Piano Zen: Experience Your True, Unlimited Musical Potential

Piano Zen blends elements of tai chi, yoga, qi gong, & meditation with piano lessons to eliminate stress and frustration
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  • Lectures 83
  • Length 39 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 7/2014 English

Course Description

Do you think it's possible to have a Piano Zen experience while practicing? Believe me, it can happen!

I realized 12 years ago that a slower, more mindful approach to practicing the piano was not only a more effective, quicker way to learn but also a more natural and musical way as well.

Most people that try to learn the piano bring a lot of tension and anxiety to the process. However, it doesn't have to be that way. In fact, practicing the piano can be a wonderful, relaxing, and deeply expressive experience. And, you'll find that is easier than you ever imagined!

The Stillpoint approach combines relaxing and mindful contemplative techniques to make learning the piano a calm, pleasant, stress-free experience.

Stillpoint techniques help you to slow down the way you learn so that you can find a balance between mind and body.

If you have an interest or experience in Eastern disciplines like tai chi, yoga, qi gong, or Zen meditation, you will find the Stillpoint techniques very familiar and engaging.

However, you don't have to be a tai chi or yoga enthusiast to get benefits from the course. You may just be interested in a musical activity that provides a little relief from the tension and stress of your busy day!

When you take a Stillpoint lesson, it is like having a Stillpoint instructor right there with you guiding every step of your piano lesson. All of the guess work about how to practice the piano is gone.

This program will encourage you to embrace mindfulness at the piano to unlock your true, unlimited musical potential.

Sign up today and let's get started together!

What are the requirements?

  • acoustic piano, digital piano, or keyboard

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Learn the secrets to playing the piano naturally and expressively - even as a beginner
  • Learn to read and interpret music notation
  • Learn how to improvise and express yourself creatively
  • Learn to play contemporary piano solos with mature sounding musical expression
  • Use the unique Stillpoint techniques to learn how to practice effectively and efficiently on your own
  • Using a blend of Western and Eastern techniques, learn the secrets of musical interpretation

What is the target audience?

  • beginning piano students
  • adults looking for ways to relax and unwind with a new hobby
  • adults looking for relief from stress and anxiety
  • students with an interest in music and Eastern disciplines such as yoga and tai chi

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Introduction: Piano Zen with Stillpoint Method
02:16

This is an introduction to what is like to take a Stillpoint Piano Lessons. Although the tablet / iPad is a great and convenient way to take Stillpoint lessons. There are other ways to access the Stillpoint Piano lessons on Udemy:

  1. laptop computers
  2. smart phone
  3. personal computer

The flow of the lectures is straight forward. The heart of the Stillpoint program is the audio lesson. You can download the file and transfer to an audio system or stream it on your device. I suggest downloading, printing, and binding together all of the pages of your workbook.

However, you may prefer to view it as a PDF on your laptop or mobile device of choice. In the PDF version, there are a lot of extra musical details imbedded inside.

If you have questions about the program, drop me a message and I will give help out.

Let's get started with a little Piano Zen today!

Thomas

1 page

The Stillpoint Piano Method provides a way to make your piano practicing more enjoyable and fulfilling.

The Stillpoint Method viewpoint is that sitting down to practice the piano is like entering a Japanese garden. Piano practicing becomes a musical journey through the garden’s labyrinth; a journey that is beautiful, playful, and mystical.

At the bottom of this lecture description are lecture files. Please click on "external resources" at the bottom. That will show a video of how to take a Stillpoint piano lesson. You can also click directly to it's youtube location here.

To prepare for your journey, you are encouraged to arrange your practice room into a musical ashram. Make it a place where you can relax the mind and the body; an environment devoted to making your piano practicing more enjoyable and meaningful.

A candle or incense may be lit before practice, or fresh flowers placed in a vase so that the practice room may be filled with a pleasant fragrance.

For your pleasure, place a cup of your favorite tea on the piano or nearby table to enjoy. You may prefer to place your favorite glass of wine, coffee or even dark chocolates nearby.There will be moments during your piano practicing where you will be invited to pause and reflect. During these contemplative moments you are encouraged to drink a sip of your beverage and to smell, taste, and reflect.

132 pages

The Stillpoint Workbook is your complete guide to help you navigate through the entire Stillpoint course. You can download the workbook onto an iPad or other tablet device if you like. That way you can flip through the workbook pages on your tablet device while playing the instructional audio and video files.

If you don't have a iPad or similar device, I highly recommend that the first thing you do is download, print, and bind all of the workbook pages together. It's makes your experience at the piano so much easier.

The workbook has all the background information you need to get the most out of your Stillpoint experience. Every audio lessons and video lesson has a corresponding page in the workbook. When you download the workbook PDF file on to your computer, you will find extra embedded tips, advice, and details about music and the Stillpoint Method.

Section 2: Music 101 Class - Getting Started with the Basics
02:13

This Music 101 video gives you a visual reference of the basic keyboard exploration found in the first three Stillpoint piano audio lessons. The best way to use this video is simply to observe the demonstration with a relaxed and non-analytical mind. This video does not contain any of the unique and powerful mind & body Stillpoint practicing techniques that are found in the audio lessons.

The slides included in this presentation come from the Stillpoint Piano Workbook pages 1 thru 8.

01:06:19

This audio lesson begins your Stillpoint journey! Are your ready for something completely different? Don't worry, I will walk you through ever step of your piano practicing. It's like having your own personal piano trainer with you at all times. You can sit back and relax. I'm there with you every step of the way!

In this audio lesson, you will explore the piano keyboard using the unique and powerful Stillpoint techniques. You will instantly experience a deep connection with your physical touch on the keyboard and the sounds you can create.

After an introduction, there is a relaxation session that will help you shake off the tension, stress, and worries of the day. Think of your Stillpoint piano lesson as a departure from the daily grind. Feel free to let yourself go as you explore the piano with mind and body balance.

Stillpoint Piano - A music method that draws inspiration from tai chi
Article
47:53

This piano lesson will continue your exploration of the piano keyboard by expanding your knowledge of the white keys.

1 page

Sometimes Stillpoint audio lessons move along very slowly. They are done this way in the early stages to allow certain musical concepts and physical movements to be stored in an optimal way in the subconscious mind.

It's o.k., every now and then, to take a break from the audio lessons and completely relax. This is actually desirable for a pause gives time for your conscious mind to relax so that your subconscious can fully process and absorb the lesson material.

Other times you may want to pause the audio lesson to take time to work at your own pace on musical concepts that have been introduced.

30:15

Your knowledge of the piano keyboard can now be used to find important hand positions at the piano.

21:15

Discovering and exploring "inner" energy is quite common for students practicing Eastern disciplines such as tai chi, yoga, and Zen meditation. This Stillpoint piano lesson explores ways for you to experience inner energy at the piano.

01:06

This video lessons serves as a simple visual reference for how to clap and say basic rhythms. You audio lesson for this same course will go into much more detail about rhythms. Just watch the video with a soft and relaxed mind. The Stillpoint Method uses very gentle techniques to teach rhythm concepts so that can be internalized easily and used in your music performances and improvisations.

31:13

This Stillpoint audio lesson is a great introduction if you have no experience reading rhythms in music notation. This lesson will give you a nice foundation of rhythm basics which will help you with your more advanced Stillpoint lectures to come.

Follow along on pages 10 and 11 from your workbook as you listen to the audio.

Stillpoint Method Practice - How to Deepen Your Piano Experience
8 pages
30:53

This Stillpoint piano lesson will introduce the concepts of reading music on the page. You will learn some Stillpoint secrets for understanding music notation. Further training in reading music can be found in the Music Workshop and Reflecting Pond sections later in this series.

Section 3: Inner Sojourn - a mature, contemporary piano solo
01:16

This is a performance of Inner Sojourn. You will learn how to play this piece over the course of several audio lectures. However, you will not just learn how to play the notes but also how to play the song with mature, musical expression!

Inner Sojourn - lesson 2 - video
00:52
28:28

In your first lesson ( week 2 ) of Inner Sojourn, we begin by using simply a flat surface so that a you can focus your attention on subtle movements and pressure sensations in the arms, hands, and finger tips without the worries or distractions of trying to play the right notes on the piano.

This way you can relax and become more aware of the subtle pressure sensations, physical movements, and presence of inner energy.These subtle skills are key to developing your piano technique in the Stillpoint Method.


00:51

In this video lesson, we move to the piano keyboard to play the Introduction of Inner Sojourn. Both hands are in 'A' position.

35:58

This audio lesson will teach you how to play the Introduction of Inner Sojourn on the piano keys. It will encourage you to listen more deeply to the tones and vibrations emanating from the piano.

Throughout this audio lesson, remember to use a gentle, sensitive touch on the piano keys and remember always to move your hands and arms fluidly and gracefully.

Inner Sojourn - lesson 4 - video - learning the 1st musical phrase
01:17
Practice the piano like you are walking through a Japanese garden
1 page
Inner Sojourn - lesson 4 - audio
57:08
02:11

The different musical phrases in Inner Sojourn can be performed as a musical dialogue. Thinking of musical phrases as a type dialogue allows a pianist to play more expressively and communicate on a deeper level.

The meditation bell signals the start of the conversation. A question phrase is stated which is followed by an answer and a resolution phrase. This completes the "A" section of the Inner Sojourn.

This Stillpoint program allows the student to go beyond just playing the "right" notes but how to interpret and add meaning to them.

47:41

In your last lesson of Inner Sojourn, you learned to play the 1st question phrase.

After the meditation bell and the 1st question phrase in Inner Sojourn, comes the answer phrase. Each phrase in Inner Sojourn is given a name such as the 1st question phrase, the 1st answer phrase, or the 1st resolution phrase to suggest a musical dialogue.

The meditation bell signals the start of the conversation and then a question phrase is posed which is followed by an answer and a resolution phrase.

Hopefully, by now you are starting to feel a little more comfortable with the fingering chart information in your workbook.

It is not necessary to understand the music notation at this point in your piano studies. Instead, use the music notation simply as a visual reference and focus most of your attention on the order of finger numbers.

45:54

In this audio lesson, we will be reviewing all of the musical elements found in the ‘A’ section of Inner Sojourn. The focus will be on combining musical phrases so that you can play through the entire section smoothly and gracefully.

You have learned more than half of the Inner Sojourn at this point and can now begin to get a sense of the musical flow of the piece!

01:45

This video covers all of the material found in the "B" section of Inner Sojourn. At this point, you have learned all of the material used in the entire song. Great job!

In the next lesson we will put it all together!

01:03:39

In this audio lesson you will cover all the individual parts of the "B" section of Inner Sojourn.

The musical form for Inner Sojourn is:

intro - A section - B section - A section (reprise) - ending

Inner Sojourn - lesson 6 - audio - the "B" section (part ii)
38:45
01:16

You have reached the last stage of this lesson program for Inner Sojourn! Here we put all of the parts together to make it whole piece.

However, in the Stillpoint Method, it isn't just about playing the "right" notes. It's also about allowing your inner expression to flow through your piano playing.

To do that you learn to let go while practicing the piano so that there can be meaning behind every note that you play.

01:23:12

This is the final lesson for Inner Sojourn. In this lesson we review the entire form of the song.

You will learn how to play the faster "performance" speed tempos with same ease and grace you did at the slower speeds.

But, we won't just be playing the notes. You will also learn how to add mature musical interpretation to your performance. This is the "bigger" picture to playing the piano.

You will learn ways to open the heart center to allow a deeper level of personal expression to flow into your music.

By now, you've learned that in the Stillpoint Method, it's not just about playing the right notes. It's also about giving you the freedom to express yourself at the piano.

Section 4: Chimes of Ling Lun - an improvisation for beginners
Chimes of Ling Lun - lesson 1 - performance demo
01:16
01:24

In the Chimes of Ling Lun, you learn to improvise by playing entirely on the black notes of the piano.

What makes the black notes so much fun to play, is that all of the black notes blend together very well.They sound very pleasing to the ear because they form a unique 5 note scale – referred to as a pentatonic scale.

Many cultures throughout the world use various forms of pentatonic scales in their music.

The black notes also are easy to find on the keyboard.There are a total of five black notes on the piano keyboard and they are placed in 2 and 3 black note groups.

37:08

Improvisation at the piano is a wonderful and liberating experience. Improvisation allows you to open up to the ‘flow’ of your own powerful and creative abilities.

In this first few lesson of the Chimes of Ling Lun, your black key improvisation journey begins with some basic coordination exercises between the two hands. Don't worry! In week 3 and 4 of the Stillpoint program, you will begin to add different rhythms to your practicing.

When learning to improvise, you begin with very simple, structured musical exercises. That's what you'll find in these first few audio lessons.

By working within the limitations of these exercises, you eventually feel a natural urge to break free and express yourself in a more intuitive way.

26:23

Welcome to part II of the Chimes of Ling Lun Improvisation.

In part I of the Ling Lun improvisation audio lesson, we went up and down the 5 note black key scale repeating each note with both hands.

In part II we are going to play each note up and down the 5 note black key scale just once. This will require your hands to gracefully cross over each other.You will find a demonstration of this cross hand technique in the accompanying video for this audio lesson.

In this first few lesson of the Chimes of Ling Lun, your black key improvisation journey begins with some basic coordination exercises between the two hands. Don't worry! In week 3 and 4 of the Stillpoint program, you will begin to add different rhythms to your practicing.

When learning to improvise, you begin with very simple, structured musical exercises. That's what you'll find in these first few audio lessons.

By working within the limitations of these exercises, you eventually feel a natural urge to break free and express yourself in a more intuitive way.

02:25

These first few lessons in Chimes of Ling Lun set the stage for learning how to improvise.

Here, in part 3, we are going to make things a little more interesting by adding combinations of rhythms.

These rhythm combinations will be played switching back and forth between the hands as you go up and down the 5 note black key scale.

Later on in this audio lesson, the rhythm combinations will be played over different notes.

46:14

The first few lessons in Chimes of Ling Lun set the stage for learning how to improvise. We also are still developing your connection and touch with the piano keys.

Here, in part 3, we are going to make things a little more interesting by adding rhythm combinations.

These rhythm combinations will be played switching back and forth between the hands as you go up and down the 5 note black key scale.

Later on in this audio lesson, the rhythm combinations will be played over different notes.

01:42

This lesson is a turning point in your Chimes of Ling Lun training and things start to get a more interesting.

In this lesson we are going to expand the range of black notes we use on the keyboard and add random changes to our rhythm sequences.

In previous lessons we limited our practice to only a few black keys. Now we are going to expand the range of notes we use on the keyboard.We are also going to incorporate random changes into our playing.

Random changes of direction will play an important role as you learn to improvise over the next few lessons.

42:12

This lesson is a turning point in your Chimes of Ling Lun training and things start to get a more interesting.

In this lesson we are going to expand the range of black notes we use on the keyboard and add random changes to our rhythm sequences.

In previous lessons we limited our practice to only a few black keys. Now we are going to expand the range of notes we use on the keyboard.We are also going to incorporate random changes into our playing.

Random changes of direction will play an important role as you learn to improvise over the next few lessons.

01:15

Here in part 5 of the Chimes of Ling Lun series you begin to put together all of the musical parts that you have learned so far. You can begin to see the bigger picture about how many random ideas can come together to form intuitive improvisation.

Motifs are short little musical ideas that you can use to link together larger sections of musical material.

44:21

Here in part 5, we set out bridge the gap between random changes and intuitive driven improvisation. Your conscious mind perceives random choices as arbitrary.Therefore, your practicing is not scrutinized by critical or analytical thinking.The conscious mind accepts your random choices as being neither good nor bad; just random.

However, because random choices are free of critical thinking, they can open new doors of creativity and heightened levels of musical expression.

When your mind is soft and you body is relaxed, you can tap into a stream of intuitive expression that originates from your Higher Self. Your improvisation rides along on this flowing stream that moves from your heart center through your inner body and out your fingertips as you play the piano keys.

Check out the supplementary material that contains ideas to help develop your improvisations!

01:22

Welcome to part 6, the conclusion to the Chimes of Ling Lun series!

This audio lesson introduces more advanced rhythmic concepts and is presented here as an option for students that are ready for more challenges.

37:25

Here in part 6, the conclusion of the Chimes of Ling Lun series, we continue our work with intuitive driven improvisation but we add more rhythmic choices for you to experiment with.

There is a reason we have used random choices over the course of the last few lessons.

Your conscious mind perceives random choices as arbitrary.Therefore, your practicing is not scrutinized by critical or analytical thinking. The conscious mind views your random choices as being neither good nor bad; just random.

However, because random choices are free of critical thinking, they can open new doors of creativity and heightened levels of musical expression.

Section 5: Flowering Lotus - a more challenging improvisation for beginners
Flowering Lotus - lesson 1 - performance demo
Preview
01:08
00:45

The Flowering Lotus is one of the signature improvisational piano pieces in the Stillpoint program. This piece can provide a beginning piano student with a very sophisticated level of musical expression through intuitive improvisation.

For this to happen, some basic hand coordination skills need to be built on top of a solid rhythmic foundation.

This audio lesson is focused primarily on your solid rhythmic foundation.

Flowering Lotus - lesson 2 - notes
Article
37:14

This audio lesson is all about learning rhythms.

By just tapping rhythms on your thighs at first, you can develop solid hand coordination skills without worry about what notes to play on the piano.


01:35

In the Flowering Lotus, you learn to improvise in your right hand while playing a repeating rhythmic accompaniment in your left hand. In part 3, we move the exercise to the piano keyboard.

Flowering Lotus - lesson 3 - notes
Article
51:32

In this first lesson of the Flowering Lotus, your journey began with some basic rhythmic tapping exercises on your thighs. In this lesson, we will explore the basic hand positions on the keyboard and play the notes that are used in the left and right hands.

Improvisation at the piano is a wonderful and liberating experience.Improvisation allows you to open up to the ‘flow’ of your own powerful and creative abilities.When learning to improvise, you begin with very simple, structured musical exercises.By working within the limitations of these exercises, you eventually feel a natural urge to break free and express yourself in a more intuitive way.

01:35

This lesson is a turning point in your Flowering Lotus studies.

In part 4, you will learn how to put the left hand and the right hand together. For many of you, playing two different musical ideas simultaneously with the right and left hands on the piano will be a new experience.

This lesson will focus primarily on hand coordination.You also will learn to make changes in the rhythms for the right hand while keeping the left hand accompaniment playing along in a continuous TAH pattern.

01:06:09

This audio lesson is a turning point in your Flowering Lotus studies. In this lesson, you will learn how to put the left hand and the right hand together.

For many of you, playing two different musical ideas simultaneously with the right and left hands on the piano will be a new experience.

This lesson will focus primarily on hand coordination.You also will learn to make changes in the rhythms for the right hand while keeping the left hand accompaniment playing along in a continuous TAH pattern.

25:45

In this second audio lesson installment of part 4, you will explore more advanced concepts. Here we will combine the 4 and 5 note scales together to form the "extended scale".

This will free your right hand up to explore more territory on the piano keyboard during your improvisations to come!

03:38

This audio lesson is a pivotal point in your study of the Flowering Lotus Improvisation.

Up till now, the focus has been to familiarize you with the hand positions of both the 5 and 4 note scales, the rhythms used, and basic hand coordination.

Now we will begin to add random changes to the musical lines in your right hand.

Using random choices in these exercises is a bridge to free and intuitive improvisation!

51:13

This audio lesson is a pivotal point in your study of the Flowering Lotus Improvisation.

Up till now, the focus has been to familiarize you with the hand positions of both the 5 and 4 note scales, the rhythms used, and basic hand coordination.

Now we will begin to add random changes to the musical lines in your right hand.

Using random choices in these exercises is a bridge to free and intuitive improvisation!

If at any point you feel that you still need more time with the basic coordination of the left and right hand part, please allow yourself a few extra days to review the material contained in part 4 audio lesson of Flowering Lotus.

01:10:44

The part 5 audio lessons are a pivotal point in your study of the Flowering Lotus Improvisation.

Up till now, the focus has been to familiarize you with the hand positions of both the 5 and 4 note scales, the rhythms used, and basic hand coordination.

Now we will begin to add random changes to the musical lines in your right hand.

In week 5 part I, you learned to add random changes to your TAH rhythm practice for the right hand. You also experimented with adding random sustained notes into your musical lines.

In week 5 part II we continue this training but we will also work on developing the tee-tee (or 8th note rhythms) for the right hand.

Adding the tee-tee rhythm in your right hand is a fun challenge because your right hand is playing two notes for every quarter – or TAH – note in the left hand. Therefore the right hand moves twice as fast as the left hand.

In this audio lesson, we also will combine the right hand expanded scale with the left hand TAH pulse for the first time.

03:07

At this point in your Flowering Lotus studies, you have learned how to play whole notes, half-notes, quarters, and eighth notes in the right hand at the same time your left hand plays a perpetual quarter note (or TAH) accompaniment pattern.

In the part 6 of the Flowering Lotus, we will work on stringing together different rhythmic series while randomly changing the directions of the musical line.

01:00:41

You have learned how to play whole notes, half-notes, quarters, and eighth notes in the right hand at the same time your left hand plays a quarter - or TAH - accompaniment pattern.

In this audio lesson, we will work on stringing together different rhythmic series without stopping while changing the directions of the musical line randomly. We will also cover more advanced triplet and 16th note rhythms - also know as tibi tibi rhythms

If at anytime you feel that you still need more time with the hand coordination of the flowering lotus, please allow yourself a few extra days to review the material contained in weeks 4 and 5.

You can listen to the audio lessons again or use the video lessons with the music workbook. Or any combination that works well for you.

01:04:39

This lesson explores two advanced concepts for the Flowering Lotus.

The first is adding random changes to the F Phrygian scale – or the expanded scale -and then secondly introducing more challenging rhythms for the right hand to play.

At first, using the F Phrygian scale with random changes and more advanced rhythms in the right hand may present challenges for beginning piano students. It may take some time before you feel comfortable combining the advanced right hand techniques with the left hand accompaniment part.

If this is the case, instead of getting overly critical of yourself and frustrated, allow the hand coordination to develop very slowly and gently. Spread out your Stillpoint piano practicing over several days.

Commit to using effortless effort with the advanced concepts. Allow time for the brain and the sub-conscious mind to coordinate and process the information in a lucid state of awareness.The results may surprise you!

02:46

Welcome to the last lesson of the Flowering Lotus Improvisation.

You have already had some interesting musical experiences by simply combining random elements of the Flowering Lotus from material up until this point.

By part 6 you were introduced to enough musical material to keep you happy and busy improvising for some time.

If you feel ready, part 7 will add more advanced rhythms and challenges to your improvisation vocabulary.

01:25:54

Welcome to the last lesson of the Flowering Lotus Improvisation!

You already may have had interesting musical experiences by simply combining random elements of the Flowering Lotus from material up until this point.

Certainly, by week 6, you have been introduced to enough musical material to keep you happy and busy improvising for some time.

I feel I should preface this week 7 audio lesson with a word of caution.

Learning more material at this point in your Flowering Lotus studies will not necessarily make your improvisations better; it may actually have the reverse effect. Your mind can become filled with so many options that it becomes difficult to play intuitively.

Think of it in the context of language and creative writing. At some point, one needs to pause their study of writing and actually practice writing something that is honest and from the heart. More information is not necessarily going to improve those abilities.

However, if you feel ready, there are some fun challenges in store for you in part 7!

Section 6: Reflecting Pond - Learning to Read Music for a Contemporary Piano Piece
00:43

The Reflecting Pond is a short, beautiful contemporary piano piece. It can be studied as a companion series along with the Music Workshop in Section 8 of the Stillpoint program.

In the Reflecting Pond audio lessons, you will learn to play the song by reading and comprehending the music notation symbols. It is the signature music notation song in the Stillpoint program.

In each week of your study of the Reflecting Pond, you will learn to play a couple of new measures of music.These lessons will be accompanied with music notation information found in your workbook pages. When viewed on your computer as PDF files, the workbook pages also contain extra information that is contained in pop-up windows.

The information in your workbook and your Reflecting Pond audio lessons will help you gain a theoretical understanding of music notation and how that information relates to the piano keyboard.

Reflecting Pond - lesson 2 - audio: measures 1 and 2
43:36
Reflecting Pond - lesson 3 - audio: measures 3 and 4
49:42
Reflecting Pond - lesson 4- audio: measures 3 and 4, hands together
48:19
Conclusion: Reflecting Pond - lesson 5 - audio: putting it all together
46:19
Section 7: Excursions - improvisational pieces with more flexible creativity
6 pages

The Excursions Series contains five improvisational pieces with very flexible musical parameters. Students are encouraged to improvise freely and even create their own compositions from the musical elements presented in each lesson.

There is one audio and one video lesson for each song in the series.

As you progress through each Excursion song in the series, the degree of difficulty increases.

01:09

Welcome to Excursions with the Chimes of Ling Lun.

The material for this lesson is based on the previous version of "Chimes of Ling Lun" that was earlier in the course but with more freedom.

Excursions are improvisatory pieces with very loose parameters. They are designed to allow you the opportunity to explore and express yourself at the piano using your own intuitive musical abilities.

You have complete freedom to follow the suggested outlines for the pieces or use them simply as jumping off points for your own excursions.

Excursions are not pieces where you need to “think” your way through. Instead, “feel” your way through. Place your attention on the heart center and then allow its expression to move like a flowing stream through the body and then out the finger tips into the piano keys.

26:39

Excursions are improvisatory pieces with very flexible parameters.

They are designed to allow you the opportunity to explore and express yourself at the piano using your own intuitive musical abilities.

You have complete freedom to follow the suggested outlines for the pieces or use the outlines simply as jumping off points for your own excursions.

Excursions are not pieces where you need to “think” your way through.Instead, “feel” your way.Place your attention on the heart center and then allow its expression to move like a flowing stream through the body and out the finger tips into the piano keys.

01:14

Excursions are improvisatory pieces with very flexible parameters.

They are designed to allow you the opportunity to explore and express yourself at the piano using your own intuitive musical abilities.

You have complete freedom to follow the suggested outlines for the pieces or use the outlines simply as jumping off points for your own excursions.

Excursions are not pieces where you need to “think” your way through.Instead, “feel” your way.Place your attention on the heart center and then allow its expression to move like a flowing stream through the body and out the finger tips into the piano keys.

31:46

Excursions are improvisatory pieces with very flexible parameters.

They are designed to allow you the opportunity to explore and express yourself at the piano using your own intuitive musical abilities.

You have complete freedom to follow the suggested outlines for the pieces or use the outlines simply as jumping off points for your own excursions.

Excursions are not pieces where you need to “think” your way through.Instead, “feel” your way.Place your attention on the heart center and then allow its expression to move like a flowing stream through the body and out the finger tips into the piano keys.

02:10

Excursions are improvisatory pieces with very flexible parameters.

The basic music material for this piece comes from the meditation bell idea from Inner Sojourn in Section 3 of this series.

Excursions are designed to allow you the opportunity to explore and express yourself at the piano using your own intuitive musical abilities.

You have complete freedom to follow the suggested outlines for the pieces or use the outlines simply as jumping off points for your own excursions.

32:35

Excursions are improvisatory pieces with very flexible parameters.

The basic music material for this piece comes from the meditation bell idea from Inner Sojourn in Section 3 of this series.

Excursions are designed to allow you the opportunity to explore and express yourself at the piano using your own intuitive musical abilities.

You have complete freedom to follow the suggested outlines for the pieces or use the outlines simply as jumping off points for your own excursions.

01:45

Excursions are improvisatory pieces with very flexible parameters.

Gongs of the Zen Garden requires a little more hand coordination skill. The left hand plays a repeating accompaniment pattern while the right hand improvises on black notes.

Excursions are designed to allow you the opportunity to explore and express yourself at the piano using your own intuitive musical abilities.

You have complete freedom to follow the suggested outlines for the pieces or use the outlines simply as jumping off points for your own excursions.

38:12

Excursions are improvisatory pieces with very flexible parameters.

Gongs of the Zen Garden requires a little more hand coordination skill. The left hand plays a repeating accompaniment pattern while the right hand improvises on black notes.

Excursions are designed to allow you the opportunity to explore and express yourself at the piano using your own intuitive musical abilities.

You have complete freedom to follow the suggested outlines for the pieces or use the outlines simply as jumping off points for your own excursions.

03:12

This Excursion has a touch of French Impressionistic flavor to it. (Think Claude Debussy or Maurice Ravel ) This style is created by the flowing left hand accompaniment and use of the F phrygian scale in the right hand.

The left hand part requires the pianist to use a very light and sensitive touch in the left hand finger tips.

Excursions are improvisatory pieces with very flexible parameters.

They are designed to allow you the opportunity to explore and express yourself at the piano using your own intuitive musical abilities.You have complete freedom to follow the suggested outlines for the pieces or use the outlines simply as jumping off points for your own excursions.

The key is to have fun and simply listen to your own intuitive, creative voice.

38:03

This Excursion has a touch of French Impressionistic flavor to it. (Think Claude Debussy or Maurice Ravel ) This style is created by the flowing left hand accompaniment and use of the F Phrygian scale in the right hand.

The left hand part requires the pianist to use a very light and sensitive touch in the left hand finger tips.

Excursions are improvisatory pieces with very flexible parameters.

They are designed to allow you the opportunity to explore and express yourself at the piano using your own intuitive musical abilities.You have complete freedom to follow the suggested outlines for the pieces or use the outlines simply as jumping off points for your own excursions.

The key is to have fun and simply listen to your own intuitive, creative voice.

Section 8: The Music Workshop - Learning to Read Music Notation
Music Workshop - lesson 1 - learning to read music
00:44
Music Workshop - lesson 2 - audio
41:33
Music Workshop - lesson 3 - audio
29:33
Music Workshop - lesson 4 - audio
46:35
Music Workshop - lesson 5 - audio
31:28
Music Workshop - lesson 6 - audio
36:52
Music Workshop - lesson 7 - audio
54:24

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Instructor Biography

Thomas Rheingans, Pianist, Composer, and Educator

Thomas Rheingans is the creator and author of the Stillpoint Method.

Piano Zen describes the experience students have when they study the Stillpoint Piano Method.

Thomas Rheingans has been studying and performing music for over 30 years and has been a piano instructor for 25 years.

Thomas has taught college level courses in classical, jazz, and music theory. As a piano student, he was awarded full scholarships for his undergraduate and graduate degrees in piano performance from the University of Illinois.

Thomas currently owns and operates Rivergoose Records LLC - an independent record label and production company that also provides music education services. He has recorded eleven albums in varying genres including jazz, Broadway, classical, and contemporary.

In addition to his performing career, he has composed and arranged music for musical theater and independent films.

The Stillpoint Piano Method is the culmination of Thomas’ own musical and spiritual journeys over the past 25 years.

In that time, he discovered new and illuminating ways to play the piano more effectively and expressively.These discoveries evolved in the Stillpoint Piano Method.

The Stillpoint Method is designed to help beginning piano students develop multi-sensory awareness while practicing and playing the piano.

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