Life Is Like A Piano

Piano lessons have a lot to offerIt’s Not All Black & White

“Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it.”

It also depends on how you go about learning it. Taking that a little further, it depends on how you choose to perceive your learning experience.

The point I’m wanting to make here is that a student of the piano has a whole lot more to learn than playing music. The learning journey itself has a lot to offer in many respects. In short, the process of learning to play piano, including the many different phases of it, can serve as a vehicle for improving many aspects of your life.

A Basic Fact

With all my experience in conducting piano lessons to people of all ages and levels, I can honestly say that no two people are exactly alike. It’s what keeps what I do so interesting and rewarding. Along with that, I can also say with confidence that they all have something in common as well:

How a person goes about learning something new says a lot about that individual’s perception of himself or herself.

A number of years ago, while attending a seminar, the speaker shared some words that never left me. He said:

“How you do one thing is how you do everything.”

Upon seeing or hearing those words for the first time, once could easily argue, “Well, an attorney who is tops in his or her field with no experience playing piano obviously doesn’t play the instrument like (s)he performs in a courtroom.”

The meaning of that quote goes much deeper than that, of course, as do most profound statements.

I have enjoyed the pleasure and privilege of providing piano lessons to attornies, nurses, doctors, full-time moms, and more. In each of their chosen fields, I wouldn’t be able to hold a candle to any of them. It’s true that, as a beginning piano student, each of these individuals does what they do with authority and integrity in their own right.

That said, their approach to learning something new, whether it’s learning to associate the names of the keys on the keyboard with the grand staff or learning how to play a piano version of McCartney’s Let It Be, reveals this:

We are all subject to approaching challenges from the unique perspective that we have of ourselves. Each of us maintains a certain self-image along with own unique brand of self-esteem and confidence. We bring that to the table in all that we do. In short, the person you internally see yourself as is the one who “shows up for the lesson.”

It’s that person who “shows up” for everything.

Increase your self confidenceA Super Way To Expand Your Self Awareness

I know that a certain number of clients of mine who show up for weekly lessons are in touch with this truth.

Let’s consider the retired attorney who took himself through a successful career while being tops in his game shows up because he is aware that the challenge of reaching a specific pianistic goal allows him to enhance his perspective of himself. He knows that learning a new “boogie-woogie” left-hand pattern will allow him to prove to himself that what once was considered impossible is now possible. He sees the breakthrough as worth every iota of effort. He has the ability to make his way through obstacles. He uses the piano as a tool to prove that.

Then there’s the semi-retired educator who shows up each and every week for the simple reason that she realizes that she is worth that commitment to herself. Upon entering the studio, she humorously confesses, “I didn’t even touch the piano this week” while knowing that she’s still going to learn something during that session and is aware that I’m totally accepting of her situation as I remind her, “You’re doing this to enhance your lifestyle – not overtake it.” She smiles, knowing that I understand where she’s coming from. She knows why she shows up. The person she sees herself as is one who doesn’t retreat in the face of trials. She shows up to nurture that fact.

Across the ocean, in Australia, there is the man who writes to me while sitting on the train on his way to work. After investing in my latest online cocktail piano video lesson, he shares his appreciation and feedback, shares how it has helped him. He also offers what he would like to see in an upcoming video tutorial.

I enjoy the privilege of servicing these people and others like them, each with his or her own background and goals, of course. Most of them are not interested in performing publicly. Rather, they’ve set their own stage for personal growth and are enjoying the benefits. You know who you are, I take off my hat and bow to you.

Piano as a tool for self reflectionThe Journey Means More Than The Destiny

You may have ascertained by now that I view each and every one-on-one session that I participate in as more than a piano lesson. You see, when a person enters my studio, for the first time or the fiftieth, I’m interested in the person behind the student. It’s you that matters – not what I have to teach you.

This takes us back to the truth behind that quote. Certain clients of mine know the reason they are involved with piano lessons because they enjoy overcoming obstacles and want to improve how they approach them. They know this applies to much more than getting through the first eight bars of a Bach Minuet. They see it as more personal than that.

What it takes to progress through certain pianistic challenges involves a lot, including visualizing, memorizing, coordinating, muscle memory, and more. The fantastic side to this is that all the benefits received by pursuing these challenges manifest in a natural way while simply having some fun with it all.


The rewards are many!

I often remind my clients that a person who plays piano for a certain amount of time develops levels of cognitive and physical skills that most other people don’t. I’m convinced that, if most people genuinely knew this to be true, almost everyone would want to take piano lessons!

You Matter: Where Do You Stand?

This takes me to you, dear reader. Specifically, YOU. What brings you here? It’s possible that you arrived here searching for some information that might help you to complement your own experience on the piano. You may have even arrived here with intending to. The fact is you’re here and I’m glad! Having read this far, how can I help you?

Where are you along your journey? I’m interested in learning more about you and your musical involvement, whether you’ve never touched a piano before or you’re simply looking to elevate your improvisational skills. The fact that you have taken some of your valuable time to arrive here and stay awhile is totally appreciated by me. Is there a way I can make it worth it for you? Share your experience with me. I would certainly appreciate that.

What You Can Expect

As this blog is in its initial stages of development, I would like to let you know that it’s my intention to provide valuable information that you can use in a very practical way. Whether you are a beginner or a more experienced player, you’ll find helpful tips, techniques, and strategies that you can utilize to enhance your own playing and appreciation of yourself as a creator. I’m pretty certain that the information you find in this blog will enhance your experience with any learning tools that you may have purchased in our store. From my perspective, it would be fantastic if they work well in conjunction with each other to enhance your experience. I’ll keep this in mind as I continue adding to this blog.

The initial posts will be specifically designed to help the beginning piano enthusiast. One of my strongest aspirations is to turn non-believers into doers. If you have ever had any reservation about your ability to make music at the piano, I would ask that you put those thoughts on hold for a little while. Allow what you find here to serve you in a positive way. The truth is this: you have what it takes to make music and to experience all the peripheral benefits that go along with it!

As this blog matures, the various posts will be categorized so that you can easily see which posts may apply more specifically to you and your situation.

Please correspond with me to let me know how the material here is helpful to you or how it could more specifically be of help to you. Truly, I honor your perspective and am certain to read every email I receive.



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24 Replies to “Life Is Like A Piano”

  1. I am a cocktail pianist at a local club. Your video lessons have continued to help me to improve my playing. I am most appreciative.

  2. I stumbled on your dominant seventh chords tutorial and it finally clicked with me regarding the major 7 vs the dominant 7. I finally get it!

  3. Besides the material here, I really like the service via email. It’s genuine.

  4. Customer service here is exceptional. Just wanted to express that.

  5. Just started playing piano. Having fun here. As an adult, I like the way you present the material.

  6. Are you still available for private online coaching? I’m 65 years of age and looking to get some help with lead sheet interpretation. Thanks.

  7. Your Sneak Peeks series raises some questions for me. I will email you. Thanks.

  8. Just ordered your cocktail piano starter kit. Not even a quarter of the way through it but I’m motivated πŸ™‚

  9. I have been playing piano and keyboards for quite some time and find your material a refreshing source of encouragement and motivation. Thanks.

  10. I have become inspired by some of your material. I’m not a serious piano player but I am having some fun with your Sneak Peeks videos. I’ve learned quite a bit about playing cocktail style. Thumbs up & thanksπŸ˜‰

  11. Enjoying your video demonstrations. Would like more on hymns and gospel.

    1. Joseph, thank you for your good words and suggestion. Yes, we have received a number of requests for more worship music content. I appreciate thatπŸ™‚πŸŽΉ

  12. I think I will contact you through your Key Talk program. I feel that you have a knack for explaining things clearly. I have been taking piano lessons for 11 years or so and my teacher has never brought up anything about playing lead sheets. I really want to learn about playing with chords.

  13. Can you explain the difference between major 7th and 7th chords? This has always confused me.

    1. Hi Matthiew. This has confused many. An easy way to clear up this confusion is to focus on the chord symbol There are a variety of symbols for a Major Seventh chord – Cmaj7, CM7, CΞ”… this chord uses the 7th note of the Major scale. In this chord, that would be “B”… however, a Dominant Seventh chord is generally seen as C7 (just the numeral 7 after the root name). In this case, the 7 of the Major scale is lowered one half-step, so the 7 of C7 would be “Bb”… Cmaj7 = C E G B… C7 = C E G Bb.

  14. I totally relate to this. I don’t always necessarily love a particular piece of music I happen to be working on, but the reward of making it through the technical challenges is well worth the time invested.😊

  15. That was a good explanation of those 7th chords. I was confused by that for a very long time until now. Thanks : )

    1. Ronald, that’s really nice to know. #1 of the series is the only one that displays only the animation keyboard while all the others also include the “live” piano demonstration as well. Yes, there’s was a lot of information shared in that session. Thanks for sharing, Ronald πŸ™‚

  16. I was reading about your KeyTalk coaching program. Can I get some help with jazz piano voicings using this service?

    1. Most definitely, Pamela. It’s a favorite topic of mine. I look forward to getting started with you. I will email you a few questions as a start.

  17. I appreciate the blog posts. Just started lessons. πŸ‘

  18. Was glad to find you yesterday. We all play piano or keyboard in my house. Discovered your 7th chords tutorial and found it to help us, especially me.

  19. Just started playing piano. Enjoying the material.Thanks.

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