Music Matters.

Our Approach, and Why it's Better

Music lessons should be more than just scales and sight-reading drills. Many music curriculum programs focus too much on these areas, neglecting the obvious fact that music is a listening activity. It is important to remember that Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Jose Feliciano, and many more great contemporary musicians of the twentieth century are blind! They mastered the art of musicianship by cultivating the ability to detect pitch, melody, chord structure, and the other nuances of music theory entirely by listening. We teach these same skills in our lessons, resulting in students who are as perceptive with their ears as most people are with all five senses combined.

Sadly, we often hear the same refrain from parents and older students: "I can read pretty well, but I wish I knew how to play by ear." We aim to correct that. Our curriculum will always include music-reading because it is a very valuable skill, but our lessons don't stop there. During lessons, we spend a lot of time listening, and learning the language of music through auditory immersion. In the same way they learned to speak, our students learn to understand, compose, and communicate complex musical ideas.

Also, music should be enjoyable all the time. Lessons can be challenging, but learning music--or anything else, for that matter--shouldn't be a negative experience. If it is, students learn to dislike music, and jump at the first opportunity to quit. In order to be effective, lessons must be fun. With our approach, once students learn the basics, they are allowed to choose the music they want to learn. If a young guitar student wants to learn to play classical guitar, her teacher will help her learn it. If a piano student wants to rock like Elton John or Ray Charles, his teacher will happily show him how. We teach our students that the sky is the limit: The world of music is fun and full of opportunities to be creative in many different ways.
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