Author Archives: mrskeys

Professional pianist teaching piano skills and ear training at the piano

Piano Skills and Ear Training #4

This is video #4 in my Piano Skills and Ear Training series!  This week we will maneuver through the I-IV-V7-I chord progression in all 12 keys using smooth voice leading.  Once we’ve mastered that, we’ll start to SING the bass notes (in Moveable Do Solfege, naturally).  This is amazing ear training and a great way to build up some piano chops.

Want to learn Solfege and build your ears and musicianship skills?  Crash Course in Solfege: The Bundle is an all-in-one online course that teaches musicianship skills that you can actually USE. Learn Moveable Do Solfege in Major, Minor (Natural, Harmonic and Melodic) and the Chromatic Scale, PLUS get bonus material like voice lessons, warmups and dive into how Solfege can be used in creative ways to improve your musicianship quickly.  CHECK IT OUT!

Piano Skills and Ear Training #3

This is video #3 in my Piano Skills and Ear Training series.  This week we will work through the I-IV-I-V7-I chord progression in all 12 keys using smooth voice leading.  Not only will we play it, but we will also SING the bass notes in Moveable Do Solfege.  This is a great exercise to get yourself in shape on the keyboard but also a great challenge to sing through the progression!

Want to learn Solfege and build your ears and musicianship skills?  Crash Course in Solfege: The Bundle is an all-in-one online course that teaches musicianship skills that you can actually USE. Learn Moveable Do Solfege in Major, Minor (Natural, Harmonic and Melodic) and the Chromatic Scale, PLUS get bonus material like voice lessons, warmups and dive into how Solfege can be used in creative ways to improve your musicianship quickly.  CHECK IT OUT!

Piano Skills and Ear Training #2

This is video #2 in my Piano Skills and Ear Training series.  This week I will show you how to play the I-V7-I chord progression (Perfect cadence) in all 12 keys using smooth voice leading.  THEN – we will play and SING the bass notes in Moveable Do Solfege.  The perfect cadence is in pretty much EVERY song from classical to rock, so this lesson will be great for you to train your ears to hear it and your hands to play it!

Want to learn Solfege and build your ears and musicianship skills?  Crash Course in Solfege: The Bundle is an all-in-one online course that teaches musicianship skills that you can actually USE. Learn Moveable Do Solfege in Major, Minor (Natural, Harmonic and Melodic) and the Chromatic Scale, PLUS get bonus material like voice lessons, warmups and dive into how Solfege can be used in creative ways to improve your musicianship quickly.  CHECK IT OUT!

Piano Skills and Ear Training #1

Today’s tutorial combines piano skills with ear training – a powerful combination.  I show you how to play the I-IV-I chord progression (Plagal cadence) in all 12 keys using smooth voice leading.  THEN – we will play and SING the bass notes in Moveable Do Solfege .  The I-IV-I progression in tons of songs  – singing and playing this progression on the piano will help train your ears to hear it!

Want to learn Solfege and build your ears and musicianship skills?  Crash Course in Solfege: The Bundle is an all-in-one online course that teaches musicianship skills that you can actually USE. Learn Moveable Do Solfege in Major, Minor (Natural, Harmonic and Melodic) and the Chromatic Scale, PLUS get bonus material like voice lessons, warmups and dive into how Solfege can be used in creative ways to improve your musicianship quickly.  CHECK IT OUT!

Shawn Maxwell’s Expectation and Experience album

Shawn Maxwell is an amazing saxophonist and composer based in Chicago and his new record comes out on FRIDAY! We met back in 2000 on a cruise ship and have kept in touch over the years. He wrote 17 pieces and sent them to 30 musicians to record at home. I played on “Breathe”, a piece he wrote in memory of George Floyd. he sent me a lead sheet and the saxophone part and encouraged me to play whatever I felt. I am really happy with how it turned out and the record is really wonderful. Nick Eipers did a phenomenal job mixing this project. Check it out Shawn’s Bandcamp page!

Motivation Monday: Essentialism

It’s Motivation Monday! Today I talk about an amazing book called Essentialism by Greg McKeown. It combines minimalism with productivity and I have been working on a lot of these principles to somehow keep going during this insane time. Has anyone else read this book? (Link to the book in comments below)

What Piano Skills do Singers Need?

It’s no secret that I have a passion for teaching singers to play piano.  It has been an amazing adventure to teach my voice students of all ages and levels to play piano, and to empower my friends and colleagues to advance their keyboard skills to enhance their songwriting, performance and teaching.  I have even spent countless hours building online courses on the subject!  I think the #1 reason for the success of my methods is that I investigated the question “What Skills Do Singers Need?”  In this video, I am going to take you through the 4 skills EVERY singer needs to have and then I go genre by genre to share the skills that everyone needs – from pop singers to classical singers, from choral conductors to early childhood educators and music therapists.

Intrigued?  Check out the courses page HERE.  Find out why hundreds of people worldwide are RAVING about these courses!

Motivation Monday: Small Steps Every Day

It’s #motivationmonday again and this is week I’m talking about my newest productivity method.  Rather than binge working a few times a week, I am setting up smaller, more frequent sessions.  Since I am homeschooling, teaching and running my online course business, it has been necessary for me to continue to find the best method.  So far, I am finding these short bursts super helpful for me to consistently produce higher quality work.  How do you do your best work?

5 Steps to Sight Singing Success

Is sight singing a thorn in your side?  In this video, I am going to show you my 5 steps to sight singing success.  How to approach mastering this in an easy-to-use protocol.  Super useful!


Want to learn Solfege and build your ears and musicianship skills?  Crash Course in Solfege: The Bundle is an all-in-one online course that teaches musicianship skills that you can actually USE. Learn Moveable Do Solfege in Major, Minor (Natural, Harmonic and Melodic) and the Chromatic Scale, PLUS get bonus material like voice lessons, warmups and dive into how Solfege can be used in creative ways to improve your musicianship quickly.  CHECK IT OUT!

Motivation Monday – Is it time for a mission statement?

In this week’s #motivationmonday I talk about how navigating social media has helped me to get clear on my mission statement. It is easy to get lost in the likes and follows and totally lose track of what you are trying to actually accomplish. Do you have a mission statement?