How to motivate piano students with 5 notes…

For the Theory Tip Tuesday exercise and video for today, I decided to teach “How to Motivate Piano Students with 5 Notes (the Blues Pentascale).” In this video I start by teaching students how to create the Blues Pentascale in every key signature and play it for them as eighth notes and swinging the tempo, of course. The Blues Pentascale is simply playing the first five notes from the minor blues scale. After playing the entire exercise for them, I then teach the students how to take the Blues Pentascale and play around with it. I also teach a simple 12 bar blues chord progression and how to embellish the right hand while the left hand plays the basic blues pentascale as quarter notes.

Watch the Theory Tip Tuesday video of me teaching how to motivate piano students with 5 notes (the blues pentascale):

 

You can click on the image below to download the FREE PDF exercise of the Blues Pentascales in all keys. This is a FREE PDF download and anyone can download this and print it off for their own use. Watch the video above as I teach you how to play what is written in this PDF and then how to take the theory and apply it to create fun improv patterns of your own. Students not only love doing this, but also enjoy performing this Blues Pentascale chord progression for their family and friends. Whenever I teach this to students and piano teachers, I hear feedback that the students have been playing this chord progression non-stop and are having fun showing and teaching their friends how to do it as well. That is so motivational when the student begins showing their friends how to do what they have learned. The students can’t wait to share their excitement with others and the momentum builds. It’s fun to see where that excitement takes them on their musical journey. Have fun with this and share it with other piano teachers, piano students, or parents of piano students who may enjoy learning and playing the Blues Pentascales and the 12 bar blues chord progression on the piano.

 

Here is another video you can watch where I teach how to improvise with a blues pentascale:

 

You can click on the image below to download the accompanying FREE PDF that goes with the above video lesson: This is a FREE PDF download and anyone can download this and print it off for their own use. Watch the video above as I teach you how to play what is written in this PDF and then how to take the theory and apply it to create fun improv patterns of your own. Students not only love doing this, but also enjoy performing this Blues Pentascale chord progression for their family and friends. Whenever I teach this to students and piano teachers, I hear feedback that the students have been playing this chord progression non-stop and are having fun showing and teaching their friends how to do it as well.

 

Once or twice a month I come out with a new “Theory Tip Tuesday” as a way to motivate and inspire piano students and piano teachers. It’s a way for me to teach music theory the FUN way – emphasis on the word FUN. I refer to it as teaching the FUN-damentals of music theory. I don’t think music theory should ever be taught alone on one side of the musical dimension because it cannot exist on its own. The entire purpose of teaching music theory is to teach what students can do with that music theory to begin creating music of their own, either by arranging or composing music. Music theory is then taught by how students can apply the scales, modes, and chords into their playing. It is not just about being able to identify what key signature a piece is in or what time signature you are using. Being able to identify a major or minor triad in any position or inversion is wonderful, but if you don’t know what to do with that knowledge, then it is meaningless because you need the practical application of music theory. Learning how to do something is important, but knowing why you are doing it is even more important.

 

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