A powerful, innovative and fascinating way to learn piano

Play by ear, improvise, sight-read fluently and truly express yourself

I give 121 piano lessons in my studio in London (Fulham – Hammersmith end SW6) or by Skype. Alternatively, you can download materials from this website to study on your own.

Learn any of the following…

  • Piano and/or keyboard

  • Composition

  • Practical musicianship

  • Ear-training (aurals)

  • Music theory

I teach all these skills based on real musical fluency.

Phil Best

I am the creator of Musically Fluent. I am an award-winning pianist, classically trained at the Royal Northern College of Music and fluent improviser in a range of styles.

My aim as a teacher is to offer a refreshing alternative to conventional classical and jazz approaches to learning the piano but without any annoying gimmickry.

If you want to discover more about me, please visit my website and blog at philbestmusic.com.


An alternative approach

When we hear music, we can imagine how wonderful it would be to play it. We hear the powerful meanings and stories that it evokes and dream of expressing ourselves naturally and freely. This is something a fluent musician can do. But sadly, conventional classical and jazz methods do not foster this kind of fluency.

Potentially, the piano or keyboard offers the greatest power and freedom for a musician: we can play almost anything with a full, rich sound. But the harsh reality is that most people’s experience of learning to play the keys is not one of empowerment and self-expression but infuriating frustration, even after passing examinations.

I want to free people from the all too common maddening feeling of being musically lame, lost and bored, and show them the clear, open road to real musical fluency on the keys.

Someone who is musically fluent on the piano has the ability to play by ear, improvise and sight-read.

Playing by ear is the ability to reproduce any music that you can remember.

Improvising fluently is the ability to play any music  you can imagine, straight out of your head, without planning.

Sight-reading fluently is the ability to look at a musical score and instantly hear it mentally without needing to decode the notes onto an instrument first.

If you can play by ear and sight-read fluently, you can learn new music incredibly quickly; you can also jot music down as you hear it (music dictation).

And if you can improvise and sight-read fluently, you can also compose, should you have the creative urge to do so.

Just imagine how useful fluent musical skills are!

Solid foundations for lifelong learning

The MusicallyFluent model gives students a solid foundation in keyboard musicianship and technique that works across all styles of music – classical, jazz, rock and pop, etc.

My scheme of work is spread across 5 levels. Once you have attained Level 5, you can work on any repertoire of your choice and even undertake ABRSM examinations if desired.

As long as you have the right motivation, my approach can work for you, whether you are a beginner,  an advanced musician or somewhere in-between; although people with prior learning experience may need to start from scratch in order to gain true fluency.

Download materials

A free eBook in PDF format setting out the principles of the MusicallyFluent model is available for download here – after you complete a short quiz to check that you have the right mindset.

There are also carefully designed practice materials available to download in the shop. These are simple, innovative and fun to explore. Full explanations of how to use the exercises and studies are included with each PDF.

Video demonstrations are also available for you to buy and download.