Tag Archives: piano skills for singers

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!

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!

New Classical Singer Magazine Blog Post!!

I’m super excited that Classical Singer Magazine asked me to write another guest blog post!  Here, you can get into the specific building blogs I use to teach singers how to play piano.  (Yes, I cover all of this in my wildly popular online courses Piano Skills for Singers!)

In my last article, I discussed my extensive experience teaching singers to play piano and how traditional methods have not proved effective at preparing them for professional work. I have created my own method teaching functional piano to singers, which firsts asks the question “What Piano Skills Do Singers Need?”   continue reading…

Random Songs I Like #5 – Best of You

For this series, I will be posting a new song every week from every imaginable style and genre.  The only criteria is that I need to like it!

This week’s #RandomSongsILike is my version of the Foo Fighters “Best of You”.  I have loved this song for years and it was high time I sat down and worked out an arrangement.  I use a hemiola pattern throughout and made sure to knock out Taylor Hawkin’s kickin’ hits at the end of the guitar solo.  Fun!!

PS – Can you take a quick minute and subscribe to my Youtube channel?  It helps get more eyeballs on my work!

Take the OMG out of DIY

I know I’m not alone when I say that there are a lot of things in business and life that I have zero affinity for.  I’m not a tech person, my administrative skills are so-so at best and I am not a naturally organized person.  At the start of last year, I made a big list of a bunch of dream projects that I have been wanting to tackle for a long time and I realized that there was one thing separating me from achieving them:  they would all require skills I don’t have.

I considered my options.   I could either:

1.  hire someone to do them or 2. Figure it out on my own.

Not having thousands of dollars at my disposal, I had no choice but to take the “figure it out” route.

Somehow in the last 18 months, I have managed to tackle several impossible-it-will-never-ever-happen tasks in a pretty successful way.  I learned how to record video and audio, how to edit multicamera videos, resulting in a successful online course and dozens of videos posted on my YouTube channel.  I also managed to do all of my own publicity and radio distribution for a new album, which got 10x more press and radio interest then my last album, which I paid a professional publicist thousands of dollars to promote.

Now I’m not bragging (well, maybe just a little…), I’m just trying to promote the idea that if I can do it, literally anyone else on Earth can.  It took some serious elbow grease, and some swearing at the computer and vowing never to take on a project like this again, but even though they felt totally undoable, these projects actually got done.  I’m going to share a few tips on how you too can tackle some of your dream projects in a DIY fashion.

  1. Figure out what skills and equipment you need. 

In order to tackle promoting my new album, I needed to gain some administrative skills that I didn’t have.  I learned that in order to send mass emails, you needed something called a “mail merge”.  For my video work, I researched which cameras and software would be effective and easy to use for my purposes.

  1. Ask for help.

Do you have a friend who is an expert at a skill you lack?  Ask them for tips on how to get started.  My friend Jan is an admin wiz and she was super helpful in answering a few questions about how to get started creating and Excel spreadsheet.

  1. Give yourself lots of time.

You’ll need time to get comfortable as you work through these new skills and you will make a lot of mistakes along the way.  Don’t give yourself a too-tight deadline, as it will take some time to use these new skills.

  1. Take an online course.

As I was getting my mind around learning how to do my own publicity, I heard of a fantastic online course called JazzFuel.  Taught by one of the top jazz managers in Europe, I learned step-by-step to prepare and execute this huge project.  It was time and money well spent!

  1. Don’t forget YouTube.

You can pretty much learn anything on YouTube as there are video tutorials for pretty much any topic under the sun.  I taught myself the video editing software Final Cut Pro using a variety of YouTube videos.

  1. Take notes as you go.

I have kept elaborate records of each step of my DIY learning, from which YouTube links I used, to step-by-step directions on how to do everything from setting up the audio on a video shoot to how to print mailing labels.  I keep all of this in a file on my computer called “How to do things” and saves me hours of time.  You can also make notes on what worked and what didn’t work, so you don’t have to repeat the same mistakes for the next project.

As we move into a new year (and new decade), everyone is starting to think about what is on the horizon.  Consider what you would be able to achieve if you weren’t hindered by the skills that you lack.  What would you accomplish if you could DIY?