1. Yes (although I own other courses and watch youtube for tips just like everyone else but, in the main Piano Magic is what I always end up doing) I'm comfiest playing that way and we are getting into deeper more tricky stuff as the membership is getting more advanced so the advanced discussions are too (which is once again bringing me on
2. yes I had a couple of years of lessons when I was a child. I tried traditional lessons for 6 weeks or so in my early 20's because I got the urge again but, I just couldn't stick to it (out of frustration) and that was where my mind was at with the piano (i.e. that it was something in life that I should have stuck with as a child but, didn't and therefore it was going to be a life long regret of mine!) until I googled 'play, piano by ear, lessons' 5 years ago and the rest as they say is history! LOL
3. I joined up in October 2003 so a little over 5 years
4. If you go to my blog and click on "Seasides Piano Journey" in the right hand column (thats my first blog post) In that post you will find my "hello" message to Mike at pianomagic dated Oct 01 2003 and the first piece that made it into the "recital hall" so, that was how I sounded after 4 months of pianomagic under my belt, take a listen and see what you think (aint as good as now but, not bad for 4 months I guess)
It took me a few weeks to start making progress but, my struggle with finding melody and trying to cure my inabililty to do it, is well documented in my blog and in my hundreds of questions to Mike that, you can read in the forums over there if you decide to join that is? (it was so bad that I named it "Seaside_Lee Affliction" and that is now a trade mark!! LOL)
5. I have tried other methods but they mainly gather dust on my bookshelf (even though I still cherish all of them and would never sell them because one day I'll get back to them I always promise myself) off the top of my head:-
Sudnow (love it gets you playing cocktail sounding lush full songs off the bat but, you really have to stick to it or it just gets forgotten. Swingin Barb has stuck to it and Markham too and they are brilliant!) doesn't help to play by ear though IMHO
Play Like Me - similar to Sudnow (kinda like Sudnow Lite) doesn't help to play by ear either IMHO
Pattern Piano - I can't sing so found it useless - probably great if you can sing and want to accompany yourself (which I would love to be able to do)
Pattern Piano Blues Licks - fun but drove me nutz!
Hear and Play, Gospel keys, the jazz one and others - heck they never stop offering me new stuff! LOL I have no idea how anyone learns to play by ear off of this stuff or learns to play off of it at all but, there are some fans so, its probably just me?
Scott The Piano guy, tips tricks 1 & 2, the christmas song, and Xmas special and subscribe to his you tube...gets you playing off of lead sheets love it but, he never digs in enough with his guests for long enough for me to pick up what they are doing!! grrrr!
Barry Harris 1 & 2 (I just don't get these videos at all they are beyond me and most stuff is teaching a full band how to do stuff??? but lord I love the way he plays - so frustrating to me
Quiescience music - joined never gave it a proper go so can't comment
Jamie Aebersold - Anyone can improvise, and various jazz play a longs watched briefly never dug in though to be honest
Patsy Carlsson Play piano overnight - gets you playing nice sounds overnight
doesn't get you playing songs though
Rocket Piano - my worst buy (grrr!) I have no idea what is good about this? or why it gets voted as being so good?