The Case Against Traditional Piano Lessons 2


How would you like to spend 4 years in a University learning how to play other peoples music? If you think this is ridiculous, you’re right! Because that’s what thousands of piano music students do each day.They sit in front of their piano or keyboard with sheet music of a dead composer in front of them. Then they are told to “play it right.” Have you ever heard of such nonsense? Imagine a budding writer forced to copy another novelists work? In essence, this is what classical piano students do. They copy.

Although many think this is a creative act, it is not. It is a re-creative one. It’s purpose? To give people who are told how to listen to music a chance to hear what is considered “good” music. Only in classical music is there such pomposity. And it exists because a very few people wish to hear the classics.

Let me tell you something. I love classical music. But I don’t spend my time trying to recreate what has already been created. No. Instead, I want to connect with my own source and allow the music that is inside me to come out. I want to be creative too! And my philosophy is that anyone can be “a composer.”

All it takes is the desire to create – to want to hear ones authentic self expressed through music. Difficult? Not at all! It’s as easy as putting fingers to keys and playing. Hard to believe but true. You see, music students have been cheated from the get go by an academic snobbism that destroys the spirit and the will to create.

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The suggestion is that the best music has already been created so why bother. The answer is crucial to our own well being. We bother because it makes us feel good. That is all that is required and that is all that is needed to make music.

Edward Weiss is a pianist/composer and webmaster of Quiescence Music’s online piano lessons. He has been helping students learn how to play piano in the New Age style for over 14 years and works with students in private, in groups, and now over the internet. Stop by now at http://www.quiescencemusic.com/piano_lessons.html for a FREE piano lesson!


2 thoughts on “The Case Against Traditional Piano Lessons

  • Hugh Sung

    We definitely have a strange divide in the classical music world – composers who many times don’t play an instrument and write music far too difficult to play on one side, with performance majors on the other side who suffer from a lack of creativity (ie, being encouraged to actually create their own music). It’s sad to see that improvisation is such a lost art among our conservatory students! Our pedagogy approaches and classical music culture definitely need some radical changes.
    But i think it’s just as dangerous to throw out the baby with the bath water – it would be foolhardy to ask a creative writing student to ‘just write’ without having read the classics or knowing anything about Shakespeare, wouldn’t it? Or to tell an acting student to act without ever having seen a play or a movie? The study of classic literature is meant to be a scaffold of sorts, illustrating some of the greatest human achievements in the arts in order to encourage the next generation to aim high and have a framework of historical and cultural context in which to create their art. The sad thing is when folks cling to the scaffold only and don’t have the courage to let go and actually build something!

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