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“Sorry, I can’t make it – again!” (People who cancel their music lessons)

About 10-20% of my regular lessons in a week end up being cancelled or rearranged for one reason or another.  Often my pupils give me plenty of notice, but there are always those who wait until the eleventh hour…

people who cancel their music lessons

photo credit: photosteve101 (licence)

Quite soon after becoming a piano & keyboard teacher, I discovered that when pupils cancel a lesson at the last minute, it is almost impossible fill the slot with another pupil given such short notice.  This results in a loss of income for me, which left unchecked, can build up into a significant amount.   Continue reading

More printable key guides – UPDATED

I’ve added the outer octaves to my free printable key guides, so now you can cover four octaves. These should fit any piano or keyboard with standard sized keys.

Make sure you line them up with the black keys (in groups of twos and threes) and make sure the third overlay starts with Middle C.  On a piano, Middle C is approximately in the middle – obvious, I suppose!

piano_key_overlays-2

On a 5 octave (61 key) electronic keyboard, Middle C is more to the left of centre and the first guide will line up with the lowest key on the keyboard.

keyboard_key_overlays
Just download and print these files:

piano key overlay – middle octaves

piano key overlay – outer octaves

and then trim the guides to size.

What do you think?  Are these going to be useful to you?  Can you suggest any improvements? Please comment below so that I can keep updating and improving these resources.  Or if your prefer, you can Contact Me directly.

Piano: Teach Yourself Or Get A Teacher? 6 Key Questions To Help You Decide…

If you ask several piano players how they learnt to play, you’re likely to get some quite different answers.  Some will have received very formal (probably classical) tuition from a ‘proper’ piano teacher.  Others will have been taught by a parent, relative or friend.  Still others will have used a book or an online resource to teach themselves from scratch.  You will also find many who (like me) have used a combination of these methods.  So, how do you decide which is best for you?

teach yourself or get a teacher

photo credit:

Here are 6 key questions to ask yourself and some ideas to get you thinking: Continue reading

Video: How to play the “Superman” theme tune

Here’s a nice simple one that lots of people will know when you play it.  Easy, step-by-step instructions.  I’ve added the note sheet above the video for those who like things that way, too.

I’ve put a handful of these videos up now – how are you finding them?  Are you able to play the songs I teach?  Is the training too slow, too fast or about right?  Was it any help that I added the note names to this video?  Please let me know your thoughts by commenting below.

Video: How to play the “Wallace and Gromit” theme tune

This tune is popular with many of my young pupils.  I hope you have fun figuring it out.  Remember you can download and print out my piano key guides if you need them.

I will shortly be making the sheet music available for this song and also for the songs in my other videos.  I’ll post on the blog when these free resources are ready, so subscribe to my updates if you want to get them as soon as they are here!

On-screen Flash piano for you to play right now!

Don’t have a piano?  Want to try something out anyway?  Check out this Flash implementation of a piano keyboard.  You can play it either with your keyboard keys or your mouse – great fun!

Remember to turn up your speakers…

flashpiano

Yes, I know this is just a bit of fun – you’ll need a proper piano or keyboard to really learn to play.  But you can certainly start to learn your notes on this, as well as just mess around for a bit!  Experimentation often  helps with piano learning, too.

What other piano resources would you like me to find or create for you?

Video: How to play ‘Happy Birthday’

Here’s an important one – the ‘Happy Birthday’ tune.  Learn to play this and you’ll come in useful once a year to all your friends!  As well as making it easy to play, I’ve set it in an easy-to-sing key – to avoid all those screeches when people sing along as you play!

What other tunes would you like to be able to play?

Printable piano key guides

If you’re still learning the names of the notes on your piano, here’s a printable guide I made for you.  Many thanks to my good friend Sandie Barker who gave me the idea.  The note names are clear and you also have the treble clef and bass clef notes to help you:

piano key overlays

piano key overlays

Simply download the file here, print out onto paper or card and trim the two sections as shown. They will fit nicely behind the keys of most pianos and full-size keyboards.  Put them in the centre of your piano and make sure you line up the pattern of black keys correctly, as shown in the picture.

I think these are a much better alternative to putting stickers on the keys of your beloved instrument.  I would strongly recommend that you don’t put stickers on the keys of your piano or keyboard, even if the instructions say ‘easy to remove’ or ‘won’t leave marks’.  I have seen keys ruined by them!  These overlays can be removed and replaced whenever you need them.

One word of advice – use these key guides only for as long as you need them.  Get to know your notes and then remove them when you can!

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