Focus on the Classics!
I love the piano!
It is so versatile. We can play almost every style and genre of music imaginable.
My students enjoy lots of different types of music, like folk music, popular music, blues, and the music of today’s talented composers.
But a fact is a fact, and the fact is that there is just no substitute for learning standard piano repertoire.
The music of great composers has stood the test because it is unique, innovative, and excellent. Just like any fine art classical music embodies innovation, inspiration, and excellence.
The scope of classical music is very wide. From the intricacy of Bach’s fugues to the wistful beauty of Debussy’s Arabesques. From the clean brightness of Mozart’s sonatas to the exciting syncopation of Bartok’s Six Dances in Bulgarian Rhythm. There is so much richness, so much for an aspiring musician to hear, absorb, and connect with.
In my opinion, standard classical repertoire is the backbone of quality piano study. This is where I learned to play with precision, expression, and musicality.
Studying the classics helps us to understand how music is put together. We can understand what makes music work and why Haydn sounds like Haydn, and Chopin sounds completely different. Classical music theory is the foundation of music theory.
Learning classical repertoire helps pianists develop strong technique, strong aural skills, and good music reading abilities. Because most classical repertoire is memorized it also strengthens musical memory.
Classical music is a world unto its own. I didn’t grow up in a home where I heard classical music. Fortunately, I was introduced to it at school. I still remember the first classical piece I had ever heard. It was Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D major. I was learning to play violin at school and the orchestra director played it for the class. I had never heard anything so amazing!
It might seem counterproductive for a person like me who composes piano music for students to be singing the praises of learning standard repertoire. But it isn’t.
I have the second half of my life learning to play, church music, play from lead sheets, and play pop, blues, and jazz. I love almost every kind of music. (Almost…if it’s good).
Being classically trained has done so much to set me up for success. I never have to think about, technique, tone, fingering, phrasing, pedaling, and all of those other things that go into playing the piano well.
I want my students to be well-rounded musicians. That means yes to all genres and styles of music. I absolutely encourage them to play the fresh new music of today’s composers. And of course, I am delighted when they tell me they love my music.
But there will never be a substitute for the classics.
That’s why I have the first classics collection and am adding my standard repertoire favorites to Paloma Piano. Carefully engraved and enlarged a bit for easier reading. The Classics Collections are another resource I am adding to make sure Paloma Piano is a great value for teachers.
Check out the classical music selections published here at Paloma Piano