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Popular Piano Lessons: Introduction - Site Overview

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This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Popular Piano with Hugh Sung. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Popular Piano Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

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If you've always wanted to learn to play
the piano or if you've learned a long
time ago and want the best fastest,
most efficient way to get back to playing,
I believe you're about to
start on the best method for
learning the piano, I think on the planet.
I know it's a big claim but I'm bringing
30 years of teaching experience and
instilling it into this course, which
I am so excited for you to go through.
Here's why I think you're going
to learn faster, better, and
with more fun than you could ever imagine.
Number one, we're gonna be making all of
our lessons right out of songs rather than
taking esoteric exercises or
different parts of music.
That don't really relate to anything.
We're gonna learn all of our lessons right
from songs that you probably already know
and songs that are familiar.
So that you'll already have your own ear
and hopefully your heart as well, into
putting the effort in to make sense out
of all of the things that we talk about.
So the songs are the primary goal and
the primary method that we draw
all of our lessons out of.
The next thing that
you'll be introduced to,
we won't really notice this in an overt
sense but every fingering that I
come up with is a means of helping you
learn to let your body work for you.
What do I mean by that?
Well, playing the piano
is very much a system
of understanding the geography of the
piano as it relates to your physical body.
Everything from the placement of your
fingers, the shape of your hands,
how you stretch things.
There are definite patterns
that happen over and
over again in music throughout
almost any kind of music.
And from the selections of the songs,
to the way the notes are presented,
even to the number fingers
I'll be asking you to use,
you'll be training your body,
your hands, your arms, and
your ear to pick out those patterns faster
than I think you would even imagine.
And you'll be able to instantly apply
them to songs that are not even in
this curriculum,
anything that you want to learn.
The other thing I'm going to be helping
you understand is how the brain
is really the world's most
powerful recording device.
Let me give you an example.
Many years ago,
when I first started teaching,
I would get frustrated as a young teacher.
I'd see my students coming in,
I teach them something,
they come back week after
week with mistakes and
they never seem to improve until I
came across this incredible discovery.
Rather than getting upset about
their mistakes, I started studying
their mistakes and what I discovered
was absolutely world's changing.
The kids that would come in for lessons,
when they came in with a mistake
they would come in exactly
with the same mistake.
Precisely played.
If they took a look at a piece and
made a jump, they would always jump
to the same right or wrong note.
So the critical thing for you to realize
is that, the first few times you look at
a piece, you are already memorizing
how it sounds, where your hands go.
I would say between 80 and
90% of piano practicing
tends to be re-learning or
unlearning the mistakes you make
within the first day or two of
looking at a brand new piece of music.
It's kind of a scary thought.
But if you can apply that principle to all
of the things we work on in this course,
and be very careful and
very mindful of the information that
you put in the very first time,
you're going to find that you're gonna
learn faster and more efficiently.
So just realize that the brain is the most
powerful recording device on the planet.
And that's another reason why I try
to get you playing with both hands
together right away.
I don't want to spend too much time
isolating your hands because most of
the time you're gonna be called
to play with your hands together.
So we jump into that right away
taking that memorization and
learning principle very much to heart.
The other thing I try to introduce
in my system, is to show you that
the best way to learn music is very
much like learning a language.
And so we're gonna be learning all of
our songs literally a phrase at a time.
Music is made up of musical sentences.
And so it makes sense for
you rather than simply going from
the beginning straight through to the end.
If you were to memorize or
learn a play or a script or a poem.
You'd want to break it up
perhaps a sentence at a time.
A few words at a time.
Whatever makes sense within
what you're learning.
Music is no different, so
we're gonna apply that same principal so
that song makes sense to
you as you're working and
your not overloading yourself with
too much information at once.
Another principal I want to share with
you is what I call pot hole practicing.
Now, as we learn things and again,
as I emphasize it's very easy to get
into certain memorization grooves.
If you're learning something,
you stop because it's hard.
Guess what?
Every time you go back to that passage,
you will have memorized and
trained yourself to stop at that same
spot and perhaps in the same way.
One of the things I try to show you
in this method is how we work through
those pot holes, those places in
your practicing and your learning
which cause you to stumble, hesitate or
make the same identical mistakes.
So it's a very simple principle basically,
you learn from your mistakes,
your mistakes are your best teacher.
So it's very important to understand
where precisely mistakes take place.
And all we do is we take a very small
portion right before the mistake, work on
the mistake and then go immediately
connect it to something right after that.
So that,
that stumbling spot no loner applies.
We try to approach it
from before immediately,
leave after it and
always work on connecting material.
So if you're learning
a phrase of music and
then you start working on the next phrase,
what I'm gonna be asking you to do
constantly is to remember to
go through your potholes.
Don't just stop at the end of the first
phrase and then start the second phrase.
As soon as you have those two phrases
mastered then you wanna work on
smoothing them out,
connecting them through.
It can be simply the last note
of the previous phase and
the first note of the next phrase
working on that transition and
then going back in reverse and
then seeing how smoothly you can move
through those two phrases
before adding on the next one.
Again, very much like learning a language.
So that's in a nutshell is some of the
main principals that I try to show you in
this method.
And I really hope that,
not really just to say that this
is the best method in the world.
The best method in the world doesn't mean
anything if it doesn't work for you.
And so I really hope that this helps you,
that you enjoy your learning and
please I'm here for you.
One of the most amazing
things about this system,
with ArtistWorks is that you're not just
watching a static library of videos.
I am available.
And you can ask me questions,
you can send me videos, and
you can see personalized responses that
can focus you on addressing exactly
the things that you need to get over
that hump, to make progress and
to be making beautiful music as quickly
and as satisfying a manner as possible.