Categories: Education

We started the site Harper Academy with a clear vision and the best of intentions. However, like many of us, the busyness of life has kept us from what we believe to be a discipline, duty and calling. Now that being said, I hope it doesn’t come off as feeling like we’re being forced to write to our blog. We’re not. Evidenced by how little we post, that couldn’t possibly be the case.

The Harper Academy Vision

But, we’ve been talking about doing better and understanding what it is that we do well (as a family). Often, I think that modern-day man complicates things. We’re no different. We’ve been on a path of self-employment for quite a while. And what has been obvious to some, but not so obvious to us is that there certain things that we are talented at doing. We’re talented individually and as a family at writing, teaching and presenting.

What We Do Well

What happens to most people when they understand what it is that they do well, is it look for standard opportunities that they believe to be suited for what they do. They look for things like job opportunities, business opportunity formulas and ready-made audiences that will pay them attention.
I think more than anything else we found that life doesn’t necessarily work that way, and as a result were going to start down this path (of blogging) once again, with the same clarity yet with more of a willingness to “get out there.” (More on that another time)

Lana’s Instructional Piano Videos

To that end, this is the first of Lana’s Piano instructional videos. While she definitely wants to have her own studio; right now, there are no students that are seeking her out. She does have a detailed and vast knowledge of music as she is been classically trained; and therefore, she’s decided to start making videos so that others can experience what it is that she knows.

So on this first set of videos, she’s going to be laying out the basics of piano. I think it is her intention and she is drawn out her lessons to help people to tune their ear and learn how to hear music. Lana, even as a classically trained pianist learned primarily by ear.

The Suzuki Method

If you’re reading this, you’re probably familiar with the Suzuki method, which trains children to engageHarper Academy Lessons in music by ear. Lana was trained in the method since she was six, she has a pretty good grasp of what it means to apply it to every day lessons in music.

Lana’s Musical Odyssey

I’m probably stealing her thunder a little bit, but she’s now making the transition to take all of her classical training and use it to play more gospel music. Once again, she’s kind of self-guiding here. She is guided a little bit by the musicians at our church, as well as opportunities that she gets to play.

However, she has done more most of her development in the last couple of months by singing with her mother and sister (I’m calling this group the Harper Academy Trio until they come up with a better name…or one they like more). I may have shown you their videos before, but I’ll post them again here as they have taken to do one song together every month. However, when I look at what she’s doing in those videos, I think that these songs are a little easy to her and don’t necessarily stretch her as a musician.

Jazz To Gospel

Lana Begins Giving Piano Lessons

Lana Begins Giving Piano Lessons

We have been suggesting together, both Lon and I, that maybe she can make the transition into becoming a better and ready pianist by learning some of the fundamentals of jazz. As a result of that, she is involved in a course on the site Coursera, being given by a professor at Berkeley in jazz improvisation.
Although we haven’t investigated it. We’ve been talking about whether or not Gershwin would be something good for her to learn. You’ll have to stay tuned on that because we’re not sure whether or not to pursue that angle or not.

I use “we” in some of these things and I’m saying, but Lana is the engine guiding the process. And while these videos are a collaborative effort and probably even a collaborative idea; it will be her drive and ingenuity that will take the process to where it is going to ultimately go. If I do anything, I will be a silent cameraman in the background.

Apologies Up Front

Now, I understand that the first video, the lighting is bad. We’ll do a better job of that next time. I think for these first 20 to 24 lessons probably we’ll probably post to her channel on a daily basis. Oh, that brings another point. The Harper Academy channel is not Lana’s solo channel (Make sure to subscribe there!).

This is a family channel. And so there’ll probably be more than just Lana’s classical music videos coming out. In fact, I’ve been encouraging her to map out her schedule so that perhaps she does the first 20 lessons and then goes to a weekly schedule and give people an idea of what it is that she is going to be doing.

However, that’ll be her decision and we’ll see what she decides. I’m guessing she’ll eventually write to and then to talk about what her lessons are going to do, but I know my daughter. You may not want to hold your breath for that. Talk Soon.

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Posted on Nov 9, 2013

One Response to “Lana’s Instructional Piano Lessons Begin”
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  1. Deborah E says:

    Excellent, Lana. I am so proud of you and what you are doing. Bravo! I also like how you mention that you will be teaching ear training and that this is helpful even for those who travel the traditional path. That is so true. I am classically trained and wish I had understood the value of playing by ear simultaneously with the classical training when I was little. I have implemented it fully in voice and other instruments, but my view has been that you can get “locked in” to only playing by sight reading if you are not allowed to go beyond that and play from the heart based on what you feel and hear. That, is a full picture of the art. Or I should say, that tiny aspect of the art. Kudos to you, my dear!

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