ABOUT THE METHOD
This is a breakthrough in piano education. It allows new students to become immersed in a “playing-based” method. It works for ages 6-Seniors, and is especially appreciated by students who have taken traditional piano lessons in the past.
From the first lessons, new students are playing mature sounding songs and pieces. That’s not only fun and encouraging, but unprecedented. It is similar in concept to foreign language immersion programs (i.e. Rosetta Stone) which are effective in teaching people how to speak foreign languages simply, naturally, and effectively. The key to Simply Music® is best understood by examining a very dramatic, but natural, connection between language and music.
Think of how infants innately learn to speak language. We all know – they listen, imitate, and repeat sounds. Words form. Then patterns of words extend into sentences. Sentences turn into a vocabulary. Children develop a vocabulary long before any language education whatsoever. These language skills become their building blocks for learning how to read. Children access speaking skills to learn alphabets, to spell, to write words, to write sentences, to make and develop paragraphs, chapters. All of us learned this way.
Bringing this back to music, Simply Music® songs and pieces are played on the piano initially forming easily understandable patterns, called musical sentences. Combining these musical sentences together creates pieces and songs. The specially selected Simply Music® repertoire (pop, classical, blues, etc) allows the teacher to seamlessly plant seeds of education into the songs along the way. Students practice the piano at home by playing the repertoire and the songs grow stronger. Muscle-memory is developed in the hands automatically through practice. Connections form. This training leads to reading the complexities of music successfully. The very process itself makes learning to play the piano more understandable, fun, and motivating. Reading music -in Simply Music®- is then systematically taught when the student is developmentally really ready for it.
The Language/Simply Music® comparison:
Sounds / Vocabulary / Speaking in Patterns / Reading = ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Sounds / Sentences / Playing in Patterns / Reading = MUSICAL LANGUAGE
This discovery into the language/music connection yields breakthrough results. It actually allows people who never thought they could learn the piano a newfound opportunity to succeed. This is a distinct and stark contrast to the traditional piano lesson where both reading music, and playing the piano, have been combined into one single activity. Though people have learned like that for centuries, for most, that recipe has not been altogether successful. With those two demands in place for a would-be pianist, it might be compared to the experience of juggling several balls into the air at once. It becomes a very complex demand, to multitask this successfully, let alone musically. As a consequence, traditional students practice very simple sounding music in the process in order to try to decode it all. Therefore, practice in the traditional way is dominated with drills, and scales, and ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’-type music. Progress is slow, if seldom motivating. For too many, the inspiration falls right through the cracks along the way. As a result, is it any wonder, sadly, why most people historically have not succeeded in learning to play the piano? Maybe, just maybe… their education failed them.Simply Music® students are musical immediately and therefore, practice sounds like, well…playing the piano. Not perfectly of course – that takes practice. After the first 10 lessons though, on average, students already are playing 6-8 mature sounding popular, classical, and blues songs – and with both hands! Those results may seem miraculous, but it’s not a miracle – its a method.