Learning the Piano with Prelude
At Prelude, piano teaching isn’t limited to classical music. We spent some time last weekend listening to the fantastic Kyle Landry – if you haven’t heard him before, we highly recommend you give him a listen.
Kyle combines classical training with a love for music from films, games and musicals. In his YouTube videos, you can see how he combines excellent technique with great arrangements and song choices.
Read on to see Kyle in action…
Something you might notice when listening to Kyle is that he plays songs in a way that means you can recognise every part. It’s difficult on any instrument to play more than one part at the same time – for example, playing the chords and melody of a song together. Kyle also includes harmonies (notes that support the main melody or add to how ‘rich’ the music sounds), as well as rhythms and dynamics (increases and decreases in volume and playing touch). Imagine playing all the notes and rhythms that an orchestra or rock band play – at the same time, and on one instrument.
The piano is versatile
Kyle is able to play songs a way that means you can recognise every part, even in songs or pieces that were originally played by many instruments. One of the reasons he is able to do this is because the piano offers so many options to a musician. An important part of piano playing is developing hand independence – in other words, being able to play different things (notes, rhythms and dynamics) in both your left and right hand, at the same time. Without a great ability to play different melodies, rhythms and chords in both of his hands, Kyle’s arrangements would sound nowhere near as interesting.
Learning as a beginner
When just starting to play, listening to pianists like Kyle can be both inspirational, and pretty intimidating. However there are many exercises and pieces you can learn that can help you develop your skill and technique. Once you’ve grasped the fundamentals of good technique and have worked on your general music theory and musical knowledge, there’s no reason you can’t start creating your own arrangements of your favourite songs. Focus on the inspirational side of watching great piano players, and you can develop all the skills you need to play the music you’re interested in.