This course was an experiment in which I tried guide beginning students to learn and practise some fundamental aspects of piano playing without the need to learn to read music notation. I can't say that I fully endorse this course any more. There are certain aspects of it that I think people have found confusing, and the progression of difficulty is probably not as well suited to a beginner as I would have liked. However, I have decided to keep it available for now on the off chance that someone finds it interesting of finds some value in it.
The music in this lesson is for Cello and Piano. In it you will play a single repeated note while counting in fours. This piece also has an ending which is different from the main pattern although in this case it is just a single note (see step 5 for more on that). Once again, if you need extra help, the lesson video is available above.
Step 1. First, listen to the percussion track and count along in fours: “1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4...”.
Step 2. Next, listen to this short piece for Violin, Viola, and Piano. Listen to it a few times and try to hear the four beats.
Step 3. Now, count along with the music accompanied by some percussion. You may notice towards the end of this piece that the music seems to fall out of line with the four beats. This is called “syncopation” and it is important to not let it confuse you. Keep counting “1, 2, 3, 4...” and you will see that by the final chord the music and the beat are back in alignment.
Step 4. Listen now to the lesson music. I recommend listening to it a couple of times and pay particular attention to the ending.
Step 5. Now, listen to the pattern you will be playing and count along. Once again, pay particular attention to the ending. You will notice that the final note falls on beat “2”, where as in the main pattern the notes always fall on beat “1”.
Step 6. Next, find the note you will be playing on the keyboard then play the pattern along with the percussion accompaniment.
Step 7. Now listen to the same pattern accompanied by piano. It may be difficult to know exactly when to release the final note at the end. This is not so important for now but with a little practice you should be able to get it quite close.
Step 8. Then play the pattern along with the piano accompaniment.
Step 9. Now listen to the lesson music played without the Cello. Count along as you listen and take note of how many beats there are before your part begins.
Step 10. Next, play along with this version of the lesson music. When you play, be sure to play with dynamics (at a volume) that suits the music. You want your part to be heard but you don’t want it to stand out too much. It should blend in with the other piano part.
Step 11. Finally, play along with the full version of the lesson music. Again, pay careful attention to how loud you are playing and make sure that your playing fits in with the other instruments.