Learning Piano in the Fast Lane – Two Ways to keep students moving


DSC_4265We live in a world of Fast Lanes, though skills such as Learning to Play Piano offer very few short-cuts.

But we’ve come up with two ways that work like magnets to keep students moving ahead at the keyboard:

1) Play along with Professional Orchestral Accompaniments – It’s no secret that students are more fulfilled playing with a professional orchestra.  Why?  They make players sound better than they really are. It’s more fun.

2) Progressive Challenge Levels packaged together – Every arrangement comes with two or three versions of the same piece but at progressively increasing levels of difficulty.  Students can hardly wait to charge into the next level.  Cue (small) notes further assist in stair-stepping to the next level.

View how the Progressive Challenge Levels work

Let’s assume your student visits JerryNelsonMusic.com titles.  His curiosity finds him scrolling below the list to hear what the selections sound like – surprised to be able to demo them in their entirety, not just 30-second sound bites.  Cool.  Next he discovers the piece he’s interested in includes three versions, Lvl 3, 4+, 5+, and at no extra cost.  Very cool.  But can he handle the brisk tempo of, say, the “William Tell Overture” Performance Track?  Alas, his order also includes a “Slower” version.  Super cool.  And don’t worry if you’re already using a current Methods series.  As they say, “You can keep your current plan.”  Just move over into the Fast (more Fun) Lane and supplement your plan with our Progressive Challenge Levels Arrangements and our unique Performance Tracks.

Guide to JerryCo’s Piano “Progressive Challenge Levels”

 Level 1 to 1+  Easy – Typically single-note melody, narrow range near center of keyboard, simple rhythms, small intervals, minimal finger-crossing and hand-position changes.  A notch above “beginner.”

Level 2 to 2+  Moderately easy – Two hands, simple rhythms, slightly wider range with more hand-position changes, easy finger-crossing, easy keys, 1- and 2-note textures per hand.

Level 3 to 3+  Moderate – More keys, rhythmic variety but natural rhythms, more finger-crossing than L2 but comfortable; frequent changes in hand position and octaves, occasional easy scales and arpeggios, moderately challenging sight-reading but not technically demanding, 2- and 3-note textures per hand.

Level 4 to 4+  Intermediate – Wider range of keys, key changes, syncopations but still natural rhythms, more stylistic variety. Compared with Level 3, Level 4 has some 4-note textures in the RH, faster scales and arpeggios, more 16th-note patterns, wider hand position changes.  Manageable by most church pianists.

Level 5 to 5+  Moderately Difficult – Wider range, increased hand motion, full range of keys, thicker textures (4 and occasionally 5-notes per hand), faster tempi scales and arpeggios, tricky rhythms, advanced chords, more challenging sight-reading, more accidentals, fairly challenging technically.

Level 6 to 6+  Advanced – Full keyboard range, wide range of styles, some very challenging rhythms, rapid scales and arpeggios, some very thick textures in both hands, generous accidentals, wider dynamic range with subtle nuances, quite demanding technically and stylistically.


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