makes PianoMagic unique from other
online piano courses?
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Topic URL: http://www.pianomagic.com/pmsecure/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=5401
Message posted to PMMO Members:
Topic author: pianomagic
Location: Georgia USA
Subject: What makes PianoMagic unique from other online
Message: A Question for My Students
As the instructor and creator of Piano Magic, I have received
a question that I'm unable to answer, so I need YOU to do it
for me, please.
Since I've never taken an online piano course (or any piano
class), I am totally UNqualified to provide an answer.
The question received from a website visitor asks, "What
makes PianoMagic uniquely
different from other online piano
If you'll respond as honestly as you know how, I would sincerely
Reply author: honeycomb
Location: Arizona, USA
WHAT MAKES PIANO MAGIC UNIQUE
FROM OTHER ONLINE COURSES?
In Piano Magic, when you learn to play a song, you also learn
How Chords and Melody notes fit and Work Together.
There is No Memorizing needed in Piano Magic! You will KNOW
what chords to play by what Melody notes are being played
throughout each song.
Piano Magic DOES NOT depend on “Note Reading”, so you have
your "Book of Songs" ALWAYS with you, ready for
you to sit down and play a piano ANYWHERE!
We are taught "Creative and Artistic Playing".
The learning is Fun and continues to be FUN! I’ve been here
over 10 years, and the learning and progress is STILL FUN
for me. We become Piano Magicians! Learning never ends--it
is an Ongoing Adventure!!
Learning Songs FIRST in the Key of C, has got to be the
Best and Fastest Way to learn and Progress! When a Student
follows Mike's Instructions, frustrations are gone, and
Fun and Enjoyment are at an All time High.
Playing piano should be Easy and Fun---and at Piano Magic---IT
At Piano Magic we learn to "listen" to "what"
we are playing—and the Inner Teacher in each of us, instructs
us how to become better and better Piano Magicians!
Mike and my Inner Teacher are the Only Teachers I need to
grow as a Pianist. I don’t really KNOW what it means to
"lose the Fun" as so many Note Readers complain
We have a Great Bunch of students and friends in our Forums
who share and help each other on a daily basis. As Mike
writes to help "one student" what he says helps
ALL of us in one way or another. Mike seems to KNOW "what"
we need---and "when" we need it!!!!!!!
Honeycomb ("The Pianist")
"Keep A Song In Your Heart" - Lawrence Welk
Reply author: Laurent
Location: Florida, USA
For me, the question is not whether Piano Magic
from other online courses (even though it is! )
but rather if Piano Magic meets the goal of teaching to play
by ear (which 99.9 % of other "play by ear websites" fail
to accomplish )
I have personally tried several other courses (old, contemporary,
modern) only to find out that:
* The only website that has a step-by-step and holistic methodology
for playing by ear from zero to infinite is Piano Magic.
* The only time I was able to fully understand and incorporate
the compilations or bits and pieces obtained from other courses
was because I came to see the bigger picture through applying
the fundamentals taught within the member's pages of Piano
I compare Piano Magic to a comprehensive music education package
that helps people understand music in an era where such education
is RARE. Some have referred to it as "the little known secret".
In fact it is a secret so simple that one may be blinded to
see its uniqueness
even after stepping on the front steps.
As far as Mike is concerned, ALL the good things you heard
about him are true. He's not a salesman, but a teacher that
takes his role very seriously. He truly believes that every
student is capable of success as long as he/she follows the
simple Piano Magic instructions. AND following instructions
is all that it takes to reach enlightenment here at Piano
Hope this helps.
Reply author: HisKidd
Location: Alabama, USA
PianoMagic is a "right brain" approach
to playing piano. While traditional piano courses are rich
in their study of theory, scales, and technique, PianoMagic
is a wholistic approach which looks at the big picture.
In PianoMagic we are much more concerned about how music
thinks. Rather than spend our time learning scales, and
music notation, we learn the expected and predictable movement
PianoMagic is chord theory at its best. And
it's much more! PianoMagic teaches how to play melody by understanding
that melody notes come from the long tones of chords or their
PianoMagic students understand how to build
simple chords into complex chords, and reduce complex chords
to simple chords. Rather than depend upon notation or a lead
sheet, the student learns how chords flow in progressions,
and understand why this is so. Once one understands the expected
and predictable movement of chords, those chords can be extended,
modified, or substituted with unlimited possibilities! The
result is that the student plays piano from the inside out
and never again has to depend upon anything written.
PianoMagic students become composers and accomplished
"A good PianoMagician will
NEVER graduate from Level ONE, but WILL learn to expand those
basic principles with additional options..."
Reply author: popeye
Location: Louisiana, USA
I bought a keyboard when I turned 60 (2007)
to see if I could do anything with it. I could always pretty
much hear stuff going on in music like melody, harmony plus
rhythm, and thought I could sit down on a bench and figure
out how to play tunes with both hands. After a few months
of not making much headway I knew I was missing something
about putting it all together.
I joined Piano World and kept hearing a few members talk about
Sudnow, PianoMagic, etc., so I checked the websites out and
heard Mike at PM play a bit while talking about it some. I
knew then I wanted to know what was going on in his head and
190 bucks wasn't too much to find out.
That was the key for me ... if you want to learn what ear
players are doing while they are playing by ear, Mike starts
at the start, bypasses all the bars, half notes, lines and
spaces and gets to the meat and potatoes of making music using
the ears, fingers and one foot to deal with melody, harmony,
and rhythm. In three months I was playing tunes that I and
others wanted to hear, and I mean a lot of tunes.
While other courses may get you the same results, I seriously
doubt they can do it that quick.
So what's the catch? The catch is that Mike lays it out so
simply that an idiot like me, with little talent can even
do it. If I had problems with harmony, Mike/gang helped me
solve that ... if I had problems with rhythm, yep, they all
helped me solve that too. Was it worth $189 finding out what
was going on in Mike's head? Nope. Counting all the fun it's
been learning, it was worth ten times that.
Reply author: Anna Cooper
Location: Scotland, UK
I cannot Compare other websites to PianoMagic.However If you want
to know what makes PianoMagic unique
I am willing to try to explain my experience as a member of
Michael Anderson is Unique.
Here is a man who has never had a music lesson in his life~~~yet
he can play anything and everything Beautifully.
Michael has obviously given much thought to his teaching.
He plays by ear,and his dearest wish is to teach all of his
many, many students the joy that he himself has found through
playing by ear.
The lessons are laid out for you, simplified up to a point.
Michael has cleverly left you to think for yourself too.
You choose yourself what you want to play, as you have made
a list of all the songs you can hum or sing.
To start with simple songs in the key of C. You learn to build
on the lessons that are clearly and laid out for you.
Post your tunes on PianoMagic website. Michael will be there
listening encouraging advising and leading you forward and
forward to the next level. Here I might add All other members
will come in by posting their thoughts and advice with encouragement
too. All this is tinged with lots of fun, to help you on your
All you have mentioned:--Chord progressions,Circle of fifths
in fact everything in music is covered.
Rhythm Timing and especially hesitation, something we all
need help with are paramount on this ,uniquely
Michael's own words,"If it's not fun,it won't be done".
Reply author: DrTechDaddy
Location: North Carolina, USA
I'm a relative newcomer to PianoMagic.
I've been trying to learn keyboard off and on since I was
a teen--now I'm retired.
In all that time, I never finished "Book 3" of
Before starting PM, I was paying $15 a week for 30 minute
I had been with my latest teacher for over 2 years.
I was playing some interesting stuff--Linus and Lucy from
Vince Guaraldi's Charlie Brown Christmas, for example.
But I was not playing it well. My recitals were "embarassing".
After six months with Mike, I can play more tunes by ear than
I "learned" from sheet music in two years of private lessons.
And I've still got another six months coming--all for about
the price of 3 months of private lessons.
I think the secret of Mike's method is going straight from
your "mind's ear" to your hand.
It's "ear-hand" coordination vs. "eye-finger"
coordination. You learn to reach for the "sounds,"
not play spots or letters.
PianoMagic isn't a "supplement" to or variation
of a standard sheet-music based approach--it's a total self-standing
"Play by Ear" method. In fact, to get the most
from it, "forget" what you may have learned about
playing from sheet music. "Start over" and learn
a whole new approach to playing MUSIC instead of reading
You will be playing complete "solo" arrangements
of songs--melody, harmony, rhythm--not just "chord
accompaniment" or "band piano" like many
other systems teach--although once you learn the PM way,
playing in a band should be no problem.
If you've had any other piano lessons, you might think Mike's
hand positions are "all wrong."
They certainly aren't like any other method's beginner hand
But they work! Not only that, they prepare you for "professional"
hand positions later on.
You won't have to unlearn anything when you go from one-note
melodies to right-hand harmony or left-hand bass patterns.
As I write this, Mike and the other students are working with
me in the on-line forums on my notions of rhythm,
trying to help me understand the relationship between the
poetic rhythm structure of lyrics and the musical rhythm
structure. In 50 years of "study", no teacher
or book ever before explained to me that those were not
That's just one example of another facet of Mike's method--the
Piano Magic Members Only website. Everybody helps everybode
eise. We're all on the same journey. Some have been on it
a lot longer, but we all, even Mike, basically started in
the same place, ear-wise. You can watch numerous videos Mike
has prepared, and follow discussiona he had with others struggling
with various aspects of developing their ears or sense of
rhythm or playing technique.
Of course, Mike can't do the "playing" for you.
If you're a "self-starter" and have the discipline
to sit down and play EVERY DAY, you will do well. If you
log on to the forum, record and post your own playing, discuss
your own challenges and follow the progress of others--I
would say at least once a week, as if you were taking private
lessons--you will do even better.
But an advantge of PMMO is you don't have to wait a whole
week to get the attention of your teacher, or your peers.
But obviously nobody will MAKE you do it!
(Let me add an aside about playing EVERY day. Another teacher
once told me to play EVERY day, even if it's just a couple
minutes. Of course, 2 minutes a day won't make you a Ray
Charles or a Stevie Wonder. But say you vow to play an hour
a day, or even a half-hour--sooner or later something will
come up and you "won't have the time." Then again.
You'll miss a day a week, then two, then more--eventually,
you will "never" find the time, and it will all
But you can "always" spare 2 minutes--to play
one time through of that song you're working on, or just
your I IV V chords or "Mary Had a Little Lamb."
Of course most days, the "2 minutes" will stretch
to a respectable amount of playing time.)
If you're worried about paying a year in advance,
--BTW, I've paid more IN ADVANCE for just a semester of private
lessons at a studio--
but if you're worried, I'll say this:
PianoMagic is not hype. It's not what everybody else is selling;
it is something truly different.
This method really works. And it doesn't run out of gas after
"10 easy pieces".
You WILL learn to just sit down and play what's in your head.
And sound professional doing it.
Mike is the genuine article--he delivers MORE than he promises!
Joe aka DrTechDaddy
Reply author: Grietje1985
I have tried other courses and books before
pianomagic (and even since I'm a member I'm adding courses
and books even tough I'm very satisfied with pianomagic, it's
a bit of an obsession I have, like other women have with shoes!).
Pianomagic is definately unique.
To me in these 3 ways:
- A lot of courses tell they teach you how music works. What
they mean is, teaching you how scales and chords are built,
some common chord progressions and the circle of fifths. Sometimes
they explain how melody relates to chords, but not often.
Pianomagic does all this but a lot more, it teaches how and
why chords move in a song the way they do. This is the only
course that really explains how music works.
- Real playing by ear. Other courses that offer playing by
ear, learn how to play from a lead sheet, with given chords
and melody. Playing by ear means to them making your own arrangement.
Or some courses offer the method of listening to intervals
and chords. I have tried this and if you spend years on this
it might teach you how to play by ear but it's hard and not
fun at all. Only in pianomagic you learn how to really play
by ear, making your own arrangement but also finding the chords
and melody by yourself on the fly. You can start playing songs
immediately. You have to start with simple songs of course,
but can build on and on to more complex songs, step by step.
- The online community is great. Mike spends a lot of time
answering to questions and giving guidance. But also the other
members are very active, helping each other out and encouraging
each other. I have not seen this anywhere else. Besides from
the help and encouragement, it's really nice to talk to each
other about the thing we all love: playing the piano.
Reply author: cats-1
Location: Tennessee, USA
If I had to answer the question of what makes
Piano Magic unique,
what makes it worth the (small) membership fee, what makes
it different from other websites, I would say...."Because
the PianoMagic site delivers the ability to play piano by
ear". But not JUST the ability to play by ear, but
to play by ear with emotion, to give a tune just enough
twist, that you knew it was played from the heart, one that
makes the listener not want the tune to end!
I wanted to learn to play by ear. I KNEW that when...and
if...I ever learned to play, that I did NOT want it to sound
like I was reading each and every little note from a page
in a book. I wanted my music to sound more full, different,
from the heart, with emotion, mesmerizing. I wanted to sound
like some of the performers that I had heard and had questioned
in the past, asking them if they were reading their music
or playing by ear. Of their music that I remembered and
made such an impression on me that made me ask that question,
their answers were all the same...."playing by ear".
PianoMagic will teach you what you want to know and it doesn't
matter about the level you are at currently, it's the real
deal! The members are so helpful....and in my honest opinion,
our teacher is an absolute piano-playing genius...that can
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