Not enough time or motivation?
Many of you are part-time musicians or music hobbyist like I am. Our time is always scarce, and we all have lives, jobs, and family to think about.
Sometimes it's tough to find the time and the motivation to consistently practice and grow as a musician. It’s especially hard if you hit the wall, and you think you cannot possibly improve any further.
I’ve been where you are now, struggling and feeling stuck many times during the 30+ years playing the piano.
Despite having a great ear, I’ve lacked the self-confidence and motivation to keep me going. I even stopped the piano for almost ten years, uncertain I could learn anything new, too busy raising a family and working as a high-school math teacher. What I actually lacked was a sense of purpose, a meaning behind my music or an idea that would propel me forward.
Forget the books, forget the theory, forget the technique. Put all of that away for a second and tell me this. What is your purpose for practicing the keyboard, piano, or organ?
Tap into that purpose and you’ll find the time and the energy to balance music with other things in your life.
‘Normal’ Piano Lessons Are Time Consuming And Outdated
Just like you, I looked for solutions, lessons or guidance but found that the approach of many music teachers is outdated and unhelpful for me.
You see, oftentimes piano lessons are focused on teaching you dry theory, complicated jargon, and rigid approaches. This practice becomes a mindless, joyless chore. Improvement is slow and methodical.
That’s when I realized my problem may not lie in a lack of time or discipline to be a professional musician. There is a widespread problem with music teaching methods out there in general.
The Breakthrough Came With A Dare From a Friend.
I transcribed a difficult piece of music for someone who did not believe that was possible. The song was "This is the Day," by Phillip Feaster. You can see the video here.
That was a moment I realized three things:
- One, a lot of musicians were asking me for the midi files so they could also learn to play the songs on their own
- Two, I have a gift of good relative pitch, and that I could share it with others who lack the time or ability to transcribe the music they love.
- Three, learning music is like learning another language, and if approached that way, it may be easier to grasp and learn.
Learning Music Is Like Learning Another Language.
Words are like chords, and techniques are like grammar. If you learn how to combine words together, with a little bit of grammar, you can start improvising and making your own sentences in no time.
It’s hard at the beginning. You have to learn the basic vocabulary and the rules. Your conversations will sound silly at first.
But as you learn more words or the whole phrases, your musical language becomes more beautiful, even masterful. Eventually, you can express your thoughts and emotions fluently, sometimes without even thinking about it or needing to translate it all in your head.
Mind you, you don’t need to learn the most complicated chords to be understood. Sometimes it’s about the way you connect the simplest chords together and create the harmony of sounds that is uniquely yours.
Spelling Won’t Help You Speak
Current online and offline music lessons allow you to learn notes and complex musical rules.
Someone can show you the notes to a chord or chord progression, but you won't get closer to making music with it.
Using the language analogy, it’s like learning letters, syllables or rules of phonetics. It may make you a musical ‘spelling bee’ but will not allow you to communicate. These archaic methods take time and effort but lead to very little improvement.
In the meantime you forget what music is all about, sharing emotions, expressing yourself and feeling connected.
Make The Emotion Your Driving Force
The inability to express yourself or find your unique musical voice is a particularly frustrating experience for many developing musicians.
I find that the techniques, chords, and skills are never as important as the meaning or emotion behind the music.
It might be challenging to immerse yourself in music when you still miss some skills or techniques but think about it this way. If you lose touch with your emotions and the joy of music, no amount of practice will help you grow.
Or in other words, it's better to learn the language by speaking and making mistakes, than to study it from dry books and slowly get too discouraged to ever engage in a conversation.
Embrace your mistakes and follow the emotion of music with confidence, and your progress will be all the faster for that. There is no shame in failing, only in not trying at all.
A New Approach To Learning Music
Somehow, the music transcription, all my years of teaching mathematics, and the decades of playing music, they all came together, and I realized that if there are no classes or methods that would benefit me, I must create them myself.
I shared some of my transcriptions and insights about learning piano on youtube, and the channel just exploded.
You all seem to like and want more of such lessons. And I also believe this approach makes learning piano faster, better, easier, more fun and you name it.
That’s why the next natural step was to create this membership site. Here you can enjoy more materials, new transcriptions, in-depth lessons and hands-on guidance from me and the support from other members of the group.
What Can The Membership Offer You?
The goal of this Membership Program is to share unique insights and novel approaches, music lessons, and song transcriptions for you to learn faster, save precious time, and rediscover fun and joy in practicing piano.
I hope it’ll let you reconnect with a special meaning the music holds to you, learn to express yourself with ease and let the emotions flow through you when you play. That would be the most gratifying for me. This is in the end the ultimate music experience that we all love and love to share.
In the Membership Program, you will
- Have access to a wonderful and supportive community that struggles just like you do
- You’ll receive perfect transcriptions of the songs you love but never had time to transcribe yourself.
- Access membership lessons, tips and webinars that use a new approach to help you develop a relative ear, improvisation talents and so much more
- Most of all, you’ll get my ongoing help and support