Apr 23, 2010

Simply Music

Have you heard of them? I recently started my two oldest in the Simply Music program to learn to play the piano. I love it! We have had four lessons and my kids are three songs away from finishing the whole first book. They have all the songs memorized and are playing with both hands.

It is quite a different kind of teaching. I had my doubts, don't you always have your doubts when you try something new and unique, but I have really enjoyed watching my children grow and learn. They have not actually started learning notes..the "usual" part. They are only playing five fingers over five all of the 10 songs that they know are only five fingers over five notes but they are playing with both hands and in rhythm and most of the songs have words so they sing while they play...this helps keep the rhythm in time without the counting part.. In fact this week was the first week that they began counting at all.

So, for my doubts. I was taught piano the traditionally boring method....finger scales, reading notes, counting, counting, counting...I hate counting, memorizing, practice, practice, practice. And I am a pretty efficient piano player...not the best, but if I really try I can hold my own.

But my kids, they love to play the much so that I had to outlaw playing the piano until after 1 pm since they would play it all morning and all night and all afternoon. They have not been inhibited by boring theory and counting but they have felt confident and passionate that they can play the piano...and it sounds good! They are learning how to make their fingers work, and next week they start the accompaniment program so they learn how to accompany groups. They even both performed and sang three piano pieces in front of an audience of about 30 elderly people last week without even flinching (did I mention that this was after only three lessons?)

Now, before you start to worry...they will learn theory and counting and notes and all of that "other" stuff that you have to learn if you REALLY want to become a pianist, but in the mean time they will learn to love it, learn to enjoy playing the piano, and fall in love with making music. Each week they are composing their own lyrics or using the notes from the left hand and making up their own right hand, or composing any song with five fingers over five notes.

Really, It's name say's it is simply music. It is simply the love of music, and the love of the piano and the love of creation...all together so that when you are ready you can really love and do the hard work required to do the theory the counting and all the stuff that is hard about piano. It has been inspiring to have our home filled with the lovely sounds of little children playing the piano. And I have not even had to tell them to practice, not even one time...hip hip hooray!


  1. This sounds really interesting. I'll have to talk with you more about it sometime. It sounds like the type of thing that love of learners need in music.

  2. We love Simply Music too! My son has been taking lessons since September and here is a blog post from his first piano recital in April It's so amazing what they can do if they learn to play before they learn music. I totally agree that learning to read music before you can play is like learning to read before you can talk.