Each Month Dan instructs you in our eight lesson tracks and keeps you progressing with some fun and challenging techniques. Take a look at the Introduction video to see what you will learn with Dan's PianoInstruction.com Method. Take any of the sample lessons to see how we teach. The Take 5 lessons are designed to get you playing in your first lesson, take a look at them to instantly impress your friends.
NEW! Take 5 - Play the piano in 5 minutes - A revolutionary technique that will have you playing the piano and impressing your friends in just 5 minutes. Too good to be true? Just try it. The techniques that you learn in our Take 5 tracks will be expanded upon in our other tracks, so what you learn are valuable techniques that you build upon in our other lessons.
NEW! Take 5 Tunes - Play the piano in 5 minutes - Take 5 Tunes will have you playing the piano and impressing your friends in just 5 minutes. Too good to be true? Just try it. The Take 5 Tunes are a little tougher than just Take 5, but they teach you to play your favorite tunes using lead sheets. Study the Reading lesson in the Introduction Samples or in Month 1 to learn all the notes for your right hand. Use Name That Note to drill yourself on all the notes in the right hand. Be up and playing in no time.
Scales - Scales are a fundamental part of our everyday practice. Our main focus is to play ALL KEYS with the RIGHT HAND, one octave. We learn that having the left hand play what I refer to as HOLD NOTES adds musical interest and actually enables you to learn the scales better than traditional approaches. Correct fingering will be shown. You will experience a musical effect with the scales that most pianists never experience by using a set pattern I choose for you in the LEFT HAND or the second level where a variety of scale notes in the LEFT HAND are played against the scale RIGHT HAND activity. Students completing this first year will know their scale notes and understand how they play into other aspects of piano playing from improvisation to chords and more.
Reading - We begin reading with basic lines and spaces of the treble clef, quickly move through sharps and flats, and then on to groupings of two notes. My thought on this is to add more for the eye to process, like the two note groups, and force the learner to grasp them on the piano as quickly as possible. One will see clearly that our typical melodies of tunes are only one note at a time, and they become easy for those students who have walked through my series of reading exercises. The RIGHT HAND moves quickly to areas quite bold laying out upwards of active 3 note groupings in musical pieces. So while you read notes you can enjoy the beautiful music of the piece they create. In all cases, you will be playing material that will sound good as you learn. We transition the left hand from letters and chords to the bass clef early in the year so we can address learning this concept while learning the treble clef. By the end of the first year you will have a firm understanding of how to read both treble and bass clef music which will open up an abundance of material that you can play. Whether you want to use chord symbols from the contemporary side or you want to dabble with classical music you will have what it takes to explore these areas this first year.
Counting - Counting is an important fundamental that is often overlooked. I have created these beautiful sounding pieces that come to life with the counting element being applied. We begin viewing whole notes and half notes quickly moving through all other values upwards to eighth notes and rest applied. Ties are addressed this first year as well as various time signatures, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 6/4, 3/8, 6/8, all of which prepare you to view material of you choice. This foundation is so in depth that you will find most material you want to read will fit easily into your level of rhythmic notation. This works hand in hand with the reading lessons, as well as all of our other lesson material. When you count things tend to sound much better, moving the music along in the way it was meant to be heard.
Chords - The first year our chord focus will begin on MAJOR TRIADS with emphasis on the key elements of the triad formation . A wide array of musical applications will enable the student to develop this strong foundation step which will feed our chordal harmony. We move through the MINOR TRIADS with similar attention. We observe the alterations we can make on the chords to give them different sounds. Half way through the year we begin placing key elements chosen from the triads into the RIGHT HAND under given melodies which supports a more advanced chord layout spreading notes between two hands. This foundation will hold great value and will feed our higher levels of chordal playing the year to come.
Chordal Patterns - The 3 note chordal patterns will offer instant gratification to all players. Patterns are a musical way to sound great, while still supporting something that can and will be used at much higher levels of playing. It enables you to take 3 notes which are easy to see and fit nicely against chords. You can keep time with these, which helps make the music move nicely. Near the end of the year the 3 note patterns take on a similarity to the 1,7 shells. Using the 7th degree, we can modify the outer edge of the 3 note pattern to fit the chord we are applying it to. This track begins as an easy, simple task to play chords using the patterns, and then you learn how the patterns are easily modified to conform to much higher levels of playing.
Tunes - The tune section will be a most powerful experience for all students. We begin with outer shell LEFT HAND chord shapes which will outline quickly most chords on the piano. A fast, effective, and very professional technique. Very musical pieces are put forth to enable the student to fully experience the wonderful quality these chordal outer shells hold. 3 shapes for the LEFT HAND will be covered which will enable the student to have something to play for nearly EVERY CHORD WRITTEN. Such an amazing feeling for a first year student to accomplish. We then bring the element of chordal harmony into play by placing the 3 or b3 of chords under the melody at chord points. This spreads the chord between two hands offering a very professional sound. All of our advanced chordal harmony will be added to this first year's application. A foundation that never goes away as the student progresses, it continues to grow.
Improvisation - The first improvisations use scales as the focus, enabling the student to start creating with something familiar. I like to establish a set structure as to what to play in the RIGHT HAND . By selecting degrees, chosen from the scale for you to play in the various keys it gets you started and feeds into the release of your own ideas. Further in the first year emphasis is given more on individual tones as they are found within the scale which sharpens ones focus. The true value of chord parts and scales comes forth in this fun musical topic of improvisation. The LEFT HAND plays a supporting role with 3 note chordal patterns to add to the experience.
Blues - We walk through here with this creative topic which will slowly climb through the blues scale in the key of C. Using our outer edge shells for the LEFT HAND chords, it will take on an immediate professional sound. Soon we are through the entire scale applying it to more advanced blues progressions to be found in the last half of the first year. We will make adjustments to the blues scale lines to make them come to life and not sound like an exercise scale we started with . A favorite amongst many, this creative area will enable one to explore the world of improvisation. In a year's time the level at which you will play will amaze you and your friends. Not only will you sound great, but you will have information that will be used even at higher levels of playing.