The Simply Music approach focuses on the fun and sheer pleasure of playing music. The ‘hands-on’ nature of the program and the immediate results that are produced actively dispel the notion that learning to play the piano means enduring years of lessons, boring practice sessions, and relentless hours of drills.
Simply Music is a playing-based program, compared to traditional programs which are reading-based. With Simply Music, reading music is temporarily delayed so that the student is immediately immersed in playing the piano. Students play real music, using both hands, from their very first lessons. Asking students to read music first as a means of playing is like asking a baby to read and spell before learning to talk. The Simply Music curriculum is carefully designed and tested with many thousands of students and is proven to develop the a full range of playing, reading, and creative skills far more effectively and in far less time than any other method.
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What distinguishes Simply Music from other methods can be summed up in the following four distinguishing features:
- The quantity of music that students learn
- The quality of music that students immediately learn to play
- The speed of progress
- The ease with which students experience the process
When comparing Simply Music to other programs, it is important to understand that our stated goals are distinctly different from traditional methods.
Our overriding goal is to create a culture where people of all ages, easily and readily acquire and maintain music as a lifelong companion. Inside of this goal, our foundation for achieving results, and the thrust of our efforts, are directed toward the following goals for you as a student:
- Having the ability to play a huge repertoire covering classical, popular, blues, jazz and accompaniments;
- Experiencing playing as a natural self-expression;
- Having a highly positive, self-affirming experience with music learning;
- Developing the ability to self-generate, i.e., the ability to progress independently. This includes developing a strong foundation in music reading and theory.
Simply Music achieves its breakthrough results because it takes advantage of the natural way that people learn. Children learn to talk and do so fluently for years before they learn to read and spell. Understanding rules of language such as grammar and syntax comes years later. Walking, tying our shoes, riding a bike, driving a car, and most other things we learn how to do come most naturally when we learn by doing, experiencing them directly instead of first referring to notes or studying the theory behind how and why they work.
By taking this natural approach to leaning, Simply Music is able to harness the musicality that is inside every one us. It’s there when our hearts beat and when our feet walk to a steady rhythm. It’s there in our conversations full of complex rhythms and intricately changing pitch and tone. Both drawing on and cultivating this natural sense of music we all have, Simply Music immerses students in the actual process of playing. Free to relate directly to the piano, they easily and naturally develop a feel for the instrument, quickly building a repertoire of several dozen sophisticated songs from across varied musical styles, and immediately experiencing the joy of playing. The repertoire and the ease of performance then serve as the best possible basis for learning reading, theory and other advanced topics.
“Expecting students to read music before they’ve learned how to play is like expecting children to read & spell before they’ve learned how to talk.” –Neil Moore, Simply Music founder
On one hand, then, there are traditional methods, where reading, theory, technique and other elements are introduced from the beginning, making it far more difficult for the vast majority of students to learn how to play, even as these topics themselves are learned on only a a superficial level. In contrast, with Simply Music, they are absorbed far more easily and deeply after the student has developed the strong foundation of playing that itself was made possible by temporarily delaying these topics. The result: success at every step, and deeper success with every element of music.
The Simply Music website is an excellent resource to learn more about the program. Feel free to browse and explore. Highlights include:
- Curriculum Overview — This brochure provides a lot of great information on how the Simply Music program helps so many people have such a great experience learning to play the piano.
- Who We Are — Learn something about the method and how it was created, including a video.
- Learn With a Teacher — Learn about taking lessons, including a video. This is also an opportunity to hear a number of the fantastic-sounding songs learned by beginning students — see the links at the left side of the page.