Biting the Bullet with Piano Lessons

I’m really doing it! Meet my new piano teacher, Roberta Brown. She’s a licensed Simply Music teacher in Royal Oak who is going to take me through the next phase of my perilous journey through keyboard technique.

And it’s not going to be the same-old/same-old “Johnson’s Modern Course for the Piano”, no sir! Simply Music is an innovative teaching method developed by Australian educator Neil Moore to get students playing–and I mean really playing, not just doing some glorified typing–real contemporary and classical music in an experiential way. Students of all ages can develop a repertoire of over 30 pieces in their first year of lessons, pieces that run the gamut from blues to jazz to classical. And they’re often performing them that soon as well.

The specific course I’ll be taking is the accompaniment course, which has you learn to read lead sheets and chord symbols for the purpose of supporting singers and instrumentalists. This is really exciting because chord reading is exactly the kind of thing I have to do in my career right now–I have something at stake, which is something I never had in all the false starts I’ve had as a piano student before. I used to say, “Eh, I’ll just have my own accompanist wherever I go.” Nope, can’t guarantee that. That’s a college-kid’s thinking. We’re well beyond that.

So, yay! And don’t be surprised if I become some kind of lounge-lizard at the end of it all, playing jazz standards at an upscale Italian restaurant somewhere next year. But most likely I’ll be geared up for doing another round of accompanying for Torch This! which is definitely going to have its second incarnation sooner rather than later–stay tuned!

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