Painless Piano!
5.0 (1 rating)
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.
353 students enrolled
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Painless Piano!

Learn to play the piano, express your personality through Mozart, Chopin and Verdi, and let your spirit fly on the keys!
5.0 (1 rating)
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.
353 students enrolled
Last updated 6/2014
Price: $40
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 3.5 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • By the end of the course you will be playing the piano at an early intermediate level, the same level as if you had taken piano for from 18 months to 2 years!
  • You will have learned 9 pieces, several dozen technique exercises, sightread tens of sightreading samples.
  • You will understand time signatures, all notes used in the course, keys, and many Italian musical terms.
  • Technically you will have learned Middle C position, most of the notes on Treble and Bass staffs, C, D, E, F, G and A position, all of the above half scales, how to stretch for notes while in one position, and how to cross over into multiple hand positions.
  • You will learn tricks that professional pianists use to learn pieces quickly but thoroughly, memorize more easily, spot patterns composers use, move your arms, wrists and fingers in ways to make your playing sound smooth, professional and make it easier to play.
  • Most of all, you will be given all the tools to learn your own music, read music, solve technical problems, and express your own personality in Mozart, Chopin, Verdi, and in any music you play.
View Curriculum
  • Some kind of keyboard- acoustic (normal) piano, electronic piano. If electronic, ideally it should be touch sensitive (meaning it gets louder when you press harder) and a pedal attachment for sounds.

What is the course about? PAINLESS PIANO is my gift to you, after 30 years of teaching and 45 years of playing the piano. If you want to learn how to read music, sightread new music, build your technique, understand rhythm, learn cool pieces and then go out and learn your own music, this course is for you.

But at the same time- learning piano is not a chore- it is a soaring, ravishing artistic and spiritual joy! My students feel that way- they don't usually want to leave the lesson or the concert, and neither do I. We love the journey we take together. I want to share that with you.

I had physical learning challenges as a child and one teacher told me I could not learn. But I loved it too much- and with the help of my magical mentor, I learned how to overcome, solve, figure out, and surpass my challenges. I can help you solve your musical challenges and any that come along down the road. We can do this together- and ultimately, you will do it yourself!

Materials incl?

There are videos, PFD's of musical scores, sightreading, rhythm and technique samples, and glossary, and the most important document: How to Use This Course PDF which is kind of the Mother Ship, tying all the pieces together.

And please, please, if there is something that is not clear, let me know! Message me and ask about that. I will either explain it until you are clear, and in some cases, if I am able, send you more material that helps make it clearer. Thank you- please please don't be unclear about something and think you have to remain unclear. That is not how this course is! It is: clear, easy, and about helping you make music.

How long will the course take to complete?

This depends on your own goal- you can take the shortcut method- and only learn the pieces- in that case, I would say each piece could take a minimum of 90 minutes to 2 hours, so for 9 pieces, that would be 14 to 18 hours. But to build the whole foundation, so you not only learn the pieces, but also develop an early intermediate technique, reading level and theory knowledge, it would be longer.

An estimate would be: about 20 hours. This time is an estimate and based on your spending not TOO much time on the Theory, Rhythm and Sightreading sheets, more on the technique, and the most on the Repertoire.

I'm assuming you do all the bracketed sections in the Repertoire an average of 10 to 12 times each, and then practice the whole piece an average of 10 or more times. For Technique I'm assuming you will practice each sample once, and half the samples around 10 to 15 times.

You may get it done faster. And it may take longer. It is important to be as efficient as possible, and not practice what you have already mastered. There is a lot to learn- and to love!!

How is the course structured? The course is designed to be clear and easy to use! 5 Lessons, and with each Lesson the following lectures: Theory, Rhythm, Sightreading, Technique and Repertoire components for an all round foundation.

Each Theory, Rhythm, Sightreading, Technique and Repertoire lecture has a video and a PDF to go along with video.

Each Lesson has 2 pieces (except Lesson 2, 1 great piece by Verdi!).

BTW- please consider doing me a huge favor that will only take a couple of minutes- please kindly review my course after the first lesson or so- the reason is, sometimes because we are busy we don't finish courses, so if you find what you've done so far positive, consider giving me a positive review. You can change it later when you're finished and if you change your mind. But that will help me! Thank you!

Over 3 hours of instructional videos and PDF's designed to go along with what we are doing in the videos.

Easy, clear and if you have any questions let us know.

Why take the course? If you want to learn to play the piano, let your music sing to the world, but are also very busy with your own life, this is the course.

If you want a teacher who LOVES his topic and wants to share that LOVE with you, this is the course.

If you want a teacher who has BEEN THERE, and likely has had more of a challenge than you will, and knows how to solve it for you and teach you to solve challenges yourself, this is the course.

If you want to learn 9 really cool pieces, be informed of any future courses and repertoire releases, be invited to master class, recitals, be part of a fun and interacive community, play for us online, make comments and help other students online, and help build our special Student Teaching component (depending on interest level) and be in touch with the teacher with ANY question, this is the course.

Thank you!

Who is the target audience?
  • Age 13 and above- musicians at heart- you know you are already a MUSICIAN and ARTIST- and really want to learn not just pieces, but how to read, play, and build your technique so you can go and learn by yourself!
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Curriculum For This Course
30 Lectures
1 Lecture 02:25

This is the general section. It includes the Glossary, Note Chart, and also the most important item in the entire course: the How To Use This Course PDF. The latter ties everything together- spend a few minutes reading it and your beautiful music will be 100% easier and sooner! This course is about you and your musical soul learning to fly. You are a musician the second you open the PDF's and touch the piano. Congratulations on the first step in your amazing piano adventure! I am so excited to be your guide. But it is all you!

Preview 02:25
Lesson 1: Basic Posture, Motion, Rhythm, Sightreading & Repertoire on Black Keys
6 Lectures 27:00
Theory: Steps/Skips, Course Vocab, Notes/Rests, Staff, Time Signature, Posture

Rhythm: 1/4, 1/2, Dotted 1/2 Notes; 1/4 Rests; Basic Counting/Clapping;

Sightreading: How to Move Eyes, Keep Beat, Single Notes, Cross Hands

Technique: Black Key 2&3- Note Groups; Melody/Clusters; Cross Hands; Up/Down KB

Repertoire: Dreamy Mary, Cool Remix of Mary Had A Little Lamb

Lesson 2: Middle C Position; White Keys (12 notes); Moving on......
5 Lectures 34:09
Theory: Middle C Position; 12 notes; 2nd/3rds; 1/8 notes; repeats/ties/7ths

Sightreading: Middle C, Treble B, Bass F; Notes in Betw; 7th's

Technique: Middle C, Treble G, Bass F, connecting notes; Hands at Same Time;

Lesson 3: C to G Positions; 4/5ths; Sharps/Flats; Hands Together Early Intermedt
6 Lectures 50:48
Theory: Organizing Notes into Hand Positions; 4/5ths; Sharps/Flats, Triplets

Rhythm: Syncopation; Dotted 1/4; Eighth Note/Ties; Triplets

Sightreading: 5-finger Hand positions; Moving Out of Position; Hands @ Same Time

Repertoire: Shepherd's Flute

Repertoire: Chopin, Polonaise-Fantasie
Lesson 4: Chords, 1/2 Scales, Extended Positions, LH Chord Patterns
6 Lectures 44:52
Theory: Chord Progressions, Half scales, Syncopation, Dotted 1/4's, Chord Names

Rhythm: Review/Reinforcement, Syncopation, Eighth Notes, Ties, 3/4 time

Sightreading: C,D,E,F,G Positions, Stretching Above/Below Positions, LH Chords

Rhythm: 1/2 Scales, Same w/ Extended Position, Chords/Extended Chords w/ Scales

Repertoire: Walk With Me

Repertoire: Mozart, Cantabile
Lesson 5: Interdemediate Rhythm/Chords/Intervals, Multiple Position Shifts
6 Lectures 38:42
Theory: New Time Signatures, Sixths, a-minor Position

Rhythm: Intermediate Syncopation, 1/8th Note, Dotted Quarter Patterns

Sightreading: Intermediate Intervals, Multiple Positions, Chromatic Motion

Technique: Intermed. Position Shift (Harmonic/Melodic), Accidentals, Syncopation

Repertoire: Stormy Night Rider

Repertoire: The Entertainer
About the Instructor
Robert Murray Diefendorf
5.0 Average rating
1 Review
390 Students
2 Courses
Why should you study piano with me??!!!!!

Who am I? Why should you take piano from me??
Well, first, the “Resume” stuff, the official bio. Then when that official stuff is out of the way, I’ll tell you the real story.

> Bachelor of Music, Boston University School of Music
> Studied with Ena Bronstein Barton, concert pianist, main pupil of Claudio Arrau
> Studied with Seymour Bernstein, concert pianist, author, pupil of Clifford Curzon
> Studied with Boris Berman, head of piano, Yale University of Music, studied at Moscow Conservatory
> 4.0 grade in Schenkerian Analysis, Westminster Choir College of Music
> Phillips Exeter Academy, Concerto Competition winner, Music Award winner
> Built curriculum and helped lead Westminster Choir College Conservatory of Music gifted program
> Founded and led Small Miracles, a nonprofit that trained high school and college musicians to teach disadvantaged children one-on-one music in central New Jersey. Included volunteers from Princeton University, Westminster Choir College, Princeton High School, Lawrenceville Prep. Mentored Columbia University branch and London School of Economics branch, which was the latter’s first student led organization and won an award.

> Won prestigious Princeton Area Community Foundation grant.
> Author, Release the Butterfly on never giving up on your music, accepted at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts in NYC, and recipient of the JWPepper Editor’s Choice.
> Composer of hundreds of songs and melodies.
But throw that all away. The simple fact is: I love every second of teaching. I especially love helping YOU solve your own musical challenges, on every level, from how to hold your hand, to how to play a difficult phrase, to how to bring your personality into a Mozart sonata.
There is a reason I love solving challenges. You see, I grew up with physical learning challenges- my motor control was subpar. And I had OCD- “obsessive compulsive disorder.” I still have it OCD, it doesn’t go away. But who cares! I don’t feel sorry for myself! For from it. I am very very lucky to have spent a wonderful life in music, overcoming challenge after challenge, and much more importantly and gratifyingly, helping others to do so.
I look forward to hearing about your progress. Please let me know about your triumphs, on every level! I love hearing about it and am excited for your progress.
Thank you for joining our learning community.
This course is about you, not me. I am here to help you grow as a musician and bring your beautiful ideas to life!