FIRST OFF - ITS ABOUT THE LOVE OF MUSIC - THAT MUST COME FIRST

If a student wants to learn a Chopin Etude, a Mozart Sonata, “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica, the latest Taylor Swift Song, Ragtime by Scott Joplin, a chart from Les Miserables, or a Beatles tune, that works for us. What matters to us is that the student is passionate and can get excited about the music! When a student is inspired and excited about the music – the likelihood that they will practice and stick with music over the years is much greater because they want to learn how to play it!

Force a student to learn what you as the parent (or worse, a teacher who insists on a student learning only XYZ music) want them to learn – and we guarantee that they will lose interest, begin complaining about it, and basically make your life miserable until you finally let them quit. So when we talk about putting Play back into music, we first mean that the music should reach and inspire the student. If that connection for the student gets lost, so too will the student’s musical progression.

We absolutely teach the fundamentals of music, including monthly assessment exams to monitor and track progress. So it's not JUST about the fun. But as part of every student's journey - they will always have 1-2 pieces of music that they have chosen to learn...take the passion of music away, and the fundamentals cannot happen because their is not motivation from the student. We have named the fundamentals of music - the "pillars." They are: Love, Audiation, Theory, Pattern Recognition, Dexterity, Improvisation, Sight-Reading, and Composition. More about each of these pillars can be found here.

MASTERY OF THE PILLARS GIVES STUDENTS TOOLS FOR LIFE

Through the mastery of these pillars, students will be able to play both music they hear from the radio as well as a Mozart Sonata or a Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody. Learning to play by ear, while also being able to sight-read is unfortunately a fairly rare combination. This is largely a result of current teachers having had a previous classical college conservatory experience that placed tremendous emphasis on the virtuoso performances at the expense of almost everything else.

Unfortunately, far less emphasis is typically placed to whether or not the musician knows what the theoretical foundation is behind the music they are playing. And while learning and memorizing a piece of music is valuable, it is far more valuable that a musician learns theory.  There is nothing wrong with memorizing pieces that can dazzle people. However, the lessons learned in theory and ear-training will serve students far-better in life as a musician than memorizing any Chopin Etude ever will. What we aim to do as teachers is to give beginners and advanced students tools in music that will allow them to participate and contribute as a musician throughout their life, rather than simply committing a few pieces of music to memory that will quickly be forgotten after just a few short months or years.

 

A 2-TEACHER ROTATION SYSTEM PROVIDES A BETTER EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT FOR STUDENTS

You know the saying that "two heads are better than one." Well, that's true when teaching individuals music as well. Our first-of-its-kind 2-Teacher rotation system provides a better educational experience for students than just one teacher. See our video for more information on how this works.

Too often we see students who have technical proficiency (can play a dazzling technical etude) but have little to no actual musical ability outside of playing 4-6 pieces of music that they have spent countless hours on. We call this being technically proficient but musically illiterate. It is a real shame, but it is very common. We believe that students should become musicians first, and technically proficient on the piano/guitar/voice second.

We glean the best from each school of thought in our teaching. So our emphasis in teaching students to play is to combine the best teaching methods of

 

  1. CLASSICAL/TRADITION WITH ITS FOCUS ON SIGHT-READING AND TECHNICAL PROFICIENCY,

  2.  SUZUKI WITH ITS FOCUS ON EAR TRAINING, AND

  3. JAZZ – WHICH FOCUSES ON APPLIED THEORY AND EAR TRAINING.

What will a student learn with us? Students will learn a compilation of abilities that we call the Core Pillars. The Core Pillars are below, and they are Love, Theory, Audiation, Pattern Recognition, Dexterity, Improvisation, Sight Reading, and Composition

So in summary, our goal is to put PLAY BACK INTO MUSIC.

We do this through three key principles:

1. Play for Fun

2. Play for Others, and

3. Play Deeply