Why learn Composition?
Due to the nature of their craft, composers are intimately familiar with the inner workings of music. This familiarity with the core language of music allows composers to be fluent musicians and well rounded artists. In the context of piano, composers can gain the ability to improvise their own music on the spot and create their own musical vocabulary.
Being a composer means that you are not restricted by what others have written. If there is something you want to express or a piece of music you want to play in your own way, composition can enable you to do those things without having to learn the works of others: it opens up a direct dialogue with your soul.
Learning composition also means that learning an instrument is markedly more intuitive. A fledgling pianist with knowledge of theory and composition can accelerate themselves quicker than one who is primarily studying repertoire and technique. You can take the knowledge that you have and extrapolate new ideas and teach yourself about many aspects of music. A compositional approach to piano learning also allows for you to be that person at a party or a jam session who can just sit down and play along with others or even play the piano while singing yourself.
Who is a compositional approach for?
A compositional approach to piano learning is best suited to those who are either naturally very creative or to those who do not wish to be confined within the western classical idiom. The best thing about this approach is that it sets up students to bridge themselves into other dialects of music. For those who may find the RCM system to be too much extra work, a compositional approach can work wonders. One should be mindful that in following this approach, piano technique will not be as prioritized as it is with a more traditional piano methodology. In terms of age group, this approach finds most success with adult beginners.
What will be the content of lessons?
Depending on the type of student, composition lessons will take two forms:
Beginner pianists / Beginner composers who are also pianists
The lessons will start with understanding the fundamentals of theory and how to apply them to the piano. This will involve learning scales, chords, key signatures etc. These studies will be supplemented by exercises to work on at home as well as applications of these teachings in the form of making song covers and improvising.
Alongside these skills, students will be trained in the usage of the notation software of their choosing (Sibelius, musescore, and dorico). They will also be given suggestions for music to listen to for inspiration alongside their current listening appetite.
After building a foundation, students will be introduced to more intricate theoretical concepts like counterpoint and voice leading.
The goal is for students to write down and perform some of their own music for concerts. The best student compositions will be published in annual student feature books.
Experienced composers / Experienced pianists with some composition experience
These lessons will be reminiscent of composition lessons at a higher level music institution. Students will be expected to write new music regularly and to bring these works in progress to lessons. The teacher will go over the work with the student and suggest new directions for the composition. The teacher can analyze what parts work well and what parts don’t fit in as well and guide the student to a more refined version of their music. Improvisation will be a centerpiece of lessons and will be used to help the student come up with new ideas for their music.
New learnings will include more advanced counterpoint, phrase structure analysis and advanced harmony. If desired, students can also be trained in instrumentation/orchestration and 12 tone techniques.
The goal for lessons is to build a musical portfolio of personal compositions. Students can perform their compositions at recitals and submit their works for competitions. The best student works will be compiled and published in annual student feature books.
Dio is an extremely patient and skilled piano teacher. He keeps the lessons engaging for my four year-old son, and he understands how to communicate with children and make music fun. My son's love for music is blossoming under Dio's tutelage. Thank you Dio!
Great piano school. Amazing teachers, friendly staff and professional environment. My daughter loves this school and piano.
Dio has enhanced our daughters love of music. He is thorough, patient and inspiring in the way in which he teaches. She looks forward to every class and is developing at a pace we did not think was possible.
My daughter has been having piano lessons for some time now and very much enjoys it. Dio is extremely professional, knowledgeable and patient. I would highly recommend!
My son is going to Dio's Piano school for the past couple of years. He has learned a lot and has improved a lot during this time. He is now able to play a classical piece very nicely and smoothly. Dio is very well educated, professional, hard working and calm. He is friendly with kids and has lots of patience. My son attended the BCCM Music Festival 2021 and has received a Gold standing in his competition. Thank you Dio for everything. I highly recommend Dio's Piano School.
Both of my kids are taking piano lessons with Dio.His music materials and teaching method are very unique,systematic,and thorough. Dio is a very talented,patient,and caring instructor who provides such a positive and encouraging environment for students to be able to focus, build confidence, and develop passion for learning how to play piano.I highly recommend Dio piano school!!
Highly recommend this place! My two children love coming to the class. Over last few months their technique and confidence playing piano improved dramatically! Thank you Dio!
Very satisfied with this place, It has a very peaceful and intimate environment, my daughter is very interested in piano, While teaching is academic but with a lot of excitement! Thank you so much Dio Piano School 🌱🙏🏻
My two kids have been learning piano with Dio over a year. I could see big improvement on them. They do really enjoy learning piano with him.
Dio(Changiz Asadollahi) has been teach my son Xinlong for almost 1year. Xinlong has developed both an ability to play and an enjoyment of music because of Dio’s thoughtful and patient guidance. Dio’s inspirational love of music comes through in his teaching. He is such a professional piano teacher as well as a perfect guide of music.