Ever find yourself humming a song, or hearing a song in your head? Sometimes we find ourselves singing the same song over and over all day long, even if we can’t stand the song!
The fact is, music is just a part of us. But what exactly is music? Looking the word up in a dictionary, the first definition is:
“An art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color.”
We are exposed to music almost as early as we are conceived. We can feel and hear it in the womb. Many of us on our day of birth can hear Mom singing, “Rock-a-bye-baby.” That turns to “Happy Birthday” every single year after that. Everyone has certain songs that invoke strong memories from the past. How about that those special wedding songs like the first dance with a spouse? Or your turn the radio on and you hear a 30 year old song that instantly invokes memories of days gone by. And who doesn’t sing in the shower? (ok, I don’t sing, but I hum)
And how often do we grab onto songs that lyric-wise we can relate to? For example, many teens (if not all) go through a period of teenage “angst” and completely connect with songs that speak about the feelings they are feeling at the moment. Of course, that is just one example, and this doesn’t just happen with teens, it happens with all of us.
Music can make us laugh, and it can make us cry. Music is a part of our soul.
At some point in our lives, we turn to music education. There are many studies that have proven how important this education is to our personal growth. It helps our brains process information better. Students involved in music get higher grades in Math and other subjects. They do better on their SAT scores. It improves self-esteem and social skills. And the benefits goes on.
Everyone would love to play an instrument. Who wouldn’t love to walk over to the piano at a party and be the life of the party?
Music is a birthright.
We are all capable of learning and mastering it. So the question is: why don’t we? The answer is simple: we do not fail the system; the system fails us.
The universal language of music notation…a visual interpretation of what we call “Music Theory.” It’s a system of dots, dashes, circles, lines and other hieroglyphics that is richly layered with centuries of historical evolution and meaning. There is no “color” here.
What would an artist like Stevie Wonder say if he saw some sheet music? Well the first thing he would say is “My goodness, I can see!” In the real world though, it is useless to him. In fact, he doesn’t need it. But he can still play the piano…and play it quite well.
When you think of piano lessons, what are the first things that come to mind? Discipline, hard work, boring songs, theory and more theory, practice, pain?
The preferred method of teaching piano is to immediately introduce theory and notation, marking learning far more difficult than it needs to be. That is why there is such a high failure rate for most of us in learning to play. Focusing on the translation of notation as a first step is difficult for most of us and it is one of the contributing factors making practicing painful and un-enjoyable.
There are also the physical elements to playing piano, or any instrument for that matter, such as posture, hand positioning and fingering. Different teachers may teach different techniques different ways, each professing to use the best method out there. But we need to be aware that these are not absolutes. If they were, someone with a missing finger on their right hand would never be able to play “correctly.” What if a child’s fingers were just too small? If they sought alternative fingering to play the part, are they playing wrong?
There had to be a better way. We believe you have discovered it here.