Every once in a while, an "old pro" makes a pop culture appearance to show today's young hit makers "how it's done."

Aretha Franklin did this at the Kennedy Center Honors tribute to songwriter Carole King. Aretha, 73 years young, strode out on stage in a large fur coat while clutching her glittery purse. Exuding a relaxation, professionalism and confidence that can only come from long experience, she simply placed the purse on the grand piano, sat down on the bench and proceeded hit the ball out of the park.

While playing a beautiful gospel-style piano accompaniment, Aretha was every bit the "Natural Woman" as she began singing her Carole King-penned signature song. King, up in the balcony, was beside herself in joy as she watched this surprise performance of a song that meant so much to both Franklin and herself.

If you haven't seen it yet, I won't say anything more since you'll want to watch the excitement unfold for yourself. But pay special attention to what Franklin does to get the crown on its feet. She doesn't care what anyone thinks about her; she simply lets herself be who she is and basically says "take it or leave it." And judging from the audience's verbal enthusiasm, they were willing to take everything she has to offer!

Every performer today, on every instrument and in every musical genre, can learn something from Ms. Aretha Franklin. You can see for yourself HERE.

You can learn any style of piano music you like at my website, KeyboardImprov.com. Let me know what I can do for you!