SAMPLE LESSON (complete as it appears within PMMO)
In order to be clear, I am assuming you know absolutely nothing about how to play your instrument. If you have had music instruction in the past, please set it aside for now. Humor me, and pretend that you know nothing.
Some information you will receive may drastically differ from the traditional method of teaching, but follow the instructions. When you understand the material in this course, and can apply it, you will find all your previous musical training to be more valuable and useful.
Thinking As The Musician You Want To Be
There is no wrong method of expressing your creative self through music. If you enjoy what you play, it will show as you play for others.
Allow your feelings to affect the sounds you are playing. If you feel angry, sad or joyous, try to make the music sound that same way. Professional musicians find ways to invoke emotion into their playing by letting their fingers speak through tones by producing sounds of varying intensity. As you learn to play, don't just play tones; make those tones speak by expressing some emotion. Your emotion is the life or death of any song.
The first step is to find the tones of the song, then try to make those tones speak the emotion your heart feels. This is how professional musicians do it. When you think like a musician, you will play like a musician!
Mind and Body - Trainer and Pet
These lessons teach the thought process involved to play music. You have a mind and you have a body. Although people generally tend to think the mind and body are one unit, this is not the case. As you study them closely, each seems to operate as a complete and different individual. Your mind is the 'activities director' and your body is the one doing the 'activity.'
The body wants to please the mind in every way. The body is most happy when the mind and body no longer seem separated. Often, the body will predict what the mind wants and act without waiting for the directions. If it predicted correctly, you may personally feel that you are extremely coordinated. If the body predicted incorrectly, you may personally feel like an uncoordinated klutz. The remedy to keep from feeling like a klutz in such situations, is to train your body to WAIT for the instructions sent from your mind. This is sometimes easier said than done, but it is just like training a pet.
Have you ever walked a dog? ...or were you 'walked' by the dog? The dog is going to 'walk': The question is, are YOU directing the path...or is it the dog?
When it comes to playing music on a keyboard instrument, the first step is to teach your 'mind' what movements the 'body' must do to accomplish the activity. The next step is to take that understanding and train your body to wait until it has instructions from your mind, then do the activity your mind tells it to do!
Be patient with your body as it tries to coordinate itself to work with your mind. Be kind to yourself. Your mind and body will accomplish great things together when both cooperate!
At first, you must be able to observe your body's progress at understanding what you want it to do. This process is identical with training a pet to do tricks for you.
Suppose you want Fido to fetch a stick. First, you get his attention. "Fido...Fido...FIDO!!! Look here boy... (throw stick) Go get the stick boy. Fetch the stick." Fido stands there and looks puzzled. He lacks any idea what it is you're asking of him, so you lead him to the stick, put it in his mouth, and say with a real warm feeling "Good boy, Fido!" Fido feels good being loved, and with patience and repetition he eventually understands that when you say "fetch," he'll get a lot of good feeling by going and putting that stick in his mouth himself. Before long Fido is putting all kinds of things in his mouth and bringing them to you in exchange for the love and support he expects you to give him. If you give him love and support for bringing you the neighbor's newspaper every evening, you may never need to buy another paper as long as he lives. In fact, you may even have to schedule a local paper drive just to get rid of all the papers Fido has "fetched"!
It is consistent understanding and patience with Fido that determines how much and how quickly he learns. When Fido and his trainer successfully learn a new trick, both have more fun.
Now...look at yourself, the music student with a mind and a body. Your mind is the trainer; your body is like Fido! Imagine that you are a mind sharing the same space as your body. Just because you know what the body should do does not mean that the body knows, understands, or even cares. Your mind must teach the body the movements you want it to do.
For a moment, think about yourself as an infant. You learned to crawl before you learned to fall. After you learned to fall, you successfully walked. After you walked, you learned to fall down again before finally running joyously in circles around your mother. As you grew older you may have found yourself running in circles around your house, your city, state, country...world! This all began with a single step. Who taught you to make that step? Someone may have helped, but you did it! Who took your first step? You did! Was your first step clumsy? Probably! Can you now walk as well as anyone else? Probably!
When you begin playing the piano you may feel very clumsy. Learning to play a keyboard instrument is the process of teaching your fingers and hands to "walk". In addition, learning to play by ear uses the "hunt and peck" method of locating the correct melody tones, but Piano Magic is going to teach you to predict which tones to use.
First comes the work...then comes the JOY! It may take several weeks or months of playing before you begin to feel confident and comfortable with a number of songs. Be patient and relax enough to enjoy the learning process.
If you are not patient and understanding with your body (Fido) as it tries to do what you ask, it will get tired and frustrated. Sometimes it's as if all systems shut down with complete confusion and disgust. Be patient. Be light. Relax. Have fun. If you want to play, the first step is to be good to Fido.
"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."
- Averbach -