Welcome to Peery! My name is Christie Peery Skousen and I am the author and creator of the Peery Method.
I guess you could say that I was somewhat destined to become a pianist. I started piano lessons with my mom, a Juilliard trained concert pianist, when I was 5 years old. I practiced and I practiced and I practiced. Eventually I started winning competitions and performing on a national and international level. Quite often after a performance an audience member would come backstage to congratulate me and they would often say the same thing:
‘I wish I could play the piano like you. You are so lucky.’
Was it luck? The definition of luck is: success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one's own actions. I was certainly lucky to be born to such an amazing piano teacher, but was my ability to play like I did lucky?
My mom’s studio was full of amazing, competition-winning, master-performing pianists. It still is. How can this be so? Does she have a magic wand? Is there something special in the Provo, Utah water? Or is she and are all of her students just incredibly lucky?
Growing up I heard all of her students come through for lessons, hours each day, week after week, year after year. The consistent results achieved in that studio had nothing to do with luck and everything to do with the consistent and specific training they received right from the beginning; teaching that, from the very first lesson, was very specifically focused on HOW to play the piano. These students were taught from the very first lesson how to master the physical motions required for making specific sounds. This specific and focused training is why these students played at such an incredibly high musical and technical level.
This early training focused on the connection between muscle movement mastery and sound is the difference between piano playing and keyboarding. Piano Playing means that you are trained to be able to make the sounds you want to make. Keyboarding is pushing down the right key at the right time. They are two different things to learn and two different things to teach. But we lump them together under one big umbrella of ‘piano lessons’. What if we lumped all dance lessons together like that? Are contemporary dance lessons the same as lyrical lessons? Do we expect to be great on pointe shoes since we have taken hip hop for 8 years?
Peery teaches piano in a way that anyone can learn to play the piano as well as they want to because Peery provides a proper foundation.
I have heard many tales from adults who had spent up to 8 years of their young lives learning to keyboard, thinking they were learning to play the piano. Late in the process, some noticed the difference between their ‘keyboarding’ and others ‘piano playing'. Often times they figured they didn't play as well as they wanted to because they weren’t talented enough or musical enough. But in truth they were taking hip hop when they thought they were taking ballet. Piano playing requires 100% of technical fundamentals to be mastered before moving on to a new concept. Without a strong technical foundation the piano playing structure eventually collapses.
Peery gives you that foundation and then supports you in your future choices.
Whether your choice is to devote all of your attention to piano playing, or you only have limited time in your schedule to play, Peery makes you aware of what your choices entail and supports you on your piano path. I hope you give us the chance to be on the path with you.