Piano training is one of the most crucial skills that any singer or voice professional needs to have, and is often lacking in singers of all styles. Many singers feel held back in their careers because they don't feel comfortable at the piano and aren't able to fully utilize it as a tool. This course has grown out of hundreds of hours of lessons, teaching singers how to be fully functional at the piano. We skip a lot of the useless material that is often taught in piano classes and go right for the skills that will help singers and voice teachers in their studios immediately. The approach is direct, simple and is a clear pathway to success at the keyboard.
In this course, we will cover
- How to play with correct technique, posture and hand position
- How to get comfortable playing in all 12 keys
- How to play the most commonly used vocal exercises in 12 keys
- How to read chord symbols
- How to create on-the-spot piano accompaniment parts without having to read every single note on the page.
- How to finally get your sight reading together.
- BONUS - how to teach at the piano all day without killing your back (or your neck, or your wrists)
This approach is direct. There are no method books full of exercises that you'll never use. No fussy scale fingerings that you have to memorize. No random patterns to memorize. All you will learn at the skills that you can use in your every day life as a singer, voice teacher or conductor.
I'm excited to recommend Piano Skills for Singers. This is a fantastic course and an absolute game-changer for voice teachers. Seriously. If your piano is just for scales, and you're convinced that you can't learn to play, think again! Brenda Earle Stokes is a wonderful teacher and her course is super organized! Each section gives you the confidence to move on to the next section. What I really loved was learning that you don't have to be a brilliant pianist to accompany your students! Thank you, Brenda! This is a course that was long overdue! - Meredith Colby, Chicago voice teacher, speaker, blogger, author of Money Notes: How to Sing High, Loud, Healthy & Forever
I seriously LOVE your course, it has been so liberating - for the first time in my life i have been feeling like "oh i can do this". And it's been fun! And fun to then practice chords in a couple of songs. So thank you!!! You opened the piano door for me that i previously felt was closed. - T.H.
You're really likable and relatable. You're talking to me, not down to me. The course is organized in very short sections, so I won't be afraid to tackle one small piece at a time. Your lighting is good, your sound is good, and the way you show what you're doing on the keyboard is really good. - M.C.
Brenda is an inspiration She loves and breathes her passion for piano and her course is clear, concise and it works ! I can’t wait to get to the piano every day now! Thanks Brenda!! - K.W.
I am a pianist and vocalist skilled in the fields of classical, jazz, pop, rock, r&b and musical theater. Not only have I trained, I have performed at the professional level in each of these styles, and each holds a special place in my heart!
As a performer, I have worked as both pianist and vocalist as a leader and sideperson across the US and Internationally. I have performed at the Kennedy Center, Avery Fischer Hall, The Toronto Jazz Festival, The Christchurch Arts Festival in New Zealand and at Carnegie Hall, with artists such as trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, stage legend Maurice Hines, the Desoff Symphonic Chorus and many others. I even opened for Duran Duran once! As a conductor, I spent 8 years directing the New York Summer Music Festival’s Jazz Choir and was the Artistic Director of the Rutger’s University Queen’s Chorale. I was an Episcopal Music Director and organist for several years as well! In any given week, you might find me singing with a classical choir, playing piano in a jazz club, playing keyboard and singing backup in a top 40 band or accompanying a Broadway singer. I love the challenge of wearing many hats and getting to express myself in different musical ways!
Because of my diverse musical skills and interests, I attract students with a wide range of interests and goals, from professional and pre-professional to children and teens to adults wanting to learn for fun and personal development. My students have sung on Broadway, in national commercials, have recorded solo albums and have been accepted to performing arts high schools and top conservatories in the US and Canada. I am skilled at creating a course of study that serves each of my students unique needs and interests.
I have served on the faculties of City College, the New York Summer Music Festival, the Grammy-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus and the Diller-Quaile School of Music. I currently serve on the faculty at Fordham University, where I teach piano, voice and direct a jazz ensemble.
I have been active in music outreach and am proud to have served at NYC inner city schools through the Midori and Friends Foundation and the New York Pops Educational outreach. I am entering my 9th year in a music residency at the Ronald McDonald House, where I make music with seriously ill children and their wonderful families!
StartGetting started - 3 different ways to conceptualize playing in 12 keys (8:28)
StartA note on fingerings (4:39)
StartEx #1: 5 note scales (9:00)
StartEx #2: 5 finger scales and triad outlines (7:13)
StartEx#3: Broken triads (7:03)
StartEx #4: One octave arpeggios (10:28)
StartEx #5: 9 note scales (15:38)
StartGeneral advice for playing piano during voice lessons (4:45)