Learn Your Piano Chords (and more!)

Piano Chords: Your Ticket To Musical Freedom

In many respects, piano chords are the name of the game. If you are either a prospective adult piano student or the parent of a youngster who is on his or her way to enjoying a journey of music, if you don’t connect with a teacher who will be placing an emphasis on your understanding of chords and their role in the music you will be playing, you’re missing out on a well-balanced approach to learning music.

Learn Your Piano ChordsYour understanding and recognition of the many types of piano chords will open the doors to so much more for you than what the average piano student is enjoying our there. Isn’t it a bit interesting that people take piano lessons for years and years and often are not able to tell you what one chord type is from another? Well, interesting may not be the appropriate word because it’s a bit sad and disappointing that the reason a chord vocabulary and understanding doesn’t exist with so many long-term piano students is because the instructors they were “learning” from didn’t have enough of a clue about how music is put together to share with those aspiring musicians confiding in their services.

Sure, it’s great to be able to read music notation. It’s been proven time and time and time again that one can study the piano from childhood into adulthood, even to the point of seeing himself or herself through the education of accredited universities without ever really being able to talk about what makes that music what it is. As long as one can learn to read and develop a cognizance of articulation and dynamics, that person is qualified to perform renditions of the most challenging of musical masterpieces composed by the greats such as Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, and others.

That said, isn’t it a bit of a shame that a focus on piano chords and chord progressions hasn’t received the spotlight of attention they deserve? Well, when you consider that those great composers knew what it is they were writing and why it worked, doesn’t it stand to reason that one being trained to perform that music ought to understand the workings of that music in the same fashion? Those who do are in the minority. Outside of a relative handful of those advanced students, most wouldn’t know how to interpret a song by someone of the likes of Billy Joel and play it in a fashion that sounds like anything beyond a “robotic” performance (that is, if the written music was available).

A well-rounded piano education should focus on, among other things, reading, interpretation, ear training, piano chords (of all types – not just triads), chord progressions, and even improvisation. Imagine a student progressing through even decades of piano training without being able to create music spontaneously? Those are years gone by that consisted of musical nurturing conducted in a manner that spells l-i-m-i-t-a-t-i-o-n.

When seeking a piano teacher for yourself or your youngster, learn some of the right questions to ask prior to your search. When you know what to ask, you’ll have the confidence in knowing that, when you receive answers that are in tune with a well-balanced musical education, you’ll know you’re headed in the right direction.

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