Review: Essential Piano Exercises

Lesson resources, Reviews

I have recently been taking some courses and participating in some challenges that will help improve my skills when it comes to playing music outside the written notation. ie: Chord Patterns, Lead Sheets, Improvisation, etc. All of these involve essential piano exercises. I have always been a good sight-reader but if you threw a lead sheet in front of me, I would totally fumble through it. Sound familiar?

Jerald Simon created a course that I am happy to recommend as an affiliate. If you aren’t familiar with Jerald, he is a creative music guru when it comes to anything that can be created from an essential piano exercise. And what is cool about all these essential piano exercises is what you could ultimately turn around and do with them. Compose, improvisation, arrange, mash ups, remix, the list can go on and on…


Play 100 Different Ways

In the Essential Piano Exercises course you will learn how to play the same song 100 different ways. Is that even possible? Yes, matter of fact, one of my favorite books from Jerald is his 100 Left Hand Patterns Every Piano Player Should Know. Jerald Simon, encourages students to practice and learn how to play every song or exercise in every key signature and he personally shows you how simple it is to start playing any song in any key signature.

Once you can play the music as it is, he teaches you how to arrange any song any way you want and play it in any key signature. After learning how to arrange music, he teaches you how to start composing music of your own. Learn music theory, improvisation, and composition on the piano – the FUN way. Jerald often refers to it as piano FUNdamentals (see what he did there?). It is the practical application of music theory. In this course, Jerald will show you how to apply the music theory you learn to create music of your own by improvising, arranging, and composing music in any style you want.

For Everyone

You can take your time with the course or skip around if you don’t need as much help in some areas. Jerald created the course for both traditional and non-traditional piano players. Every exercise is written out and you will have the PDF sheet music to follow along with. The video lessons demonstrate exactly what Jerald is playing on the piano and how he is playing it. Simply watch the video with the helpful overhead shot of his hands on the piano keys.

With each exercise or song Jerald teaches, he counts out the rhythm for you, tells you the key signature, teaches you the names of the intervals, scales, chords, etc. as he plays the music and walks you through how to do exactly what you see him do in the videos.

Jerald not only wants you to be able read anything placed in front of you (or your students), but he wants you to be able to play from ear, from a lead sheet, fake book. He wants you to be able to arrange, improvise and compose.


Continued Support

And if the course isn’t enough, Jerald includes a supportive Facebook group where he comes in every week to do a live lesson. PLUS there are weekly challenges so you can share what you have learned and tried if you want! It’s pretty amazing. I have enjoyed seeing those who are willing to share as it’s inspiring to hear what they have learned, discovered and created.

Find all about Essential Piano Exercises course, receive a free PDF “20 Ways to Motivate Teen Piano Students to Want to Play the Piano” and enter a giveaway here. If you are only interested in the Essential Piano Exercises book, you can find that at Amazon here. Or the Essential Jazz Piano Exercises book here. (*PDF’s of those books mentioned are included in the course)



Not only can you enter the giveaway and grab that free PDF I mentioned above, but Jerald is also giving away Lifetime Studio Licenses to the Essential Piano Exercises Course and COOL SONGS Series (which is awesome by the way) to 5 lucky teachers who follow my blog! That is a $379.85 value (each). Thanks, Jerald! So generous for you to do that. Just enter the giveaway below and don’t forget to check out the Essential Piano Exercises course and receive a free PDF “20 Ways to Motivate Teen Piano Students to Want to Play the Piano” here. Good luck!


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