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1

I have found it a revelation to learn the chord and improvisation way of learning a song. Improvisation is the critical word. I think what you mean is learning how to improvise rhythmic patterns that fit chord progressions. Why don't piano teachers teach that? Because most of them are preparing students for piano recitals where you're judged by some notion ...


-3

As an addendum to other great answers: Playing "chords and melody" can be a lot of fun and discovering it can be a thrill, but it's not actually something that ever gets played by any sort of pianist in practice. Classical pianists - don't play chords and melody. This one is obvious. Pop/Rock pianists never (!) play chords and melody - that would ...


1

Yes, as in other comments and answers, there is a distance between various genres and their performance styles. One aspect that is "beyond chords", and relevant to both classical and jazz, is "voicing" of chords, that is, a choice of notes to express that chord, but/and fitting smoothly (as in "voice leading" and such) with ...


2

Here's another way to look at the issue. As you say, you were able to throw together your arrangement for "All of Me" in minutes. And it wasn't hard, was it? Someone with no musical background and no piano instruction probably couldn't do this, but you could. I have a hunch that that background and that instruction were more useful to you than you'...


3

I'm afraid I'll have to play devil's advocate, too. Arguably, you never actually learn how to play a piece from its lead sheet (melody + chords). You learn the melody, yes. You learn how to harmonize it, yes. But you never learn precisely how to play the accompaniment (was it straight 8ths block chords, or was I supposed to add syncopation?), so unless you ...


11

Devil's advocate: would most of us go along to a classical concert and enjoy a pianist playing a rough approximation of, say, Moonlight Sonata, a Bach fugue, et al? Somewhat doubtful - the jazzers amongst us might love it, but the purists might walk out. The answer is - what does one go to a piano teacher for? It was always the case - say up to 50 years ago -...


3

You could argue that any notation can only ever be an approximation of "what a piece should actually sound like", but reducing a whole arrangement to a sequence of chords is quite an extreme data reduction - you're looking at a very abstract form of what's actually being played. Before the advent of recording (and the distribution of those ...


47

Just like there's pop, rock, folk, jazz, metal, etc. guitar, there are many different disciplines of piano playing, each with a different set of required skills: classical piano pop piano jazz piano I consider these as separate subjects, and in music schools there's usually a separation between at least classical and pop/rock/jazz. Additionally, you might ...


13

Piano teachers routinely teach chord-reading, just not the teachers you studied with, it seems. Teachers who focus on jazz and popular music are the most likely, since chord charts (sheet music) are most common in those genres. Teachers who focus on classical music often have not themselves learned to read chord charts, though this is changing. But the ...


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