Beginner Piano
4.6 (78 ratings)
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Beginner Piano

Master keyboard fundamentals by learning real music
4.6 (78 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
771 students enrolled
Created by Benedict Westenra
Last updated 8/2015
English
Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
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Includes:
  • 4 hours on-demand video
  • 2 Articles
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Play the following pieces from memory: the riff to John Lennon's "Imagine"; the opening of Pachelbel's "Canon"; the bass line and chords of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean"; Amazing Grace hands together; Happy Birthday hands together; and When the Saints
  • Know which way is up on a piano
  • Understand good practice technique
  • Know the finger numbers
  • Play in time
  • Know the note names
  • Understand good hand position
  • Play "legato" (and know what that means)
  • Phrase melodies properly
  • Know what an "octave" is
  • Coordinate your 2 hands
  • Play with a metronome
  • Play chords
View Curriculum
Requirements
  • No musical knowledge is needed to take this course!
Description

"Ok – so who would like to start playing the piano without the hours of frustration learning music theory? I’m one. That’s exactly what Benedict does in this course. … I’m amazed at what I’ve been able to learn and play." - Greg R

"This course walks you through playing simple songs, but they actually sound like the real thing which gave me a sense of accomplishment and encouraged me to keep playing. I highly recommend this course!" - Helenmary Cody

This course will teach you good piano technique by getting you to play real pieces of music. In it, I'll show you how to play the following pieces:

the riff to John Lennon's "Imagine" - When the Saints - Happy Birthday hands together - Amazing Grace hands together - the opening of Pachelbel's "Canon" - the bass line and chords of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean"

And at the same time I'll teach you the following fundamentals:

which way is up on a piano - good practice technique - the finger numbers - playing in time - the note names - good hand position - how to play "legato" (and what that means) - phrasing - what an "octave" is - coordinating your 2 hands - how to play with a metronome - the right way to play chords

So why this beginner piano course instead of any other one?

1) It doesn't teach you how to play the piano by teaching you how to read music first

Almost all beginner piano courses teach you how to read music first and then get you to play from a score, but that's backwards - after all, you didn't learn to read before you could speak! Reading music is difficult, and if you try to learn how to play piano while learning how to read music at the same time you'll end up doing both badly. Instead, there's a body of research that shows that getting people to play first and then showing them how to read music is better (the approach is called "Sound before Sign"). This is the approach I use in this course. (I have a separate course which teaches you how to read music, called "Read Music FAST!", which you should do after this one.)

2) I have a ridiculous amount of experience teaching music using videos

I've been teaching piano one-on-one for over 10 years, to children and adult beginners as well as industry professionals, and I record practice videos for all of my students. At the time of writing I have over 4,000 private videos on YouTube, and so know exactly how to pace videos so that they're not so fast you can't follow them, but not so slow you get bored and stop either.

3) You'll develop good habits which will save you a ton of time in the future

A lot of beginner piano tutorials are designed to get you to play a piece as fast as possible, which is a good aim in itself (mine do the same), but they'll usually teach you bad habits at the same time, which you'll then have to spend a lot of time unlearning in the future. By contrast, I'll get you to play pieces as fast as possible but also make sure that you're developing good habits in the process so that there's no limit to how good you can get.

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is for complete beginners who want to start playing real music without getting bogged down in lots of theory
  • This course is not for people who want to learn how to read music - I have a separate course called "Read Music FAST!" for that
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Curriculum For This Course
89 Lectures
04:02:50
+
Just start without knowing anything
13 Lectures 32:34

The first 4 pairs of notes in the RH of "Imagine"
02:46






The fast bit of "Imagine"
02:48

Playing the riff to "Imagine" all the way through
01:40

Going from the fast bit back to the start of "Imagine"
02:03

Getting the riff to "Imagine" in time
02:01

Speeding the riff to "Imagine" up
02:36

"Imagine": finishing touches
03:19
+
Realize that the note names would be useful
6 Lectures 17:22
C
03:03

F & B
01:12

D
01:08

G & A
01:26

E
01:42

Sharps and flats
08:51
+
Learn your first tune
11 Lectures 39:24
The 1st phrase of "When the Saints"
07:06


The 3rd phrase of "When the Saints": part 1
04:45

The 3rd phrase of "When the Saints": part 2
01:59

Legato
04:11

Phrasing
03:45

The 4th phrase of "When the Saints": part 1
01:56

The 4th phrase of "When the Saints": part 2
01:47

The 4th phrase of "When the Saints": part 3
01:36

The 5th phrase of "When the Saints"
02:28

"When the Saints" all the way through
03:03
+
Move your hand around
10 Lectures 26:40
The 1st phrase of "Happy Birthday"
05:08

The 2nd phrase of "Happy Birthday"
01:37

The first 2 phrases of "Happy Birthday" together
02:22

Octaves
01:31

The 3rd phrase of "Happy Birthday": part 1
02:10

The 3rd phrase of "Happy Birthday": part 2
03:20

The 3rd phrase of "Happy Birthday": part 3
02:23

The 4th phrase of "Happy Birthday"
01:58

A really important practice technique
04:27

"Happy Birthday" all the way through
01:44
+
Add the left hand
8 Lectures 19:01
Middle C
00:51

The LH position for "Happy Birthday"
01:38

The 1st phrase of "Happy Birthday" hands together
05:22

The 2nd phrase of "Happy Birthday" hands together
02:35

The first 2 phrases of "Happy Birthday" hands together
01:11

The 3rd phrase of "Happy Birthday" hands together
02:54

The 4th phrase of "Happy Birthday" hands together
02:40

"Happy Birthday" all the way through hands together
01:50
+
Play on black notes
12 Lectures 34:53
The 1st phrase of "Amazing Grace"
04:29

The rhythm of the 1st phrase of "Amazing Grace"
02:16

The 2nd phrase of "Amazing Grace"
03:22

The first 2 phrases of "Amazing Grace"
02:09

The 3rd phrase of "Amazing Grace": part 1
03:33

The 3rd phrase of "Amazing Grace": part 2
01:35

"Amazing Grace" all the way through
04:28

The 1st phrase of "Amazing Grace" hands together
04:06

The 2nd phrase of "Amazing Grace" hands together
01:33

The 3rd phrase of "Amazing Grace" hands together
02:44

The 4th phrase of "Amazing Grace" hands together
02:39

"Amazing Grace" all the way through hands together
01:59
+
Learn a bass line
9 Lectures 20:57
The first 4 bass notes of Pachelbel's "Canon"
03:13

The last 4 bass notes of Pachelbel's "Canon"
01:35

All 8 bass notes of Pachelbel's "Canon"
02:52

The first 4 RH notes of Pachelbel's "Canon"
02:04

The last 4 RH notes of Pachelbel's "Canon"
01:21

All 8 RH notes of Pachelbel's "Canon"
01:12

The first 4 pairs of notes of Pachelbel's "Canon"
03:29

The first 6 pairs of notes of Pachelbel's "Canon"
02:27

All 8 pairs of notes of Pachelbel's "Canon"
02:44
+
Make friends with the metronome
1 Lecture 06:45
Pachelbel's "Canon" hands together with the metronome
06:45
+
Play chords
14 Lectures 37:57
The 1st chord of "Billie Jean"
02:52

The first 2 chords of "Billie Jean"
01:49

The 3rd chord of "Billie Jean"
02:28

2nd and 3rd chords of "Billie Jean"
02:59

All 3 chords of "Billie Jean"
02:48

The first 4 notes of the bass line of "Billie Jean"
03:54

The last 4 notes of the bass line of "Billie Jean"
01:32

All 8 notes of the bass line of "Billie Jean"
03:54

Get the bass line of "Billie Jean" in time
02:28

The 1st chord of "Billie Jean" hands together
02:39

The first 2 chords of "Billie Jean" hands together
01:29

The next 4 notes in the bass
02:50

The 3rd and 2nd chords of "Billie Jean" hands together
04:13

"Billie Jean" hands together
02:02
+
Speed it up
3 Lectures 06:03
"Billie Jean" hands together with the metronome
01:53

"Billie Jean" hands together faster
01:49

"Billie Jean" hands together at full speed
02:21
2 More Sections
About the Instructor
Benedict Westenra
4.7 Average rating
622 Reviews
4,829 Students
3 Courses
"The best piano teacher in London", 100+ 5* reviews

I'm a London-based piano coach with over 10 years of teaching experience. Students include signed artists, senior record executives, and other industry professionals.

I'm currently workshopping a musical which I wrote the book, music, and lyrics to, and which I was invited to play to Stephen Sondheim, plus I've also worked as an official arranger for Beyoncé, Michael Bublé, Cher, and others.