Ask a piano teacher...
Our on-staff piano teacher, Rhonda Bradley, is available to answer your questions about playing the piano. Whether you are a student needing advice on a certain piece or lesson, or a prospective student with questions about piano & keyboard lessons, just send in your questions and you'll receive a personal reply. Below are Rhonda's replies to some frequently asked questions. If your question is not included below, then just click on the question mark and type your message. Please include your name, city, and occupation in your message, in case we decide to post your question to this page..
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For more information on Rhonda Bradley, go to www.d3i.net/RhondaBradley
QUESTION: I have been playing piano for 6 years, and have to make a decision about what to study in College. Can you tell me what kind of career options are available if I study music?
As you get into professional levels of music, the field becomes more and more specific. In order to work professionally and full-time, you will need to become an expert in at least one area There are endless career opportunities available, and my best advice is to experiment in different avenues for a few years before choosing an area of expertise. Following your loves and desires can be a tricky balancing act with the realities of everyday life (like doing what you are best at, or just paying the bills). My advice is to first choose a path that will enable you a comfortable living and then work at becoming a master at whatever you really want to do. I've listed below a number of the opportunities available for a pianist in the music industry, but these are just a start. As you develop relationships and contacts with other professionals in music, you'll find unlimited opportunities available for an educated, talented musician who knows how to show up on time and dress appropriate!
Elementary school teacher or music director
Performer - local, regional, national levels
Composer & arranger - film, television, commercial writer
Accompanist for theatre productions - local, regional or national level
Church pianist or accompanist
QUESTION: I am an adult with a busy schedule, but would like to learn to play piano for fun. I don't have a lot of time right now, and don't want to invest in expensive lessons at the moment. What would you suggest?
Try Danman's Music Library 's online piano lessons. A great way to get started and work at your own pace, in your own time!
QUESTION: Although I've been playing for a number of years, my hands still don't have the strength and dexterity for certain pieces. Is there anything I can do?
A regular practice routine is very important to keep your hands strong and flexible. I start my private students on finger exercises within the first three months of lessons - not only because it allows for better ability, but also because I can hear the difference in players who do and don't have an exercise routine. The Hanon Exercise program (which was first published in 1900, and has been used by classical musicians/teachers ever since) is, in my opinion, the best out there - and you can download it for free in our Free Sheet Music section. Start slowly and work your way into these exercise - increase your speed and amount gradually over time. Follow all finger numbers precisely, as each exercise is designed to work very specific muscles. Expect to take a least a few years completing all 60 exercises - but know that you'll be able to play anything once you've accomplished this!