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Friday, June 26, 2009

The Bollywood Piano...Review

About the book:

Parents, who can’t afford a piano tutor for any reason such as time, distance, finance etc., now have an option to musically educate their children and help them become successful.

In today’s sluggish economy when many parents are laid-off or fear loss of job, a better investment is to purchase The Bollywood Piano (ISBN 978-1934938355, 2009, 96 pages, Mill City Press, $14.95 www.bollywoodpiano.com) by Rajan Shah and conveniently stay at home while their children learn to master the piano in about 48 hours.

About three years ago Rajan Shah, an accomplished musician, was teaching his daughters to play the piano and became so frustrated purchasing one instructional book after another that Rajan decided to write his own piano book.

“The problem with the books I purchased for my daughters is they would introduce the basic scale of C and maybe G and then you’d have to buy another book to advance to another skill,” explains Shah. “So I wrote the complete instruction book that allows the reader to learn to play in just 30 minutes and to master the piano in the 48 hours it takes to read the 96 pages and take the exercises. So you only have to spend $14.95 for your child to learn the piano!”

The Bollywood Piano allows the student to learn to sight read or play their favorite song by ear, to articulate chord progressions, and to compose their own songs – all within one book. The Bollywood Piano is a complete method to learn keyboard based instruments like piano, accordion, and digital keyboards.

This logically laid out instructional manual offers an accelerated and innovative method by using old-fashioned songs like Jingle Bells to teach basic musical knowledge. Bollywood pop songs are then integrated to significantly shorten the learning curve for the sight reading process. From this base more advanced topics are introduced that require students to accurately read musical notation instead of simply guessing the note and its duration.

Rajan Shah included the Bollywood music in his book so students do not take a guess on a note or on the duration of a note as they might for American songs they are familiar with.

Rajan Shah’s intent in writing The Bollywood Piano is for students to fully comprehend music rather than enduring countless practices just to learn the scale, a few notes and chords. Instead Bollywood Piano students will learn to play the 16th note in the first few chapters while mastering the basic scale.

“Most songs can be easily performed once students get accustomed to the 16th note,” says Shah, “Upon successful completion of the book, the absolute beginners ages 8 and older will be able to perform all kind of music and gain the knowledge and skills that will help them become an expert pianist.

Purchasers of the book will have access to free mp3 downloads that were written to advance chord recognition skills and to enhance the student’s ability to play music by ear.

About Rajan Shah:
Rajan Shah is a composer, music arranger and a seasoned pianist with more than 30 years experience. Rajan has performed in more than 1,200 live shows in India and America, and recorded commercials and music videos in Bollywood. He is an adjunct professor at Northern Virginia Community College, and has written arrangements for more than 40 songs in 10 years. He became an author to teach his two daughters how to play the piano.

My Review:
I have played the piano since I was 11. I only took lessons for about two years, and I've always regretted quitting. However, I love to play the piano and am a fairly good master of simplified pieces.

When the opportunity to review The Bollywood Piano came, I was intrigued. I was not familiar with any Bollywood music, and the idea that one book could teach you the basics in two days. I'm pleased to say that the book lived up to my expectations.

I sat down at the piano, with the book and my ten-year old son. Since piano lessons aren't an option for us at the moment, I've been going through my old primary music books with him and he has grasped the concept of some things. However, within minutes of sitting down with The Bollywood Piano, he was playing Ode to Joy with his right hand. I love hearing my son play Beethoven, even just a simplified version!

I learned a great deal from the book: so many points and piano principles that I didn't remember, if I had known them at all. It really is a great, overall instruction manual. You can go through it as fast or as slowly as you want. We're taking a bit of a slow route with it.

Easily recommended for those wanting to learn how to play the piano or who want something to use as they teach their children.

Thanks to Scott Lorenz and Westwind Communications for the opportunity to review this book. You can find out more about Rajan Shah here. You can purchase the book here and here.

Read 6/09

* * * *
4/5 Stars


  1. This one sounds interesting. Thanks for the review!

  2. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.