Many people who have recently begun studying the piano have questions about styles of playing the piano as well as varying ways of learning during their piano lesson. These things are critical to understand as they effect how your overall success will progress. One of the questions that come up during a piano lesson is the difference of learning through a classical piano technique as compared with a chord based piano instruction. This article is based on explaining the difference between the 2 teaching styles and what it means to you.
To be a well balanced piano player its best to understand and be experienced at both of these styles. Chord playing and classical piano playing methods each have a value of their own, during your piano lesson you should talk about this with your instructor. The chord style is usually associated with more contemporary pop or rock music, and the Classical style stems from traditional older compositions that are mainly European in descent. For the piano student that wants to be diverse in their playing ability exposure to the 2 styles is important. A pop musician should explore the classical techniques to be a more competent master of the piano in general. As should a classical piano student understand the nuances and subtle differences of the chord style of practicing and playing during the piano lesson, under the guidance of their piano teacher. I usually recommend to students that they become at least somewhat familiar with both styles of playing while we are conducting the piano lesson. If a student has decided that they are interested in becoming a concert piano player they should of course specialize in that area, most likely that student will not be using chord charts. Instead most students who are pursuing a Classical music style of playing will be trained to focus on reading sheet music note for note. Players of more modern pop piano can get by with a little more casual approach. Talented piano players like Billy Joel, Elton John and Bruce Hornsby set an example of pianists who can produce many levels of piano music The artists are able to play from chord charts and then at the same time quickly transition to Classical chops. The Classical piano technique has been shown to boost the overall musical ability of modern musical performers; this is evidenced by these modern masters. If you are currently involved in learning the piano with a teacher, these are some things to think about for your next piano lesson; this understanding of the entire pianos range will enrich you as a student. The way I learned was to understand how the modern pop style worked first, by understanding things like chords and charts and then transitioning to Classical technique my approach became more balanced. Some may see this as backwards, but for most people the piano process is easier when you learn chords first. Once you are at a level of understanding the chords and you feel familiar with the playing the piano you can more easily transfer you abilities to Classical piano technique and focus more easily on sheet music and playing note for note during you piano lesson. Now that you can see more about how the two styles are applied you can see the right approach for yourself.