Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Learn how to play a few Holiday songs

This is a great time of year to take a few piano lessons and learn to play some holiday songs.

Most people I talk with at my shows have one or more of the following reasons they'd like to play the piano but think they can't:

1) I'm too old and/or too busy to start.
2) I don't know how to read music and/or I can't play by ear.

The first reason is, if we were talking about a solo career playing complex music, possibly true. But if we're talking about playing at home and/or parties for fun, it's not at all true. Learning to play a few tunes with easily remembered arrangements doesn't take a lot of time, and doesn't depend on some sort of youth factor (great memory, flexibility, etc.)

The second reason you might think you won't be able to learn to play piano (you don't read music) is also not a real barrier. You can play a lot of piano without learning what all those little black dots on the page mean! Knowing how to read can be helpful, and if you do there will be things you'll be able to do, but for the task of learning to play very adequate piano, you don't need it. There is another system call piano tablature which takes—not exaggerating—five minutes to learn and that's it.

Virtually all classical musicians know how to read but we're talking about a much simpler form of music, the holiday song, based on relatively simple chords and melodies. We'll start with Silent Night or something equally easy and slow, you'll see how quickly you'll be able to learn it and other tunes.

As for playing by ear, that doesn't mean what most people think it means. I suppose it means you sit down and just play the notes your ear wants to hear. That is not a thing! One in a million may have that ability, the rest of us learn the craft another, equally valuable way.

So give me a call if you're interested in learning a few tunes before the end of the year. I will not pressure you, you can call and chat at (of course) no charge. I'm very interested in getting people over their doubts about their ability to learn to play music, whether or not they decide to take some lessons or not.

Hi and Welcome to Empty Nest Piano! I offer piano lessons to adults in my home in Wellesley, MA.

My basic approach is that playing the piano is easy. It's not easy to be a concert pianist, but it's easy to play the songs you love, to play for singers and sing-alongs. Christmas carols, Jazz and Pop standards, Disney/Children's, Broadway, Latin, etc.

I know people have been told the opposite, that playing is hard, that it's too late to learn as an adult, etc. I disagree and know from experience it's not true. I started learning the piano a few years ago in my fifties so I know it can be done.

Please call me and give me a few minutes to explain how I approach lessons, to see if it's something you'd like to try. No pressure; I enjoy talking about this subject and won't try to get you to schedule a lesson unless you want to. We can arrange for you to stop by and see what I'm talking about at the piano at no charge and no need to decide on the spot. I know I'm repeating myself about the "no pressure" thing but I think it's important that people realize they're not going to schedule a lesson unless they really want to.

Lessons are as often as people want, no weekly schedule. Most people come a couple times a month or less, whatever works for your schedule.

Ken Batts (617) 962-5352


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