Thursday, December 1, 2016

Welcome to Empty Nest Piano Lessons!

Hi and welcome to Empty Nest Piano Lessons! My name is Ken Batts, I teach piano to adults in my home studio in Wellesley, MA. I teach many styles: Great American Songbook/Broadway, Jazz, Pop, and accompaniment (for example for singers and/or sing-alongs.

Not only do adults learn differently from children, they learn differently from each other.

Learning to play will involve coming up with your personal answers to the following three questions:

1) What are your short-term and long-term musical goals?

As kids our teachers and/or parents usually set these for us, which is one reason lots of us quit. I wanted to learn to play Beatles songs, my teacher and parents wanted me to play Mozart. So Mozart it was! Though, since I wasn't interested, I soon quit. That's a real advantage adult students have: you probably have a good idea what music you want to play – if not we can start there – and that is the music you'll study with me.

You also choose the frequency of lessons. You may need a week before you're ready for another lesson, you may need two weeks or a month or longer. So scheduling lessons is completely flexible.

2) What information do you need in order to play the music you've chosen?

If you want to play from sheet music, you will learn the symbols used (pitch, duration, rhythm and dynamics). There are great apps and method books to help you learn these.

If your goal is to accompany your singing and/or other singers and/or other instruments using lead sheets (which consist of chord symbols), you'll learn the structure of chords and the rhythmic patterns to play them. Both types of printed music – full sheet music and lead sheets – are available at all levels of difficulty.

3) What method(s) of practice will you use?

This is probably the most important one, and the one neglected by most teachers. You need a method that is productive and is pleasant enough to allow you to enjoy practicing. I'm not saying that practicing will never be challenging, but you learn to control the level of difficulty so you'll enjoy practicing and are more likely to stick with it.

And that's it.  Learning to set reasonable goals, getting the information you need to achieve them, and a learning a method for putting that information into practice.

The best way to find out more detailed information is to call me: (617) 962-5352. I guarantee there will be no pressure.  Learning to play the piano is one of my favorite topics so I'm happy to talk with you about it, answer questions, etc. and the conversation doesn't need to lead to lessons, but it will hopefully be helpful to you.