Learning curve? What learning curve?

Piano playing is one of those activities that’s considered to have a steep “learning curve.” And from one point of view, this is true. No one is going to sit down at the instrument for the first time and start playing Chopin or improvising complex jazz. A beginning pianist has a lot of notes, scales, coordination, and notation to learn before they get to that point. In other words…. a learning curve.

But at the same time, what if that learning curve disappeared? (At least on some level.) What if there was a way to experience the fun, joy, and “life” of playing great music right away, within the first 10 minutes of your very first lesson?

The good news is that there is! Here’s how:

A “typical” first piano lesson starts with the student learning where middle C is on the keyboard and how to read it on the staff. But before going on to the next note, D, why not have a little fun with middle C? The student could play middle C like a drum, freely improvising rhythms like a percussionist would. After all, a drummer would start this way, right? Or the teacher could play a rhythm on actual hand drums to give the student a steady beat to improvise over. The teacher could also improvise a piano accompaniment while the student jams along on middle C, freely making up rhythms with the joy of a 5-year-old.

This really works. I’ve been teaching this way for years and it enables the students to get right to the musical experience from the very start. Sure, there’s a learning curve with piano, but no one should have to wait long before playing with joy and energy.

There are so many notes to learn on the instrument that we often think we need to learn them all before we can have any fun. This isn’t the case at all. We can have a lot of enjoyment at each step of the way, AS we climb up the learning curve. And doing this will in turn keep us interested and motivated enough to practice harder, so the learning curve isn’t so long after all.

Here’s a fun, easy piano improvisation lesson you can do without any previous piano or improvising experience. Have fun! Beginning Piano Improv Lesson

Get my free ebook: Left Hand Techniques for Jazz Piano
You’ll also get my weekly jazz newsletter with practice tips and inspiration

Leave a Comment

Sign up for Blog Updates