Piano Lessons

The Bob Milne Piano Studio

Bob Milne is a retired internationally renowned concert pianist. His styles of learning and playing were documented by the Library of Congress in 2004 during three days of interviews. He was thereafter declared a "National Treasure."

During his 30-year career performing solo piano concerts worldwide, Bob taught music theory, piano playing, and music history at hundreds of universities, schools, and private institutions - wherever he was - across the country and throughout the world. Bob taught everyone from beginners to master class students

Now that he is no longer traveling constantly, Bob is able to make more time available for teaching in either of his two studios near Lapeer, Michigan, or by giving lessons online. 

Reading the Keyboard

Bob does not teach from printed music. He points out that many of the greatest musicians in the world couldn't even read music. Instead, they learned to sing or play "by ear," and superstars such as opera singer Luciano Pavarotti never read music his entire life. There are many others, such as the Beatles. 

Once you learn one simple tune by ear, such as Silent Night, the student is quickly able to pick up the 2nd and 3rd pieces based on how they learned the first.   

Bob is self taught. He didn't learn from reading music, so teaches the way he himself learned. Bob realized a few basic principles of the keyboard when he was young and applied them to every situation. An example is that "all scales have the same fingering, and they're hiding in plain sight..."

Bob calls his method Reading the Keyboard. He has been quoted as saying, 

 "You can't train the piano to play itself. But you can learn a few basic principles, then teach yourself at your own pace."

Q:  What do the two photos have in common?

A: The clue to understanding every chord on the piano. 

A Few Words from Former Students

“Bob Milne is the most practical piano teacher who will teach you to truly understand the music, not just play it! Bob taught me useful techniques like the circle of fifths, which I have now been using as a pianist for twenty years!”

Adam Swanson is the only FOUR-TIME World Champion Old-Time Piano Player! Adam has performed around the world, including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Hungary, Switzerland, Australia, and more…

Eric Shore

Attending this retreat 12 years ago changed my musical life. I had a mental block, and felt that I didn't have the ability to play by ear. Bob showed me a few simple principles in a lesson, and by the end of the night I was learning tunes in my head at the dinner table, then immediately getting up and playing them without the need for sheet music or practice. I've never looked back. I can't recommend Bob's retreat highly enough.

Photo shows Eric Shore performing at the prestigious Frankenmuth Ragtime Festival, Frankenmuth, Michigan, in 2017. 

Bob says:

1) 90% of every melody note is simply a chord member note. Learn the chords, learn the piano. 

2) When asked by an interviewer, "Why do you play everything by ear?", Bob answered,

"Because the audience is listening by ear." (Library of Congress, October, 2004.)

3) When you hear a symphony orchestra play a huge chord, you're actually only hearing three of four different notes. It's perhaps a huge C major chord, with C, E, and G all being played on low cellos, high flutes, and everything in between. 

4) People all say they don't know anything about music, but they sure know when someone misses a note. How do they know? They're using their ears. That proves they do know something about music. My entire career depended on them liking what I was playing.