Playing classical music didn’t really appeal to Coen when he was a kid – so he started forging his own path. He found his way into piano playing through pop music and now teaches his students using the vocabulary of chords as the foundation.
Coen is passionate about pop piano teaching. He treats teaching music like a language, and he thinks a harmonic vocabulary is the first thing they need to learn. When they learn about chords in this way, they see that these notes fit together, no matter which way they’re spelled.
There are so many possibilities when it comes to beginner piano teaching. I hope you’ll get some inspiration for your studio from Coen’s unique, pop-based approach.
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Coen is generously giving away his Bare Essentials to Keyboard Harmony to my listeners. You’re not going to want to miss this comprehensive guide.
In this episode, you’ll learn
- How Coen came to teaching pop piano
- What a piano “hack” is and why Coen teaches this way
- Why chords should be the foundation of our teaching
- What Coen would do in the first few lessons with a new student
- The magic behind musical words
- How chords can help students to compose music
- The value of patterns for teaching harmony and rhythms
- Coen’s ideas for teaching pop melodies
- What a rhythm block is and how it helps to visualise patterns
- Piano Couture (Coen’s blog)
- Piano Couture on YouTube
- Amsterdam Conservatory Pop Department
- My Rhythm app
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Have you tried teaching harmony first?
What do you think of Coen’s approach to teaching? How much pop do you teach in your studio?