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#1099509 - 01/06/08 02:34 AM piano magic cost
RayMetz100 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 119
Loc: Everett, WA
Is pianomagic.com worth $189? I prefer replies from people who have paid.
_________________________
PianoMagic.com student
Recordings and piano pic at: RayMetz.com/Piano

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#1099510 - 01/06/08 03:09 AM Re: piano magic cost
text Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 73
Loc: Windsor, United Kingdom
...and some in my opinion ;\)

Having said that - its like most courses/lessons you only get out what you put in.

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#1099511 - 01/06/08 03:10 AM Re: piano magic cost
Ragtime Clown Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 684
Loc: Ireland
I don't think you will get a rush of negative comments from many PianoMagic members on the 'worth' of the subscription. Like everything in life - if you find success with it, you will obviously be pleased with what you've spent.

I pay £50 UK for five lessons, much more expensive than PM. I could be putting the money elsewhere but I think I get good value for my money as my teacher is so good.

By the way, I am not a member of Piano Magic.

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#1099512 - 01/06/08 06:01 AM Re: piano magic cost
mahlzeit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/06
Posts: 1910
Loc: Netherlands
Is it worth $189? Not if you sign up and then do nothing about it. Piano Magic requires active participation, which means a significant time investment.

If you're willing to commit to it, then it will be the best $189 you have ever spent. If not, then you might as well not sign up.
_________________________
No idea what chords you are playing? Reverse Chord Finder Pro will tell you!

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#1099513 - 01/06/08 07:31 AM Re: piano magic cost
Astra Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/08/06
Posts: 391
Loc: Slovenia
Exactly what mahlzeit said. It is worth $189 IF you want to play the tunes you know by ear and IF youre willing to invest time.
_________________________
ex - pian00b

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#1099514 - 01/06/08 10:02 AM Re: piano magic cost
gmm1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/06
Posts: 1674
Loc: Spokane WA
Absolutely every book I have bought and put on the shelf for later was not worth the money, yet.

You don't mention how long you have been playing, Ray, so let me add I tried PM and did not have success BECAUSE I jumped too early, and I wanted to learn conventional play as well, so my time was split. I do not have an ear (yet) for music (could not tell if a note is above or below the previous one). I am so much better now then I was, and it is because I focused on conventional training and have developed the ability to hear so much better.

Even though I "failed" first time through, it was not a waste of money. I learned a lot, especially what I did not know I did'nt know, and it gave me something to work on.

It's worth the money, as far as I am concerned.
_________________________
"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro

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#1099515 - 01/06/08 10:50 AM Re: piano magic cost
bluekeys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 1337
 Quote:

gmm1 said:


I tried PM and did not have success BECAUSE I jumped too early, and I wanted to learn conventional play as well, so my time was split.
[/b]

Hey G, what would you say is a good amount of time or skill level before "jumping in"? I too am going the conventional route, but I'm interested PM largely because I've been impressed with the PMers on this forum. Also, do you think it's better to drop conventional study while you're doing PM? If so, could you still return to conventional methods later, or would you become a life-long PM addict?

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#1099516 - 01/06/08 11:18 AM Re: piano magic cost
gmm1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/06
Posts: 1674
Loc: Spokane WA
Hey blue, that's a tough question. My skills were so low and weak, that I had to build them up to get to the point that I could not only tell the note was different, but which way it went (not kidding, that bad). I played guitar for years, years ago, and could not tune it alone. For whatever reason, my ear did not improve with guitar, or at least I did not remember any of it.

Mike suggests only doing his method or whatever method, but not together to begin with. I ignored his advice. I am now doing Matthew Stephens PBE course as it has the structure I need, and I can hear so much better now.

I feel, now, after 2 years, if I jumped back in to PM, I would be successful. And, who knows, maybe when I'm done with what I am doing now, I might jump back in anyway....

So, can you hear notes? If yes, then you might not need the "background" training I required.
_________________________
"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro

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#1099517 - 01/06/08 11:55 AM Re: piano magic cost
bluekeys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 1337
Hmmmm... My ear isn't that great either, but I've been working on it with ear training software. I think I'm just going to continue with my classical lessons and independent forays into jazz and blues for now. Maybe I'll re-think PM later in the year.

Thanks for the info. BTW, I was a couch guitarist for more years than I can count--though I stopped improving at least 30 years ago, so our backgrounds sound quite similar.

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#1099518 - 01/06/08 12:46 PM Re: piano magic cost
RayMetz100 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 119
Loc: Everett, WA
I've been tinkering off and on with piano for 30 years because others in my family are musical. I spent the most time so far at the snare and drum set but have spent a little time on Sax, child piano lessons, banjo, accordian, guitar and bass.

Right now I'm about 2/3 of the way through the Alfred adult level 1 book and practice 1/2 - 1 hour a day. I think I'll be great at the ear training part but I can't hum any songs all the way through except Mary had a little lamb. I'd love to be able to play amazing grace and harder songs by ear and memory. If I have just the words in front of me, I have no trouble remembering the tune though.

For now I'm going to stick with the Alfred books and maybe get a single lesson for advice from my daughter's piano teacher for $20.

Right now I'm equally interested in reading music and piano magic style so I'll probably pay the $189 in another month or two. If/when I do buy it, should I discontinue my Alfred and any piano teacher time? I DO still want to be able to play basic sheet music like Christmas books and stuff and also easy classical sheet music. But I also want to maybe backup a song in my brother's rock/grunge/punk band or try playing piano with organ at a church service someday.
_________________________
PianoMagic.com student
Recordings and piano pic at: RayMetz.com/Piano

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#1099519 - 01/06/08 12:53 PM Re: piano magic cost
gmm1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/06
Posts: 1674
Loc: Spokane WA
 Quote:
Originally posted by RayMetz100:

If/when I do buy it, should I discontinue my Alfred and any piano teacher time? . [/b]
Leave Mike an e-mail and he will give you a call. Talk to him, tell him your goals and experience, and he will help you make a decision. Don't be like me, actually LISTEN to him.
_________________________
"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro

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#1099520 - 01/06/08 12:57 PM Re: piano magic cost
Gilbert Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/22/06
Posts: 442
Loc: Ireland
At the risk of being hung, drawn and quartered by the folk at Piano Magic, as a member can I say that if you intend signing up to PM you will find it absolutely a waste of time unless you intend giving up traditional learning methods. My ear for music is very sharp but I find PM tough for the simple reason that I can read music and have had lessons. The cost of the course really isn't an issue if you give it the committment. The problem is you have to focus solely on playing by ear and that means - no more lessons, no more printed music and no more scales and exercises.
_________________________
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem tends to look like a nail!"

Piano: Roland FP-7

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#1099521 - 01/06/08 01:35 PM Re: piano magic cost
text Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 73
Loc: Windsor, United Kingdom
Actually it doesn't necessarily mean giving up anything. Although personally I would recommend that unless you have unlimited time to dedicate to your piano playing (which alot of people do not) that you stick to one method.

If you jump about between methods and do not give one method a good chance it is hardly surprising if you do not succeed in either.

Its like anything in life that you want to become successful at you have to give it a good go !

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#1099522 - 01/06/08 02:54 PM Re: piano magic cost
Rerun Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 514
Loc: Louisiana
Hey Ray,

Nope. I paid 189 and it's easily worth 3 times that. I got a keyboard almost 1 year ago and still didn't find PM til Feb. '07. It kinda sneaks up on you, or did me...... one day you're just sitting there playing, sans the sheet music.

Yep, there is a boat load of people happy with PM who have had lessons and read sheet music, they just didn't want to be tied to the sheet music.

If someone wants to have a lot of fun and has some discipline and focus, they can do this.

Hey, I won't live long enough to learn how to sight read anyway.... my options were thin.
_________________________
Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD







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#1099523 - 01/06/08 03:50 PM Re: piano magic cost
RayMetz100 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 119
Loc: Everett, WA
Now I'm feeling like I should buy and start piano magic next Thursday when I have the money to spend. I still have a couple reservations though...

If I learn with Alfred books, there are 100s of local teachers, compatible Orchestras, and products to support me. What if piano magic and its founder disappear 9 months from now? What are my options to continue the program outside of the website?

I agree that splitting my time would make me less of a pianist at both and focusing hard on one method will yield the best results. When I think about where and what type of music I'd like to play outside of practice, it leans more towards the popular side and piano magic, entertaining friends and family. So I think I'd like to focus primarily on piano magic.

How crippled will I be at sheet music though? Does the piano magic method support reading the chord letters in general guitar/piano/vocal sheet music like Christmas songs? Or does it teach/force me to play them by memory and ear and close the book completely?

Can I expect that 3 months from now with 1 hour a day piano magic practice that I can learn some song that's in a alfred level 1 book that I've never heard of before? So far my books all come with CDs so it's not the end of the world if I'd have to learn them in my own style by ear. I guess if I wanted to play sheet music with others, I could let them play it first and then I listen and improvise. I just want to get an idea of how sheet music crippled piano magic students are.

Thanks,

Ray
_________________________
PianoMagic.com student
Recordings and piano pic at: RayMetz.com/Piano

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#1099524 - 01/06/08 05:12 PM Re: piano magic cost
mahlzeit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/06
Posts: 1910
Loc: Netherlands
There are multiple paths to learning how to play the piano. Most people follow the traditional path, which is fine. Piano Magic is just another path. But they all lead to the same place.

Just because you are in PM doesn't mean your knowledge of music will be incompatible with the rest of the world. It's actually the other way around: you gain greater understanding by looking at it from a different perspective.

But at some point the traditional path and the PM path converge, and it won't have mattered much which one you took. For me, PM is more fun and quite possibly quicker. \:\)
_________________________
No idea what chords you are playing? Reverse Chord Finder Pro will tell you!

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#1099525 - 01/06/08 06:23 PM Re: piano magic cost
Elssa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/05
Posts: 1488
Loc: NY
I'd had years of lessons (both classical and jazz) before joining PM and still found it quite helpful. I knew how to sight read and play most fake book chords (including the "jazzy" chords) when I joined, but PM teaches you how chords move, not just common progressions/patterns such as 2-5-1, but beyond that. It also teaches you how to harmonize (find the right chords) just about any melody you can sing/hum. Doesn't matter if the tune is classical or pop/jazz/folk. I still play from books/arrangements, but now can also play pretty well by ear. Before PM, when trying to play by ear, I used to just stab around at different chords trying to find one that sounded good with the melody - not a very good method. :p

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#1099526 - 01/06/08 08:30 PM Re: piano magic cost
DeepElem Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/06
Posts: 366
Loc: USA
RayMetz100, I am a Pianomagic member. I found Pianomagic to be a fantastic way to get started, but I stopped focusing on Pianomagic a while ago because I was interested in a more jazzy sound. In theory I would get there one day with Pianomagic, but I didn't see how, so I moved on although I still have the skills I developed with Pianomagic and use them from time to time (like when wanting to play Christmas Carols).

Here are some of my opinions regarding your questions.

 Quote:
Originally posted by RayMetz100:
How crippled will I be at sheet music though?[/b]
Pianomagic will neither aid nor cripple your sheet music reading ability, they are 2 separate skills.

 Quote:
Originally posted by RayMetz100:
Does the piano magic method support reading the chord letters in general guitar/piano/vocal sheet music like Christmas songs? [/b]
Although the Pianomagic focus is on playing by ear, the things you learn in Pianomagic work very well with learning to play a song from a leadsheet. Plus it can even help you enhance the chords you see in a leadsheet.

 Quote:
Originally posted by RayMetz100:
Or does it teach/force me to play them by memory and ear and close the book completely?
[/b]
Not by memory. Pianomagic is teaching to play completely by ear, not by memorizing. This is a VERY important thing to realize. If you can not hum or whistle the song you can not play it with Pianomagic. Usually if they want to play a song they don't know, or don't know very well, people in pianomagic will listen to a song a bunch of times to get the song in their head. Then they can go ahead with the Pianomagic principles to learn how to play the song.

Bottom line, if you can feel comfortable putting the sheet music aside for a while and focusing on Pianomagic I'd highly recommend it.
_________________________
-Buck
------
If you knew what you were doing, you'd probably be bored.
- Fresco's Law

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#1099527 - 01/06/08 10:10 PM Re: piano magic cost
RayMetz100 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 119
Loc: Everett, WA
now I'm confused. I don't remember songs well. I don't remember people's faces or names well either. I enjoy logically figuring things out. Like I'm a software developer, but whenever I figure something out that I'm proud of, I use it and delete it because I know I'll enjoy figuring it out again if I ever need it in the future. I don't like memorizing things or writing things down or saving things. I enjoy learning them each time a different way.

On one hand, it sounds like playing by ear would give me flexibility to learn things multiple times differently rather than following rigid sheet music. On the other hand if I remember songs like I do faces and names, I might be stuck with a few familiar ones. Sure I recognize melodies and enjoy all types of music, but as far as remembering or humming the words or melody from beginning to end, I can't think of ANY song over 8 bars long.

So far, I'm enjoying the songs from Alfred's level 1 book. I can only remember about 1 in 7 of the names or tunes I learned with the book closed but when I open it and try playing through them again, I remember all of them and enjoy them.

I may try piano magic anyway just because I think the ear training will be fun and useful when playing with others without sheet music but for enjoying songs practicing by myself or performing solo for others I think I want sheet music to still play a large role.

I guess the only question is when to pay the $189. Maybe I'll stick with Alfred for now, get a piano lesson or two and if I get bored of that or am feeling rich in the future, I'll buy piano magic.

Other than piano magic, what is another less expensive way to learn similar concepts? I like to read books so maybe there's a book and CD on the subject.
_________________________
PianoMagic.com student
Recordings and piano pic at: RayMetz.com/Piano

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#1099528 - 01/07/08 01:05 AM Re: piano magic cost
Serge88 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/27/06
Posts: 775
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by RayMetz100:
now I'm confused. I don't remember songs well...
but as far as remembering or humming the words or melody from beginning to end, I can't think of ANY song over 8 bars long.

[/b]
That was exactly my problem when I was with piano magic. I could only remembered the bridge or only the melody of a song but never the whole song, I used to search for guitar tab to get the part I didn't remembered. I was not a 100% player by ear. I'm really impress with people who can do a whole song by ear without external help.

On the last recital I did Unchained Melody by ear but what I did was to listen closely to the Righteous Brother CD and I tried to replicate their singing and the accompaniement on the piano. I also write down the chord I find.

So if you're like me this is probably what you can expect.

By the way I enjoyed my one year with PM.

Serge
_________________________

“Being able to hear recorded music freed up loads of musicians that couldn't necessarily afford to learn to read or write music. With recording, it was emancipation for the people.”
-Keith Richards


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#1099529 - 01/07/08 01:24 AM Re: piano magic cost
funburger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 1417
bump
_________________________
If it ain't fun I ain't doin' it:)

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#1099530 - 01/07/08 02:39 AM Re: piano magic cost
bigbeardale Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/06
Posts: 49
Loc: PA
 Quote:
Originally posted by RayMetz100:
Is pianomagic.com worth $189? I prefer replies from people who have paid. [/b]
I am a new member over at Pianomagic, and I can say that it is worth it to me. I was half way thru Alfreds book 1 when I started, and will probably do a page or two from that book monthly.
Just taking it slow on the ear training, but I do beleive that a lot of tunes that I like will come very fast going the PM route.

Dale

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#1099531 - 01/07/08 02:52 AM Re: piano magic cost
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
I love the simple idea of this guy and his whiteboard: http://www.youtube.com/shawncheekeasy
Perhaps it would be better if he wrote up notation instead, but you couldn't get a quicker start to keyboard playing.

Here's a quote from his website
 Quote:
After seventeen years of teaching private piano lessons, I found that for some students learning to read music became a roadblock. Many of them loved music and had talent, but reading traditional music notation was too frustrating, and their brains just didn't work that way! So I thought, maybe there's another way. I put all the method
books away that I had taught out of for years,
and placed a whiteboard between my
piano and the wall. Instead of lines
and dots, I drew letters and
diagrams so the student could SEE what to play without any prior
musical education. The results were
phenomenal.
Is he allowing his students to take an easy option though?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1099532 - 01/07/08 04:19 AM Re: piano magic cost
Seaside_Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 2166
Loc: Blackpool, UK
Hi Keyboardklutz

Those videos you mention are great but, the problem for me is that you only learn one arrangement at a time - if you are like me that will be forgotten as the weeks pass by, unless I keep it up and practise and practise the arrangement.

Pianomagic on the other hand teaches you to see (erm...and hear ;\) ) the connections between all tunes, ie the underlying framework behind most popular music. Once you see it you can play just about anything you want to, which I think is rather cool ;\)

And what people (even many of those who join) often don't realise is that Mike (pianomagic) is there to interact with, members who make recordings of their playing get instruction from Mike on how to improve what they are playing - he is kinda like a regular teacher but, on the internet and that is the MAGIC as far as I'm concerned. He has an amazing ability to be able to listen to your playing and explain the adjustments needed to improve on it.

IMHO that is why it is such good value and has been a life changer for me \:D


Hope that helps


Lee \:\)
_________________________
Twitter: @Seaside_Lee

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#1099533 - 01/07/08 04:59 AM Re: piano magic cost
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
As you know, I'm not too sure what the MAGIC is but this guy would seem to qualify too with his 'instant' results.

My question is - should students be encouraged to study the full spectrum of the discipline? Is 'reading traditional music notation was too frustrating' the case, or are his students just easily frustrated?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1099534 - 01/07/08 05:34 AM Re: piano magic cost
mahlzeit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/06
Posts: 1910
Loc: Netherlands
I think Piano Magic is a good way to get started but that doesn't mean you can never do anything else for the rest of your life. The $189 is for one year of membership. Give it one year and then decide if you want to study other parts of the full spectrum.

About remembering songs: I am pretty bad at this too. Often I need to listen to a song a few times to refresh my memory. Why? Because I never used to listen to music with well-developed ears. So back in my mind there floats some approximation of how a tune goes, but I never know it well enough to actually sit down and play it (or even whistle or sing it). But the more I learn to play by ear, the easier it becomes to remember how songs go.

About ear training: There are no ear training exervices in Piano Magic. Ear training is a side-effect of figuring out and playing the songs you like.

About the course: Don't join if you want a fixed plan of exercises that you have to complete within a set time-frame. There is an instructor to guide you, but no one to hold you by the hand all the time. You'll have to show initiative. For some people -- left-brain people such as software developers (heh heh) -- this may not be fun at all. ;\)
_________________________
No idea what chords you are playing? Reverse Chord Finder Pro will tell you!

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#1099535 - 01/07/08 05:50 AM Re: piano magic cost
Seaside_Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 2166
Loc: Blackpool, UK
Yes Matthijs is quite right

Once you learn the basic structure of music it makes it so much easier to remember how songs go ;\)

Some of you may find this new blog more interesting than my blog

A lovely chap called Bob emailed me early in December asking whether he should take the plunge and spend $189 on pianomagic and I said "...sure, go for it!!".

and Bob has started his own blog to record his progress...to find out how he's getting along and to let him tell you all about his discoveries so far please click the link below:-

For "Coastie Bob\'s" Blog...{click here}


regards


Lee \:\)
_________________________
Twitter: @Seaside_Lee

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#1099536 - 01/07/08 07:07 AM Re: piano magic cost
Seaside_Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 2166
Loc: Blackpool, UK
Hi keyboardklutz

 Quote:
My question is - should students be encouraged to study the full spectrum of the discipline? Is 'reading traditional music notation was too frustrating' the case, or are his students just easily frustrated?
In my opinion (for what its worth), I think its good to try a little bit of everything. I can't read music but I will definitely try it one day, I pick up tips from videos, I pester Mike at pianomagic often to spill all the beans...I've picked up things from youtube and I've enjoyed watching the videos you mention above, I love Doug McKenzies videos too (one day, one day) and I'm enjoying reading through the jazz study group thread today (although I may be stuck in it for months)

There's just so much to learn and discover and yet too little time (wish we'd have had all this info at our fingertips when I was 15 instead of 30 years later!)


Lee \:\)
_________________________
Twitter: @Seaside_Lee

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#1099537 - 01/07/08 08:05 AM Re: piano magic cost
gmm1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/06
Posts: 1674
Loc: Spokane WA
 Quote:
Originally posted by mahlzeit:
About ear training: There are no ear training exervices in Piano Magic. Ear training is a side-effect of figuring out and playing the songs you like.
[/b]
This was my downfall. I expected the course to "train" me to hear melodies. Mahlzeit is correct, the course does not teach this directly. When I am instructed to "pick out the melody by hunt and peck", I'm done. I am not kidding when I say I cannot tell if a note is up or down if it's a 1/2 or whole step or even two. I can tell it's different, but not direction.

After a few months of really trying, and what I felt was non-support (ya gotta work, keep trying, it will come...) I gave up. I started to pay attention to the sounds I created, and do ear exercises from "Practica Musica", and I can tell I am improving, but not to the point I feel I could start PM again, yet.

One of the reasons I went with Matthew Stephens PBE course is, when talking with Matthew, he understood exactly what I was saying, and offered that if I followed lessons 1 through 10 on his beginner DVD, I would develop the ability to "hear". He's right. I have made more progress in the last three months than in the previous 18 (from a recognizing notes standpoint). Perhaps just playing is kicking in as well, but the fact is, Matthew's program is providing what was missing from PM.

My advice is, if you can hear changes and direction, go for it. If not, work on it until you can, then give it a try.

I hold myself responsible for not succeeding with PM, as Mike as much as told me I would have to "do the work" to begin to hear the notes, but I needed help, and could not "get it" on my own. I needed direction.
_________________________
"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro

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#1099538 - 01/07/08 08:13 AM Re: piano magic cost
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
 Quote:
Originally posted by Seaside_Lee:
(wish we'd have had all this info at our fingertips when I was 15 instead of 30 years later!)
Lee \:\) [/QB]
I don't know about you Seaside, but rather than being tied to a computer, I was off on my bike fishing when I was 15.
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