What sort of navigation do the piano tuition DVDs have ? The DVD set has the usual menus and buttons which are the normal features of the format. The lessons are therefore instantly accessible and you can move around very quickly to suit yourself. You can also zoom in or play back slowly, or playback fast, but without sound. The DVD set is only available in english.
Your tuition is described as a piano course, but I have a keyboard. Will the DVD set still work for me ? Yes. All the piano tuition material on the DVD set applies to piano and keyboards. You can achieve the same physical skill on both instruments with our DVD set, but the only difference is that, especially when you get very advanced - Grades 7 + 8 ABRSM - you can have a more refined and artistic touch on an acoustic piano than on a keyboard. This is not noticeable in the early stages. These days, the electronic keyboards have made such progress that your progress will not be held back. The most important thing is that the keys are the same size as acoustic piano.
I'm an adult beginner, does this course teach me to read music ? Yes it does. In the early stages, individual notes light up to help you follow more easily, and later on the whole bar lights up in time with the music, so that you don't lose your place if you look down at your hands.
What makes "Learn the Piano with Clifford Evans" so special ? If I had to chose one factor, it would be that I have tried to present the piano tuition in a way which influences the way you practise on your own and gives you direction and organisation in your piano lessons, thereby giving you a better chance of real progress. The detail that has gone into this has been well documented by critics and customers alike, and took 8 year's full time work to produce, and the result is a thorough teach yourself system for playing and to read music.
Do I need to have the TV and the DVD player in the same room as the keyboard or piano ? - I am an adult beginner at the piano. It's not absolutely necessary, because most of the time you will be watching short sections of a few minutes length, and then you'll spend the next week practising (yes - that concentrated). However, there are advantages in having it all in the same room, because there are useful things you can do, like switching the sound of the TV off and playing along with the animated graphics where the notes or the bars light up. This is a real help in practising the reading of music and to reduce the chance of losing your place. The same thing applies to the graphics which help you learn to name the notes (lines and spaces etc.) This time with the sound on, you can play the correct note in time to the graphics and see if you've got it right.
Why do I have to practise slowly ? - I can't wait to play fast. Most people have this problem, and it's very hard to be patient with oneself. The reason for practising slowly is simply that the brain will not accept all the new tasks you are trying to make it carry out, unless you do a lot of careful repetition and practise very slowly. Then the brain has to file all the information (which continues whilst we are sleeping) so that it becomes easily usable on a regular basis. Playing the piano is a combination of many skills used simultaneously, and we need to give the brain time to compute and assimilate all the information - then you can sometimes play fast later. Remember therefore to practise slowly.
I am an adult beginner and have difficulty practising every day because of my work and other activities. Does this matter ? Yes it does really. Learning the piano or keyboard is a demanding activity, just like athletics or any sport. This is why it's important to build up regular practice habits, so that the skill really develops. It's better to do piano lessons for just just 10 minutes every day than to do nothing for 3 days but 3 hours at the weekend. If you develop regular daily sessions of 20 minutes, you will make progress, feel more confident and enjoy it more. Of-course it never hurts to have the occasional day off. It's all in your hands!
I would like to encourage my son or daughter to play and to read music, is this possible with these piano lessons ? Yes it is. However, I must point out that although the DVDs and book are designed for age 13 upwards to adults, they are already being used with younger children, with parental supervision. The parent usually already plays the piano or keyboard a little or has studied the DVD first.
Up to what age is it possible for the adult beginner to learn the piano or keyboard ? Up to any age. I have taught many people in their 60s and 70s and they have made good progress and enjoyed it very much. However, progress does get slower the older we are.
What is legato ? Legato is when you join the notes, like all the notes under a slur. There should be a very slight overlapping to create the right effect. I recommend that you play everything legato except for the last note of a slur - which is of-course detached from the first one of the next slur - and except for the end of a section, which is usually marked by a double barline. Staccato notes are another exception
What is staccato ? Staccato is when you play a detached note, that is you don't join it to the next note. Basically you chop off the last bit of the note and replace with silence. For example, you can replace a crotchet by a quaver and a quaver rest.
The documentation states for 13 year olds to adult. Since 7 and 8 year old kids study piano lessons - I don't understand the difference. However, I am concerned that the DVD lessons will be in some way to advanced for my 7 year old or my 11 year old ? With the stringent rules that we follow concerning advertising and trading standards we have to be conservative about the way we describe the product, particularly since the marketing is aimed globally at people of all abilities, some of whom might not have english as their first language. Having said that, the main thing is the manner of delivery, which is straight and factual with no words wasted in trying to make it a "fun" product - although, of-course you can still have a lot of fun using the piano course ! - Otherwise it would not have been possible to fit in what is basically two years' material into 4 hours of DVD The concentration is such that you can watch five minutes of DVD and then use that information in your practice for the next week or even two. The DVDs are not designed to be viewed all through continuously. Having said all that, I do feel that fairly bright 10-13 year-olds would be able to follow the DVDs without parental supervision, and 7-9 years olds with parental supervision. The main problem with any child below 13 is the self-discipline and motivation factor which is the same for adults, but is likely to be better at 13 than at 7. Therefore with any child below 10 the best idea is if adult and child are learning together - with the adult already having done the first DVD, so that he or she can be ahead of the child.
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