314
Toronto, Canada
The most I'd go is to play by lead sheets. Learn to read the melody line or play the melody by ear and fill in with left-hand chords.

When it comes to hymns, I play out of a regular hymn book from church so I force myself to learn the pieces as 4-part harmonies: L doing the bass & tenor, R doing the alto & soprano. A lot of hymns have the chord symbols on top. I wouldn't play just the chords without the right-hand melody. Every church hymn has a music scale attached to it either major or minor. I'd learn the associated scale and the number of sharps & flats associated with that scale as well.

Re: Adult only wants to learn chords? [Re: chasingrainbows] #2772272
10/14/18 12:41 AM
10/14/18 12:41 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 650
California
hello my name is Offline
500 Post Club Member
hello my name is  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 650
California
Also thought of the ChordPlay books by Forrest. Also check out the non-classical forum.

No he doesn't need a teacher persay, but it's always helpful to have someone guide you when you're new at something. Plus if he has the money to burn, why not. If he didn't say upfront "I don't want to learn how to read", I think you ought to still teach him to read music, but have more emphasis on theory/chords/ear-training than you might typically, so you are sure he will reach his goal. I didn't have that kind of training much, apart from theory books, so I had to learn a lot on my own (lots of a-ha moments as to why theory actually is not just to torture us for exams and can be useful lol...).. I also learned by watching others how to make a leadsheet sound good.. fun bass lines, common progressions, how to achieve different sounds/styles, this sort of thing, as well as practiced training my ear (anticipating the change to a V or a IV chord for example). It is kind of another world it seems, as I learned nothing of the sort in my piano lessons. Books like the Chordplay books make some of the process more systematic and teachable.

Oh yeah, if he has hymns that he wants to play, or a particular book that he wants to be able to play out of, have him bring that so you can find out what skills he's going to need. I play out of a hymnal that is written in SATB. Because I can sight-read well, I can play it, but it's a longer road there I think. Another lady who plays piano but can't sight-read as well knows theory so she writes in the chords ahead of time and plays that way. Works for the purpose.


Piano Teacher in Training
Re: Adult only wants to learn chords? [Re: AZNpiano] #2773385
Yesterday at 04:37 PM
Yesterday at 04:37 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,348
Toronto, Canada
G
Greener Offline

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014
Greener  Offline

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014

G

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,348
Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
...
They can't keep time, so the only way they know when to change to a different chord is to match up the chords to the lyrics. They can't keep counts. Their sense of rhythm is purely from memory of how the song goes.

In short, teaching these students will be a nightmare for anybody with common sense.


Do you mean all the students that want to just learn chords are all the same and beyond teaching? How can you say categorically they all have this negative attitude of not wanting to learn anything else? I would suggest they probably don't know exactly what they want, but learning chords is the basis of it.

They still need to be taught how to keep time, when to change chords and how to count. Rhythm will be a big part of teaching this way and where you come in. I agree with CMB13 that there is a lot to be taught.

My Dad taught this way exclusively his entire teaching career to help feed the family. It's why I still play at all to this day, though I've since taken interest in other methods too. It gave me a strong start for understanding how to play piano in not so specific terms, as it did many other students over the years.

It is crazy to single out this group to sink or swim. They can benefit from the one on one help absolutely just as much, and they need the help.

Re: Adult only wants to learn chords? [Re: Greener] #2773409
Yesterday at 05:59 PM
Yesterday at 05:59 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,699
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
7000 Post Club Member
AZNpiano  Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,699
Orange County, CA
Originally Posted by Greener
My Dad taught this way exclusively his entire teaching career to help feed the family.

Oh, he is not alone. LOTS of teachers do this out of necessity. Two teachers in my area recently switched from teaching mostly classical to teaching almost exclusively "piano for fun."

You can always give the customers what they want, even when it is not the best thing for them.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Adult only wants to learn chords? [Re: chasingrainbows] #2773412
Yesterday at 06:12 PM
Yesterday at 06:12 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,348
Toronto, Canada
G
Greener Offline

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014
Greener  Offline

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014

G

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,348
Toronto, Canada
Most Adults are in it for the fun and it is not up to you to decide what is best for them.

They'll just get the training from somewhere else. You can under estimate them if you wish. Seems like missed opportunity to me.

Re: Adult only wants to learn chords? [Re: chasingrainbows] #2773470
Yesterday at 11:41 PM
Yesterday at 11:41 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 650
California
hello my name is Offline
500 Post Club Member
hello my name is  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 650
California
Hey chasingrainbows, for the 7 chords you really just have to teach the shape, if you don't want to go into scales and such.. actually I'm not really sure how scales would help much. I play 7 chords on lead sheets based on memory of the way the spacing looks on the piano and the sound is feedback to know I'm doing it right. Plus the 7 chord isn't that important anyhow if you're just trying to sing along, ha... just play a regular chord, you'll just be missing a little pizzaz.

Not everyone has money that they want to spend on piano lessons I suppose, and I'd say the best thing for them is whatever is in line with their goals.

Anyhow I don't see why you'd have to skip basics like rhythm and notation, etc.... I think if you explain why you are teaching what you teach and they trust that you're the expert on this kind of thing and are hearing them and planning something totally in line with their goals, they'll hopefully stick it out through some of the boring stuff. Like, hey, if you learn a-z you'll definitely be able to do mnop, and it'll be much easier to do mnop, versus if i just teach you mnop that's all you know of the alphabet. And let him decide. If he wants to play a lead sheet and he wants to play the melody line, he's going to have to learn how to read anyhow.


Piano Teacher in Training
Re: Adult only wants to learn chords? [Re: hello my name is] #2773499
5 hours ago
5 hours ago
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,699
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
7000 Post Club Member
AZNpiano  Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,699
Orange County, CA
Originally Posted by hello my name is
Not everyone has money that they want to spend on piano lessons I suppose, and I'd say the best thing for them is whatever is in line with their goals.

Right, but have you worked with people like this? Who come to you saying they just want to learn X, Y, and Z? Even though they really should learn A through W before they get to X, Y, and Z?

Would you teach students like this to read bass clef? Or basic notation and rhythm? You probably would, but what are the chances the student is willing to learn all that?


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Adult only wants to learn chords? [Re: chasingrainbows] #2773544
33 minutes ago
33 minutes ago
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 95
Texas
Dr. Rogers Offline
Full Member
Dr. Rogers  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 95
Texas
I've had some curious requests from students before. I try to accommodate them the best I can, but I insist that they must work on some basics in addition to whatever specific thing they are wanting to do. A few cases in point:

  • A gentleman who could read pitches just fine on both clefs, but had never learned note values and was totally clueless about time signatures. He didn't play an instrument, but he sang a lot at church and had realized that his lack of music theory was holding him back. I taught him music theory for two or three months, his sight-singing improved by leaps and bounds, and his goals were met. Last I heard, he was still singing up a storm.
  • A lady who wanted to play the introduction of a certain John Prine song on the mandolin, with a fixed deadline (family reunion). I relish a good challenge. I made her start from the beginning with some very basic music theory, the basics of mandolin technique, and SCALES (especially in the key of the song she wanted to play). She didn't like the scales of course, but she quickly saw the wisdom in practicing them, as mastery of the appropriate scale made the song almost trivial! She performed at her reunion and her goal was met. I don't know if she has continued to play or not.
  • A gentleman who had some very basic bluegrass banjo knowledge but wanted to perform a pop song featuring the banjo (an introduction and a cadenza) at some church event. I insisted that he work on basic right hand patterns, especially those needed for the song. He resigned himself to the boring pattern work, but as with the mandolin lady, he quickly saw the practical application.


(Note: My studio, and my personal practice, is all 100% classical piano now. It used to be about 50/50 piano and "folk" instruments. In a shameful past life, I wandered away from classical and spent several years as a competitive banjo player. The prodigal son returned to classical piano full time some years ago.)

Last edited by Dr. Rogers; 32 minutes ago. Reason: Trying to fix the bullet points.

Austin Rogers, PhD
Music Teacher in Austin, TX
Baldwin SD-10 Concert Grand "Kuroneko", Baldwin Upright, Yamaha P-255
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