About Blue Canyon Music
I’ve been teaching piano for many years and as such, have created a lot of my own materials over the years. There were many reasons for this, but the main reason being that I felt many piano methods moved too fast or skipped over important concepts. Many, many students are, unfortunately, not truly ready to begin piano lessons when their parents sign them up for lessons. And again, the reasons are quite varied. Lack of musical experience, home structure, too many activities, ect. Students that are not ready to begin lessons are not ready to practice regularly by themselves. And many parents are not ready to enforce the regular practice needed for success. And because of this students flounder and then fail.
Learning the piano is not difficult as long as there is regular, consistent, and focused practice. Otherwise students will have difficulty with note reading, rhythm, and technique; the basic foundations of music. The average student does not practice enough and therefore concepts will be presented too soon and too fast, leaving the student little time to master these skills. And conversely, they will become bored and dejected when they are forced to keep practicing a piece for weeks on end.
And the proof of this is out there. The wide gap between sales of beginning piano materials and advanced materials (or even intermediate), is mind-boggling. And for these reasons, I began making my own materials. In general, my philosophy is as follows:
- I feel that rhythm is very important and that beginners should work to build solid rhythm skills. I don’t think complex rhythms should be held back from beginners. And I also strongly believe in the use of rhythm mnemonics!
- Being comfortable and competent with the keys on the piano is also important. It amazes me how so many students from popular method books have to “count” to find their notes. Not being able to immediately and instantly find a key on the piano creates another barrier for mastering the piano.
- All students are capable of becoming fluent readers. Students do not have to learn by positions. Students do not have learn every single note on the staff one at a time. Students do not have to tediously remember landmarks. All that is needed is a thorough, basic understanding, and amazingly, students make the connections and learn to read.
- Students do not need a piano method with level, after level, after level. After a thorough understanding of the basics, students can start learning real music. Music by composers like Jennifer Linn or Dennis Alexander. These non-piano method solos are fun, exciting, and motivating. And there is an endless supply.
The materials available on this website follow the above points. There are only three levels (each with a corresponding A, B, and C) and that’s it. There is an effort to create a solid foundation with lots of pre-staff materials but the pace is determined by the student. Go as fast or as slow as needed. Also, most importantly, many materials are very affordable or available for free! (I guess I’m just nice.)