Regret is a common theme among adults when the conversation turns to playing music. “I used to play…” accompanied by a thoughtful glance towards the distant past. Often, the instrument was piano. It is one of the most common and most taught instruments in the Western world, after all.
Fortunately the benefits of music education never leave us. The other day in conversation with a marketing mentor of mine, who has worked with thousands of people from all walks of life (and a fellow musician), remarked on how music education changes people. He noticed the folks with the best creativity, the problem-solvers and the ones most likely to succeed quickly, had some kind of background in music. Another common theme, if you will.
Perhaps that’s what drives many parents to ensure their children have access to quality music education; their own experience learning music. Still there are some who probably had no fun at all dodging knuckle-rappings from teachers hell-bent on ensuring every scale was accurate. Lots of drills, theory and boring exercises that eventually led to something interesting to play. This style of instruction is often called “traditional.”
Traditional instruction is perfectly fine. But not every child is going to become the next Mozart (or Ed Sheeran). Learning lots of theory and sight-reading right away can be tough for some students, who may not continue music instruction into college. At Fun Music School, our goal is to instill a life-long love of music the student carries in his heart; a best friend that never leaves.
We have found that for most students a playing-based approach where the student learns to play fun songs right away, often in the very first lesson, can be instrumental in nurturing that life-long relationship with music. Imagine learning real songs on the piano, playing with both hands, and learning a variety of styles: jazz, improvisation, accompaniment and classical tunes all within a few weeks of instruction.
The Fun Music Piano Workshop
To get music education into the hands of as many students (and adults) as possible we have designed an eight-week piano workshop for beginners. The workshop is designed around the revolutionary “Music And Creativity” program designed by Neil Moore, music educator and creator of the Simply Music curriculum. Millions of piano lessons have been delivered through this playing-based fun approach to learning piano. The workshop is mobile and can be done in nearly any location with a minimum of four students.
Parents can take this weekly instructor-lead workshop with their children, but it’s also suitable for children to do on their own. By the end of the 8 weeks, children will have studied improvisation, jazz, classical and accompaniment, learning up to 14 piano pieces. The course includes online videos to follow up the live instruction, in case students have any difficulty remembering that week’s lesson. In addition to each piece being explained in detail in video-form, additional soundtracks allow the student to play “in the band,” giving them a near life-like experience of playing with other musicians.
In short, from the very first lessons, a student learns how to play actual songs, and begins to experience the joy of playing with other instruments in a fun, engaging way.
Of course, students also learn standard note reading skills using the Simply Music curriculum. But the note reading is taught later, after the student has fallen in love with the piano. Similar to learning to read, books come after a child has learned to talk, not before. Music is simply another language that is quickly learned by ear and sight, using simple patterns and a few fundamentals. Note-reading, like book-reading, is easily picked up if the tune is already known.
To find out more about Fun Music School’s Piano Workshop for your organization, youth group or school, visit www.funmusic4u.com and click on “Piano Workshop.” The first step is a free Orientation class. We’ll have you tickling the ivories in no time!