The prefix “penta-” means five and “tonic” in the musical sense means the first note in a scale. So the definition of the word “pentatonic” is a musical scale made up of five notes.
Learning to play the piano the pentatonic way –
Involves only the playing of five different notes. As it happens, those five notes correspond exactly to the five black keys on a piano.
Uses many recognizable and favorite melodies. Many folk songs, hymns, and even rock and classical songs are based on the pentatonic scale.
Allows a beginner to develop technical skills first. Because only five notes are involved the beginner can concentrate on hand position and moving the fingers efficiently while learning songs before starting the process of note and music reading.
Encourages the use of both hands in a melody and accompaniment relationship. Because technical and listening skills are developed first, playing with both hands from the beginning is promoted.
Creativity and exploration of the keyboard within the relationship of the five notes in melody and accompaniment patterns is encouraged. Since the beginner is not bogged down with learning the concepts and skills of note reading and the language of music, inventiveness and originality are hallmarks of the method.
Is immediately satisfying. The novice pianist starts playing melodies with accompaniments very quickly. For most any adult learner being able to play more than simple nursery rhyme melodies one finger at a time is important. Those students using the pentatonic method play well-known melodies with interesting accompaniments from the first lessons.
Develops the ear. As the learner becomes more proficient with playing the pentatonic melodies, they “hear” more and more creative ways to enhance those melodies with unique accompaniment patterns.
Sounds great from the beginning. Because the pentatonic method uses only five notes and those five notes sound pleasing to the human ear when played in any combination with each other, the student produces pleasant music from the onset of their study.
Allows the person who wants to make music quickly. Because note reading is not necessary in the early stages of the pentatonic method, music making comes quickly.
Can be practiced away from the piano or keyboard instrument. The pentatonic method encourages the student to “play” their music in other environments from the table or desktop to the steering wheel. Developing facile technical skills is stressed from the beginning.
Encourages further exploration of the world of music. Learning to play the piano using the pentatonic method is a gratifying pleasant experience. Because of that fact, those students who start their study of the piano or find themselves relearning the piano with the pentatonic method move more easily into the realm of music reading and notation.
Why learn to play the piano the pentatonic way? Why not?