Contemporary Piano

Additional Information

Any guitarist, even a beginner, can just pick up a guitar and accompany a sing-along, or jam with his or her friends, with remarkably few lessons and little printed information. 


My goal is to match this on the piano (except the bit about picking it up)!!


I am a member of a group of contemporary piano/keyboard teachers, The Inner Circle, who do this by teaching common chord progressions, with a variety of left hand patterns to provide the style for the piece. My work is highly influenced by the Chord Play, Pattern Play and Puzzle Play books of Forrest Kinney and the books and works of the jazz pianist and educator, Bradley Sowash, with whom I have studied online. 


Students are taught to access musical information through listening and reading. This is also in keeping with current educational thinking which puts sound before symbol.There are three different types of reading to which they are exposed, according to need:

  1. Words only, with the chord symbols printed directly above, such as in guitar song books.
  2. Lead sheets, in which only the melody is printed, with the chord symbols directly above.
  3. Traditional notation, printed on both the treble and bass clef. Even here, the reading is taught in a holistic way, that emphasises chord and interval recognition, rather than counting up individual notes.


Any of these approaches is a useful introduction to the study of music composition, through applied theory, which I also teach. 

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