First let me start off by saying -
If you want:
- to play "classical music" on piano
or guitar - I am not your man.
- to accompany your church choir's hymns on piano or organ - I'm not
- To play piano in local theater productions of most musicals -
I'm not the one.
(Don't worry; the majority of teachers - especially piano - still teach
what you'll need for these styles)
If you want to learn piano, guitar, or bass to play pop, rock, blues,
country, jazz, bluegrass, folk, etc. - or to play in a band or
with others in any non-classical or musical endeavors - I may be your
huckleberry. (If you're not a "Tombstone" fan, feel
free to ignore these cute catch phrases)
Ditto, if you want to learn music fundamentals, popular
music theory, or songwriting in a cozy non-class environment (and at your
own pace) - I may be your daisy.
The traditional approach of learning to read "the
dots" has pretty much disappeared in all but the few traditional
areas mentioned above. Almost all popular music is notated by just a melody
line with chords - or sometimes just the chords.
So rather than reading the dots - it is much more important
and useful to learn the basic fundamentals of music (including a little
reading), to understand chord and key structures, and to understand all
rhythmic elements thoroughly.
So I teach from this basis of fundamentals, music theory,
chord structures, and improvisation.
If that's still not clear - here's another look:
In classical, choir accompaniment, or scores for musicals; you will
you see this traditional style of notation. In virtually every other style
of music, you'll neither read (nor write) this type of notation. Yet,
this is the notation that the majority of piano teachers concentrate on.
In virtually every other genre - you may see this (at most):
Or more often this:
or quite often this:
and unfortunately sometimes this:
So, once again, learning to play piano, keyboards, guitar or bass for
any sort of "popular" music is going to be most productive and
fruitful for you if you learn from a fundamentals, chord, and popular
That's why I teach that way.