3 reasons why the Piano Guys music is awesome!

Have you heard about the Piano Guys? If you haven’t, you are missing out on one of the  hot topics in the piano industry. They are a group of four men who write and perform music with piano and cello. With four million YouTube followers, I am amazed at how popular they are!

From a musician’s standpoint, the Piano Guys’ music has a lot to offer to the public. Sadly, many of the educated and professional musicians do not accept their music and even look down on them. Because they are not compatible to the standard classical repertoire. To me, music is not about how hard or showy it is, but it is about personal emotional connections. The Piano Guys isn’t popular only because of its catchy videos or tunes, their music has touched people in moments when they really needed a lift. Here are three reasons why the Piano Guys’ music are valuable:

1.  Their music is popular

One of their most popular YouTube videos “A Thousand Years” has over 70 million views. They are so popular because the public loves pop music, and so do the majority of piano students. It is especially great when the student is getting bored of the music in the lesson book, and need something fun to play. Also, it is even more fun to be able to sing the pop song while playing the piano.

2. Technically challenging

The Piano Guys’ music is great for teaching and learning in piano lessons. It provides a challenging, yet not impossible, music reading and playing coordination experience. Although, some of the music takes the same effort to learn as other classical pieces. They do have easier versions for beginning students. Their music is constructed of simple chords, scales, and arpeggios If you use Piano Guys music you will learn classical techniques such as scales, arpeggios, chords, and syncopated rhythm.

3. Musical Medlies

Jon Schmidt and Steven Nelson released their first video together on YouTube; Love Story by Taylor Swift, and Viva la Vida by Coldplay, a video that started their legacy of mixing and mashing songs together along with amazing videography. By mixing classical and popular music The Piano Guys combine musical moods that serve and inspire. See Adele-Hello/Lacrimosa (Mozart), Beethoven’s 5 Secrets-Onerepublic, and Let It Go (Disney’s “Frozen”) Vivaldi’s Winter for examples. This is also a clever way to expose kids and teens to great classical music that they will otherwise likely never discover.

Do you have any Piano Guys songs that you love and would like to learn? Follow me on my YouTube channel for exciting videos!

 

How to keep piano lessons fun

I have received a request on my blog to talk about how I keep piano lessons fun. So many of students who quit piano lessons simply because of a lack of interest. What if their piano lessons were not boring but fun? Would they have made a different choice?

Children of different ages have varies attention span, I teach kids that are from the five-year-olds, and they typical can focus for about 5-10 minutes.  Even kids who are six to eight years old and they only have about 10-15 minutes of focus attention. Then, how about the 30 minutes weekly piano lessons? How do we engage students’ attention with their short attention span?

There are a few ways I found that are very effective in keeping piano lessons fun and interesting.

Do not sit on the piano bench for more than 10 minutes

Since the attention spans varies for every kid, it is important to get the student off the bench every 10 minutes. For example, in a 30 minutes lesson, I start by having the student work on a piece at the piano for 10 minutes. Then, we will play a game that is related to the theory or technique for 10 minutes. Then, we finish off the last 10 minutes by working on a piece, technique or other musicianship skills.

For Skype piano lessons, it is more challenging because I cannot play games with the student on site. But there are other alternative options for virtual piano lessons, such as games on the internet and apps. I also get creative and play hands on games with the student through Skype.

Utilize music apps and games in lesson

For students who want to enjoy piano lessons, apps are an amazing tool and very beneficial. There are many apps that are specific for different musicianship skills. There will be a blog post just for my favorite apps to use in piano lessons, please keep following my blog.

Games are a great way to keep piano lessons fun. There are many games out there you can purchase, you can also view DIY music games. For virtual piano lessons, online games are great for keeping students engaged.

 Know what your student loves

This is huge for me, especially when I have a new student. I love to discover what they love and what they are good at. The more I know what the student likes to do, I am better prepared and able to customize the lesson to the specific student.

For example, one of my students is great at rhythm and he is very interested in everything that is related to rhythm. In the piano lesson, I make sure to cultivate his rhythm skill, and I introduce him in other areas of piano skills at the same time. When children enjoy what they are learning and doing, they are more likely to be interested on learning other skills and accept challenges.

 

I hope you enjoy the post and find it helpful for your kids! Please leave me comments and ideas of what you found that engage kids in piano lessons.