THE BACHSCHOLAR® PIANO METHOD
Videos and curricula for The BachScholar® Piano Method (BSPM) are introduced on this website and all WRP members are welcome and encouraged to incorporate the principles into their daily practice; however, it will still be a few years until the complete method (in several volumes) is published in book form. At this time, at least until the method is published, the recommended books for the BSPM are:
The BachScholar® Piano Method is a comprehensive system that emphasizes technique, theory, and sight-reading. It is designed for piano students of all ages and works especially well with adult students and mature younger students ages 10 and up. With expert supervision from qualified teachers, the BSPM is also very effective for children under 10.
The “ripened fruit” of over 30 years of piano teaching by Dr. Cory Hall, the BSPM is not repertoire specific as most other piano methods and grading systems, which means it does not consist of graded pieces (although lists of recommended pieces will soon be available). Instead of traversing through a graded selection of pieces as done by most methods and systems, the BSPM focuses solely on a specially devised comprehensive curriculum of scales, triads, arpeggios, chords and cadences, ear training, sight-reading, and other essential skills of piano technique and musical theory. Special emphasis is given to the practice, playing, and analysis of four-part chorales by J.S. Bach -- in either two parts for beginners or four parts for more advanced students -- since this unduly neglected style represents the ultimate pinnacle of piano playing.
TBSM is intended to be used as a “supplemental method” to enhance the teaching of all the aforementioned areas not included by whatever piano method or system one may be using. Each piano method has its own unique characteristics and strengths and all piano teachers have their preferences. Some prefer older methods like Thompson and Aaron, others prefer newer methods like Alfred, Faber, or Piano Safari, while others prefer testing systems such as ABRSM, RCM, or Trinity. This is all fine and good, as each method and testing system has its own strengths and has something unique to offer students and teachers. After all, there is no such thing as the one and only “perfect piano method.” Dr. Hall, has used many piano methods throughout his long teaching career, has prepared students for ABRSM, RCM, and Trinity exams, and likes some aspects of each of these methods. There really is no such thing as a “bad” piano method. Thus, it may be emphasized again that TBSPM is meant not as a “replacement” but rather as a “supplement” to whatever method or testing system one happens to be using.
The BSPM was created because virtually all piano methods are incomplete in their presentation and teaching of scales, triads and inversions, arpeggios, chords and cadences, ear training, sight-reading, and other areas. Piano teachers and students do not need yet another piano method with cute pictures and trendy songs or a system with all the familiar scale and arpeggio requirements, but rather, are in desperate need of clear and straight-forward instruction on the order of "what" techniques to learn first and next, and guidance on “how” to practice these techniques with the aid of up-close and personal videos.
Students and teachers who follow the BSPM’s carefully designed and progressive curricula will gain knowledge and skills that are seldom if ever given their due diligence by other piano methods. In addition, students and teachers will be instructed on "what," "how," and "when" to practice these skills with carefully planned and progressively increasing "Grades." The following essential skills, usually not included in the curricula of most piano methods and testing systems, are given primary importance in BSPM: