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by Andrew F. - San Antonio piano teacher (https://takelessons.com/profile/andrew-f31)
It is an exciting time for the music scene in San Antonio. Over the past several years, there has been a perceptible growth in the collective promotion of the arts -- music included. Throughout the year, residents and visitors of San Antonio enjoy music on stages of many sizes at events such as concerts, local shows, and open mics.
Fortunately for piano players in the San Antonio area, this instrument is arguably one of the most universal of all the instruments; therefore, you’re sure to find a place that fits your preferred style of piano, whether that’s jazz, classical, or something else. Below are places and events I believe provide wonderful opportunities to get exposed to live music as you’re taking piano lessons in San Antonio!
Local Music Venues If you are a blues or a jazz piano player, Luna and Sam’s Burger Joint are great places to see soulful artists play live shows. These places offer a vibrant setting for grooving music that will make you move! The Mix is a great place for artists -- local and beyond -- to play shows for a welcoming crowd. The stage is a cleared space for bands to give their shows, with the crowd only a couple of feet away. This allows for a close-knit experience with the performing bands. Lastly, Fitzgerald’s Bar and Live Music is a perfect place for local artists to gather to play covers and originals. The above local music venues, with the exception of Sam’s Burger Joint, are for adult crowds. However, these are places where young piano players can someday begin their journey of playing live music!
College and University Performances At most of the colleges and universities in San Antonio there are music events performed by students, faculty, and guest musicians. You may find music programs including piano recitals, orchestra concerts, jazz ensemble concerts, and more. Feel free to try to connect with the musicians afterwards. You can gain insight and the experience will contribute to your motivation to keep playing! Here are links for music event calendars of three universities and a local community college:
The University of Texas at San Antonio: http://music.utsa.edu/index.php/calendar Trinity University: http://new.trinity.edu/academics/departments/music The University of the Incarnate Word: http://www.uiw.edu/music/uiwmusicevents.html San Antonio College: http://www.alamo.edu/sac/music/calendar/
San Antonio Symphony Also, classical piano players can find inspiration at concerts of the San Antonio symphony. The orchestra’s repertoire includes piano concertos and, since the early 2010s, each year there is a festival devoted to a chosen composer’s works. Festivals so far have included performances of piano works of composers such as Brahms, Beethoven, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky. Every season, there are sure to be concerts that will feed your passions as you’re taking piano lessons in San Antonio! Here is a link to the the symphony’s website: http://www.sasymphony.org/
Local Festivals Undoubtedly, one the best parts of the year in San Antonio occurs in April, when Fiesta is celebrated. Throughout the city, many places host official Fiesta events, including musical performances. At events such as A Night in Old San Antonio and the Oyster Bake, you can hear many types of music, including jazz, Tejano, classical, rock, and pop -- all of which include the piano! Another notable festival, Jazz’SAlive, occurs every fall. This festival brings together local and regional jazz artists as well as nationally recognized jazz artists for a weekend's worth of good food and fun! Another option is the Texas Folklife Festival, which occurs every summer at the Institute of Texan Cultures. This two-day event includes seven stages for dance and music performances and brings more than 40 cultures together. Be a part of local festivals throughout the year! Here is a link to help you stay informed of upcoming festivals and events in San Antonio: http://saevents.com/Events/Events.asp?CatMusic=y
Local Restaurants The Cove, Tycoon Flatts, and Olmos Pharmacy are just a few of the many restaurants in town that offer live music. This is another kind of opportunity for local musical artists to showcase their covers and original songs. The lively atmosphere of each restaurant is perfect for families and friends who are looking to enjoy good food while supporting local artists and guest artists. Once you feel that you are ready to play live, go out there and contact local restaurants to see if they are looking for people to play music!
In the meantime, check out all of the shows and events that catch your interest. There is a force in everybody that helps them maintain their motivation to continue doing an activity. For piano players, it is helpful to fuel our motivation by immersing ourselves in the world of music where the piano shines. As you continue your piano lessons in San Antonio and as you develop your skills, I encourage you to become a part of the growing music scene!
I have taught beginning piano to students ranging from five to 80 years old. For my younger students I use the Faber Piano Adventures series. For my adult pupils I use the Alfred Adult Beginner course.
* Finally, a comprehensive instrumental course for students of all ages and experience levels that includes:
- Information on brands, supplies, and guidance with professional organizations
- Weekly lessons to develop and improve skills with proper finger placement, dexterity, warm-up repertoire, dynamics, rhythmic meters, and more!
- Music theory (includes music history topics) with emphasis on technology and composition
- Maintenance and repair tips
- Advanced techniques: Pedal techniques, ornamentation, improvising, world music styles, etc.
- Chamber music (accompaniment) to prepare for public performances
Piano is a great instrument to start learning the musical language on! Great for anyone at any point in their life. I can help find repertoire for a student any skill level- Old Mac Donald to Op.33 in G minor by Rachmaninov.
If you're child is 5 years old and you think they would enjoy piano, send 'em over!
If you are 80 and have been wanting to play the piano... come on over!
If you've been playing for several years and just want someone to help develop your skills, let's do it!
And of course... if you're into jazz, let's swing.
After understanding a student's level and what their interests with piano are, I help the student pick a song or a piece to use for lessons that is according to those interests. After a student gains a good understanding of playing a song or a piece, I like to go over ways to change the dynamics (rhythm and note alterations) of the music to explore other kinds of expression through the piano. With this approach, my students may learn to bring logic (technique, scales, theory) and feeling (how the music is played) together. It is also a great introduction to improvisation.
I go over improvisation with students, if desired. This includes such concepts as playing comfortably with both hands, creating melodies, exploring the use of various scales and voice leading. Lastly, if desired, I can include singing in the lessons!
Experienced piano teacher of 8 years available for eager students of all experience levels and ages! I structure my lessons so students learn what they want to learn, while also building a strong foundation of theory and pattern building skills. I specialize in classical techniques, typically use Alfred books, and also have the following tools available to use during lessons: Keyboard
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Have you always wanted to play the piano? We’re here to help! Get started with these 20 video tutorials hosted by San Diego, CA piano teacher Jordan M, one of our expert instructors with TakeLessons.com. In this free video series, you’ll get an introduction to the instrument and learn a few easy exercises to get you reading music and understanding rhythm!
Intro to the Piano: Learn about the parts of the piano and how to find the all-important Middle C.
Learn about proper posture, hand placement, and other beginner essentials.
Learn about the treble and bass clefs, and tips for remembering the notes on the piano.
Learn what all those sharps and flats really mean, and how to decode your music.
Follow along to master quarter notes, quarter rests, and half rests.
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