I just wrapped up a week of keyboard instruction in Jamaica at Dave Loftis’ Teach 412 camp, and this was (most of) my keyboard class. I can’t say enough about how hard these guys all worked. They came in not quite sure of a C Major scale, and left knowing all inversions of the I, IV, V and vi chords, as well three octaves of scales in the keys of C, D, G, and A, all with correct fingering.
Most of the students could play this not only with their right hand, but their left hand as well, and a couple attempted with both hands. This is incredible work in 2-3 hours of instruction per day for one week. I couldn’t be prouder of these guys.
There was a choice to make with curriculum: teach notes or teach chords. Since we came with 104 chord charts, I wanted to teach to those. Although I have had 17 years of piano lessons, 15 of them were about notes. So although my personal journey has been grounded in notes, my journey has been one of moving away from them, which ultimately provides a freedom of expression. So the class was not a “piano” class, it was a “keyboard” class.
We applied our new found chording skills to play a song in the key of the day. On the first day, the song was Stronger (mp3). I taught how I would voice the chorus (starting with a 2nd inversion C), and then let each student work out their own voicing for the verse. The amazing thing was that everyone voiced the verse differently, but each was correct. This is what we wanted to teach with the knowledge of chord inversions – the power to play the song the way you individually feels best serves the song.