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What Does “Classical Piano” Training Really Mean?

We’ve all heard the phrase “classical music” bandied about, and while some people have had piano lessons, others boast they have had “classical piano” training. 

What is the difference? IS there a difference?

Oh yes, there is a difference. But before you decide that in order to be classically trained you must give up hope of playing Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag or Little Richard’s “Good Golly, Miss Molly” in favor of only Beethoven, Mozart and Bach, take heart: The real meaning behind “classical piano training” is quite different than what you might think. 

Here are the top 5 things “Classical piano training” will give you that ordinary piano lessons won’t:

#5: Strength: You will be trained to have stronger fingers, hands and wrists than you would with non-classical lessons. Strength means more power, more sound, but more importantly, strength imparts control. You will be shown how to develop perfect control of your sound- how to produce beautiful sound. And control of your sound is the gateway to masterful expression. You become the one people love to hear.

#4: All styles, all the time: EVERY STYLE OF MUSIC is available to someone who is being classically trained. You are NOT LIMITED to only classical music; indeed, with classical training you will play EVERYTHING BETTER than those who learn from method books. Jazz, blues, ragtime, rock, modern ballads, New-Age, Movie and TV music: in short, EVERY style of music is easier and more accessible to the student who is receiving classical training. You can insist upon learning only the classics and that’s fine, but that is not what is meant by “classical piano training”. 

#3: Classical training is simply this: You will be taught not only what to do but exactly HOW TO DO IT. You will be taught “how” to produce thousands of different sounds on the piano. There are ways to use your body, arms, hands, wrists and fingers to create countless effects. Your playing sounds will be distinctly your own, just as personalized as your own voice. 

#2: Confidence. Your training will be whole: no gaps, no weak areas. Because you will be shown the secrets to how to use your hands, arms to produce great sound you will know intuitively how to do this after a time. 

Your ear will be trained so that you know what is tasteful and stylistically correct and what is not and, after a time, you will effortlessly choose what is beautiful and best for each phrase of each piece you play. You will never wonder if your playing is correct; you will know it is. We liken this to learning to speak a language without an accent- in perfect knowledge of how each thing should sound. 

#1: Mastery. Each student, at every age, can be taught to play beautifully and with expression. No two will play alike. That is the alchemy of music. There are rules to be followed and there are places where your individual artistic spirit should have its own voice. Our goal is that no matter the age or level of the student, each piece they play is crafted beautifully, with spirit and uniquely. We do not train copycats: it’s one reason we don’t offer “group piano”. Each person has their own personality and it should be encouraged to shine. 

What this means to our students:

  • You will be patiently and expertly taught, with care and kindness.
  • Music will be fun again.
  • Each student counts. You will not “get lost in the shuffle” here.
  • You’ll receive careful preparation for recitals, competitions, exams, and you’ll enjoy the feeling of confidence that only comes with excellence. 
  • You will attend concerts, field trips, and make friends with other musicians.
  • Very quickly, you will begin to stand out from the crowd. You will come to identify as an artist who takes their music seriously.

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  • Most of our students wind up staying with their piano studies throughout school, reaching an advanced level of expertise.
  • We will keep you interested! Things are always lively, with frequent performance classes, recitals, competitions, recording sessions, videos and more.
  • We are a friendly, warm studio of musicians, brought together by our love of music.
  • Helping musicians who are “burnt out” rediscover their love and enthusiasm for music is one of our specialties!
  • We offer more activities than any other music school in the area: RCM prep and exams, competitions, festivals, recitals, duet-trio-quartet ensembles, music theory, composition, etc.
  • Unique opportunities like learning a piano concerto, playing in an ensemble, composing a song, creating and performing a “story recital”, making videos.