Archive for June 2016

How to Play Formula Patterns (2 Octaves)

In today’s episode, I wanted to discuss how to play formula patterns, which are basically an extended version of a regular scale. They’re required for piano exams starting from a Grade 2 level (RCM), and even if you aren’t doing the whole exam thing, they’re fun to play and a great brain exercise. Let’s get…

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My Favorite Grade 2 Piano Books and Pieces

In today’s video, I’m going to show you my favorite grade 2 piano books, and the pieces in them (as per the RCM). I also did a video very similar to this about grade 1 level books, so if that’s up your alley, definitely check it out. You can also check out the post all…

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Songwriting Basics: A Pentatonic Song

Today we’re going to dip our toes in composition and look at some piano songwriting basics. I’ve written a tune with the very unique title of “Pentatonic Song”, which you can download below. You can learn it, or study it, or use it as a launching point for your own composition. I wanted to build…

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Pentatonic Scales: The Handiest Jamming/Improv Tool

Hey friends! Today we’ll be chatting about pentatonic scales, which is an extremely useful scale to know if you’re into jamming and improvising (even if that’s just something you do by yourself). We’re going to talk about how to figure them out (the theory), listen to a few examples of songs that use them, and…

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All About Grade 2 Piano (RCM and ABRSM)

In today’s video, we’re going to discuss grade 2 piano, RCM as well as grade 2 ABRSM. These are two major systems of grading, exams and levels in the piano world. So we’re going to talk about the different exam categories of grade 2 piano: song categories, the technique that’s required, as well as ear…

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Writing Down the Note Letters: Good or Bad?

In today’s episode, I wanted to sit down and have a chat with you guys about something I have seen fairly regularly in my studio – writing down the note letters. Reading music can be challenging. When you’re learning how to read notes, it can even be difficult to read pieces meant for beginners. So…

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Grade 1 Written Exam (Test Time!)

Here on PianoTV, we’ve spent a fair amount of time talking about beginner topics suitable to a Preparatory and Grade 1 level. Those topics range from history to theory, to lesson planning, to tutorials and techniques. As I’ve talked about previously in my video about why I think doing RCM playing exams are useful, I…

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Why Scales are Important, and How To Build a Major Scale

Scales are something that I like to work on with all of my students. They can sometimes seem like a drag, though, so I wanted to talk about why exactly I find them so useful. In today’s video, I also wanted to look at how to build a major scale. Every single key on the…

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