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#960263 - 05/26/08 11:24 AM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
boobooric Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 14
Loc: Midwest
_________________________
Laurie
Associate Simply Music Teacher

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#960264 - 05/26/08 11:53 AM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
From my many years of experience I can tell you now that the piano is the least intuitive musical instrument out there. Without substantial input from the teacher from day one students don't have a chance in hell of gaining a good technique. I pity your pupils.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#960265 - 05/26/08 01:28 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
I know a few "traditional" teachers that take this approach on technique as well, basically they don't teach technique, allowing to have it happen "naturally." In otherwords this lack of technical training is not limited to SM instruction.

I agree with AZNpiano. There is a place for this type of instruction; just not in my studio! Group piano class, in a public school setting, perhaps.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation

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#960266 - 05/26/08 01:33 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
boobooric Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 14
Loc: Midwest
I respectfully submit that such beliefs are what keep scores of people from ever playing the piano.

I suppose it depends upon your goals for your students. If my goal was to produce a crop of concert pianists, maybe I would spend more time on technique. At any rate, that's not my goal, because it's not the goal of the vast majority of people who want to learn piano. People want to play for their and others' enjoyment. That's just as noble a goal as the concert pianist hopeful.

The overriding Simply Music goal is to maximize the likelihood that our students will maintain music as a lifelong companion. As a musician, I wholeheartedly embrace that goal. Within that goal, we have four specific goals:
1. Experience playing as a natural self-expression
2. Have the ability to play a huge repertoire covering various genres of music
3. Have the ability to self-generate and progress independently
4. Have a self-affirming experience throughout the whole process

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share all this. Even just looking back at these basic goals reaffirms that there is no better way to learn or teach piano! Anyone with a musician's heart can appreciate Simply Music's goals.

I don't see myself as an intellectually superior purveyor of the intricate secrets of how to sit and curve my fingers and use my arms and wrists so my students will ever have a glimmer of hope of playing the piano. I see myself as a human being sharing my immense love of music, especially piano music, in a way that people enjoy the process, learn everything more quickly and thoroughly and with more interest, and stay with it so they can enjoy the benefits for the rest of their lives. Absolutely nobody is incapable of learning to play the piano. The philosophy behind Simply Music is that everyone, without exception, is profoundly musical. It's just fantastic.

Not only that, the Simply Music teacher body is incredible. It is a worldwide network of caring, supportive, forward-thinking individuals who are excited to be part of a breakthrough. A few years ago I was in a horrible car accident and had several months of recovery ahead of me. My local Simply Music colleagues came to my house and taught all my classes for me without asking for a dime, every week for 2 - 3 months. A teacher in another state took up a collection, and teachers from all over donated money to help me during my recovery. Neil himself sent a nice check to help me out and called me regularly. I am so thrilled to be among a group of people like this, where love and support and concern replaces backbiting and competition.

I am very proud of my students and all that they accomplish. They are wonderful musicians, and they thank me all the time for bringing Simply Music into their lives.

Thanks again for allowing me to talk about this wonderful program!

Laurie
_________________________
Laurie
Associate Simply Music Teacher

Top
#960267 - 05/26/08 01:49 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
 Quote:
Originally posted by boobooric:
Derogatory comments posted here are not based on a knowledge of the program, beyond a basic outline and claims. That's fine, and I understand the skepticism. I mentioned that I grew up in a more traditional, musical family and taught a more "traditional" piano method. So I personally can make a comparison based on my experience. [/qb]
But your experience is only one. And to stereotype it because it being "traditional" is not fair. Much has to do with the teacher and with the student and how the material is presented.

To say SM is for all students and they all learn. Well it depends if this is really the right method for the student and the best way to learn piano. I, as a student, would run away from this type of instruction. For those that don't know any better, may think it impressive.

I know *anyone* can learn by rote. This alone is not learning to play the piano or learning music. Sure anyone can press down keys. Even my cat. So yes, I can see how you can say the majority learns to play the piano this way. So this person (Neil) bottled up an obvoius way to play some tunes and is making a fortune off of it. No thanks! I'm actually suprised he is getting away with this. Again, this is nothing new. Schinici Suzuki developed this same type of approach, although in a more refined way, back in the 50's. He did not make lots of money and/or market it in such a way. Even his philosophy was not original by any means.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation

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#960268 - 05/26/08 01:56 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1250
Loc: California
Can someone please respond to the initial claim by SM that "...can be taught by piano players who are not advanced musicians, who have no formal musical qualifications, nor prior teaching experience." ???

If you, the teacher, don't know how to play a scale, then how would your students learn how to play them? If you, the teacher, don't know how to play chord progressions or inversions, and don't have a basic knowledge of music theory, then how will students learn these things?

I didn't learn scales and chords on my own from a self-taught method; I had to have 'formal music training' from a teacher. The impression that is made is that ANYONE can teach SM, no matter what kind of music background (or should I say LACK of) they may have. This is a marketing ploy that in my opinion is used to get a large number of people to jump on the bandwagon, no matter their qualifications, and generate $$ for the corporation.

I also teach a group method with a philosophy similar to SM (ear before eye, experience before formal instruction, etc...). However, one does have to be a competent musician to teach it. There is training but the fee is very reasonable. There are no monthly royalties to pay and the cost of materials is low enough for the teacher to purchase and mark up and not feel like she's raking parents over the coals.
_________________________
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild

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#960269 - 05/26/08 01:56 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
 Quote:
Originally posted by boobooric:
I respectfully submit that such beliefs are what keep scores of people from ever playing the piano.

I suppose it depends upon your goals for your students. If my goal was to produce a crop of concert pianists, maybe I would spend more time on technique. At any rate, that's not my goal, because it's not the goal of the vast majority of people who want to learn piano. People want to play for their and others' enjoyment. That's just as noble a goal as the concert pianist hopeful.

The overriding Simply Music goal is to maximize the likelihood that our students will maintain music as a lifelong companion. As a musician, I wholeheartedly embrace that goal. Within that goal, we have four specific goals:
1. Experience playing as a natural self-expression
2. Have the ability to play a huge repertoire covering various genres of music
3. Have the ability to self-generate and progress independently
4. Have a self-affirming experience throughout the whole process

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share all this. Even just looking back at these basic goals reaffirms that there is no better way to learn or teach piano! Anyone with a musician's heart can appreciate Simply Music's goals.

I don't see myself as an intellectually superior purveyor of the intricate secrets of how to sit and curve my fingers and use my arms and wrists so my students will ever have a glimmer of hope of playing the piano. I see myself as a human being sharing my immense love of music, especially piano music, in a way that people enjoy the process, learn everything more quickly and thoroughly and with more interest, and stay with it so they can enjoy the benefits for the rest of their lives. Absolutely nobody is incapable of learning to play the piano. The philosophy behind Simply Music is that everyone, without exception, is profoundly musical. It's just fantastic.

Not only that, the Simply Music teacher body is incredible. It is a worldwide network of caring, supportive, forward-thinking individuals who are excited to be part of a breakthrough. A few years ago I was in a horrible car accident and had several months of recovery ahead of me. My local Simply Music colleagues came to my house and taught all my classes for me without asking for a dime, every week for 2 - 3 months. A teacher in another state took up a collection, and teachers from all over donated money to help me during my recovery. Neil himself sent a nice check to help me out and called me regularly. I am so thrilled to be among a group of people like this, where love and support and concern replaces backbiting and competition.

I am very proud of my students and all that they accomplish. They are wonderful musicians, and they thank me all the time for bringing Simply Music into their lives.

Thanks again for allowing me to talk about this wonderful program!


Laurie [/b]
Laurie,

I am happy you are happy. But you are way out of line talking about technique... curved fingers, etc... whoa!! Talk about assuming.

Thank you for sharing your SM way of teaching. I am happy that you like it so well.

Now off to my torture chamber studio to teach my students...
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation

Top
#960270 - 05/26/08 02:25 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11183
Loc: Canada
Booboric, how about an adult student like myself, who is classically oriented, wishes to learn the language of music (phrasing, articulation etc.) and the means to express it (technique) in order to bring out the best qualities in a piece of music by knowing that language? How about a self-taught student who has a way of playing spontaneously, never having been hampered by this note-paralysis I'm reading about, and has spent most of her years with written music in a relaxed manner? My needs are not at all in the area of wanting to be able to play something recognizeable. I already can. It just doesn't sound that great, because I do not have the proper tools or knowledge.

My needs are in the "traditional" area. In all honesty, would SM have a place for me? Could a teacher tweak the units to allow for more things such as phrasing and technique?

I am bothered any time that a generalization is made that puts all adult students into one basket, because some of us will end up being led toward goals that we don't have. Of course it seems that teachers are also poking their heads out of a basket wondering what they're doing there.

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#960271 - 05/26/08 02:39 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
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 boobooric:
I suppose it depends upon your goals for your students. If my goal was to produce a crop of concert pianists, maybe I would spend more time on technique. At any rate, that's not my goal, because it's not the goal of the vast majority of people who want to learn piano. People want to play for their and others' enjoyment. That's just as noble a goal as the concert pianist hopeful. [/b]
It's not about being a concert pianist. It's about reaching your full potential. i.e. not being hobbled from the outset.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#960272 - 05/26/08 02:55 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
boobooric Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 14
Loc: Midwest
Simply Music is NOT learning by rote. That would accomplish nothing. It is learning a different way of learning, using tools and strategies that are immensely helpful when they start reading music. I've had students who already read music come to my studio, tell me that they are able to read music so much more fluently now.

 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
Booboric, how about an adult student like myself, who is classically oriented, wishes to learn the language of music (phrasing, articulation etc.) and the means to express it (technique) in order to bring out the best qualities in a piece of music by knowing that language? How about a self-taught student who has a way of playing spontaneously, never having been hampered by this note-paralysis I'm reading about, and has spent most of her years with written music in a relaxed manner? My needs are not at all in the area of wanting to be able to play something recognizeable. I already can. It just doesn't sound that great, because I do not have the proper tools or knowledge.[/b]
Keystring, for your particular goal, SM probably isn't the best choice for you. It doesn't meet all needs for all people, any more than any other approach does.

Sounds like there are a lot of very good teachers here that use a variety of approaches that work well. I applaud you and have absolutely nothing against that. Anything that students enjoy and continue with has merit, imho.

/QUOTE]It's not about being a concert pianist. It's about reaching your full potential. i.e. not being hobbled from the outset. [/QB][/QUOTE]

Amen! Couldn't have said it better myself.

 Quote:
Laurie,

I am happy you are happy. But you are way out of line talking about technique... curved fingers, etc... whoa!! Talk about assuming.
[/b]
Wow, so many people here insist on picking apart one little detail out of my long posts instead of addressing my main points. As a classically trained pianist, I am well aware of what technique is, I just didn't think it necessary to include an exhaustive list on a forum full of experienced, classically trained professionals. It was just one silly little example.

Thanks for being happy for me. I appreciate it.

Laurie
_________________________
Laurie
Associate Simply Music Teacher

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#960273 - 05/26/08 03:48 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11183
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
Keystring, for your particular goal, SM probably isn't the best choice for you. It doesn't meet all needs for all people, any more than any other approach does.

The two goals that I mentioned are what I understand to be the essentials of being able to produce good music out of any instrument: understanding of music and being able to produce it. If these are not present, then there is something lacking.

When Keyboardklutz mentions reaching one's potential, I suspect that he is writing about the same thing that I am. If we do not learn to use our bodies effectively (technique), and we do not get to understand the properties of music, we will not be able to reach our potential regardless of how talented we may be.

This is exceedingly important for me, because there are adult students who want to be able to do more than plonk away happily on the piano producing something kind of nice. All too often the assumption is made that they do only want this, and since they don't know what to expect, they struggle endlessly wondering why they can't do what they are envisioning. Having had several friends in that situation, I can tell you that it is heartbreaking and unless they know that there is something missing, they become bewildered and discouraged.

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#960274 - 05/26/08 03:54 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Boobooric, if you are not paying attention to technique at the outset you are hobbling your students.
 Quote:

Amen! Couldn't have said it better myself.
What kind of cheap double talk is that?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#960275 - 05/26/08 04:20 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
boobooric Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 14
Loc: Midwest
I didn't say we ignore technique, only that we use a different approach.
_________________________
Laurie
Associate Simply Music Teacher

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#960276 - 05/26/08 04:27 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
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 boobooric:
Posture and technique - is it important? Yes. Does it have to taught before a person can play the piano? No. [/b]
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#960277 - 05/26/08 05:24 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5834
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by boobooric:
Before anyone can teach Simply Music, they go through a training and licensing process. From there they are prepared to teach the first few levels. The training process is continual from there as you teach. The longer you teach it, the more you understand the philosophy, concepts, and the reasons behind the teaching and learning strategies. I did not understand the whole program when I began teaching, but the longer I teach it the more I appreciate it and can comment on its merits. I am a much better teacher now than I was in the beginning. I think that's true with most things in life. [/b]
This answer still does not address my question. If the only way to understand SM is to teach it, that means you have to commit to something (financially as well as in other ways) which you are unable to properly evaluate beforehand.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#960278 - 05/26/08 06:34 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
boobooric Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 14
Loc: Midwest
That is correct. Much like enrolling in and paying for a college program without knowing beforehand everything you are to learn. Only there is a much longer wait before you start recovering your expenses.

My quote about technique not needing to be taught BEFORE a person can play the piano is by no means saying there is no technique taught. Only that it doesn't have to precede a person's ability to play anything.

Laurie
_________________________
Laurie
Associate Simply Music Teacher

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#960279 - 05/26/08 06:45 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5834
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by boobooric:
That is correct. Much like enrolling in and paying for a college program without knowing beforehand everything you are to learn. Only there is a much longer wait before you start recovering your expenses.[/b]
There's nothing to stop you researching the content of your course, however. My son was given a pretty clear picture of the course content of his science degree before he started uni this year. The texts were available in the library. No-one owned the method. We seem to be having trouble understanding the content of SM because we keep being told you can only understand it when you do it (and pay for it). I can browse through an Alfreds method book and know it's not for me. I can't browse through a SM book. I can't even buy one and read through it carefully, can I?

I'm not denying that teaching SM might be financially rewarding. That aspect is not really my concern in this discussion.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#960280 - 05/26/08 07:01 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
boobooric Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 14
Loc: Midwest
How about if you take me out of the line of fire for a few moments and allow me to ask a few questions I'd honestly like your opinions on:

1. What is your opinion of the Simply Music goals (stated above)? Do you have any of these goals in your own studios?

2. There are many comments in this thread from and about Simply Music teachers and students attesting to its validity and success, in the beginning stages as well as beyond. Do the thousands of people (students and teachers alike) experiencing its benefits have no merit in your eyes because the method is non-traditional?

3. How would you define a successful piano method? How about a successful piano student?

Thanks,
Laurie
_________________________
Laurie
Associate Simply Music Teacher

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#960281 - 05/26/08 07:12 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
Dianna Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/08/08
Posts: 4
Hey, guys. Just a reminder: We do all have the same goal - enjoying and sharing music. Right?

The written word is powerful stuff; it hangs around for a while (or forever) after it's brought into being. We all are being honest, just don't forget the respect. If you're mad, write a reply, then wait a while, and then please rethink it before you post it.
_________________________
Licensed Simply Music Teacher
Joyful Noise Piano Studio
Minnesota, USA

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#960282 - 05/26/08 07:23 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5834
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by boobooric:
How about if you take me out of the line of fire for a few moments [/b]
I didn't think I was attacking you - if it's come across that way I'm sorry. I was just trying to get to the bottom of my main problem with the method. That is, I don't know enough about it to have an opinion and I can't really see how I can find out.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#960283 - 05/26/08 07:25 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
boobooric Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 14
Loc: Midwest
 Quote:
Originally posted by currawong:
[QUOTE]There's nothing to stop you researching the content of your course, however. My son was given a pretty clear picture of the course content of his science degree before he started uni this year. [/b]
I researched by reading everything on the website, calling several teachers who had been teaching Simply Music for several years, talking with Neil himself and going with my gut before deciding to pay for the training. If we can know everything we need to know about what we will learn in a college class by flipping through the textbook in the bookstore, then what do we need professors for? Generally speaking, you get a lot more from the textbook by what the professor and other students add.

I started college on a music scholarship before switching to accounting and getting a business degree. I was interested in accounting and I like math and I took accounting in high school, but I certainly had absolutely no idea how involved it would be until a few years, lots of hard work and plenty of money into it. Even though I always looked through the textbooks. I reasoned that a living would be much easier to make with a business degree than a music degree. And I did for 12 years.

You compare looking through an Alfred's book so you can review the contents. The only reason you have the ability to review the contents is that you have experience with music and, I'm assuming, have paid for some education to learn about music. Otherwise the contents would be meaningless to you. Same thing. You take your chances. Ever heard of anyone switching college majors? Why? Didn't they know what they were getting into?

I took my chances and won. You cannot understand why. That doesn't make Simply Music invalid.

What research have the skeptics here done with regard to Simply Music?
_________________________
Laurie
Associate Simply Music Teacher

Top
#960284 - 05/26/08 08:36 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5834
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by boobooric:
If we can know everything we need to know about what we will learn in a college class by flipping through the textbook in the bookstore, then what do we need professors for? ...
I took my chances and won. You cannot understand why. That doesn't make Simply Music invalid. ...
What research have the skeptics here done with regard to Simply Music? [/b]
First of all, if you take the time (quite a bit of it, I would imagine, judging by the number of pages \:\) ) to read this whole thread, you would see that I have not criticised the method. I have not said SM is invalid. I have not said that I "cannot understand why" you teach SM. I raised a few points on which I asked for clarification. That's all. And to say that I was suggesting "we can know everything we need to know about what we will learn in a college class by flipping through the textbook in the bookstore" is misrepresenting what I was saying on a comparison you actually initiated.
If you are happy with what you are doing and believe in the method, you don't need to misrepresent the questions of others like me, who might actually want to know about SM.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#960285 - 05/27/08 02:08 AM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
For my part, I have made it perfectly clear that it could well be an excellent music curriculum but it's useless as piano pedagogy if it allows students to aquire bad habits from day one. The net is so full of various curricula, why would you pay what appears to be a fairly vast sum other than for the opportunity to become part of a franchise with all it's marketing potential? And there, I think, must be the rub. It's a business opportunity.
 Quote:
Hey, guys. Just a reminder: We do all have the same goal - enjoying and sharing music. Right?
I wouldn't be so sure.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#960286 - 05/27/08 06:13 AM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7200
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
I, too, have been reading this topic, but deciding not to comment - because it's really difficult to make a judgment with so little information.

Someone wrote that they couldn't post excerpts from the method because it would violate copyright laws. This isn't true. The copyright law specifically permits excerpts, especially for academic discussions such as among teachers trying to evaluate various aspects of it. What probably is prohibited by the publisher/owner is the sharing of specific information by certified users of such methods, because it would open it up for critical review. That's unfortunate, because if the method is good, then the critical review would reveal this favorable aspect.

When checking on youtube for performances by students using the method, I only found 17 examples. All were extremely elementary, that which would be expected by students in their first few months of study. I could have missed more advance results.

I would suggest proponents of the method post results of students at various levels of accomplishment and study. It would be interesting to hear/see students who had completed five or six years of the program and what they have accomplished. For evaluation purposes, I much prefer students posting themselves on a neutral sites such as youtube, because other sites may have agendas, and one cannot know what has been edited by the vendor.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#960287 - 05/27/08 10:31 AM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
boobooric Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 14
Loc: Midwest
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
why would you pay what appears to be a fairly vast sum other than for the opportunity to become part of a franchise with all it's marketing potential?[/b]
Because it's a good, solid curriculum, it works, students enjoy learning it, and teachers enjoy teaching it and making a solid living teaching it. Which makes it a win-win-win situation. The "fairly vast sum" can be recouped easily in the first year of teaching. The only reason I didn't make a profit in my very first year was that I spent a bunch of money getting my basement converted to a studio.

 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
It's a business opportunity.[/b]
It sure is. Isn't is great that piano teachers can actually make a living, just like people in other industries who have their own businesses? And actually love what they do? Generally speaking, piano teachers don't make anywhere near what they should. I have now outgrown my basement studio and will be signing a lease on a commercial space this week.

Neil Moore, the creator of Simply Music, runs his business with the utmost integrity. I wouldn't be part of an organization that didn't have this foundation. In fact, it's one of the guiding principles you will find on the website. Here's the Foundation Statement in its entirety:
http://www.simplymusic.com/uploads/downloads/Brochures/Simply_Music_Found_State.pdf

 Quote:
Hey, guys. Just a reminder: We do all have the same goal - enjoying and sharing music. Right?
[/b]

Absolutely, Dianna! I am very fortunate to be able to do what I love most.

Currawong, thank you for clarifying your intent. My comments were not directed at you personally; I apologize if it appeared that way. I am trying to share information about Simply Music for those who are interested. There are not many comments here on most of what I have shared.

If you read through the posts from Simply Music teachers here, you will find that they are very confident, straightforward and non-argumentative. The confidence just comes from the experience of seeing it work.

Thanks for listening,
Laurie
_________________________
Laurie
Associate Simply Music Teacher

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#960288 - 05/27/08 10:35 AM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
boobooric Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 14
Loc: Midwest
 Quote:
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
I would suggest proponents of the method post results of students at various levels of accomplishment and study. It would be interesting to hear/see students who had completed five or six years of the program and what they have accomplished. For evaluation purposes, I much prefer students posting themselves on a neutral sites such as youtube, because other sites may have agendas, and one cannot know what has been edited by the vendor. [/b]
Hi John,
Excellent idea. I will ask some of my students if they are willing to do that. But someone else would have to post a student who has been in it for 5 or 6 years. I haven't taught Simply Music for that long.

Laurie
_________________________
Laurie
Associate Simply Music Teacher

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#960289 - 05/27/08 11:09 AM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11183
Loc: Canada
Boobooric, I would welcome that as well. In fact, I requested it a while back. Knowing the repertoire doesn't tell me much as a potential student, I also want to hear what I will be taught. Will I hear phrasing and dynamics and the means to these, for example? That is on top of the ease, fluidity, and eclectic nature of the program which I understand are the main attractions that this program holds for those teaching it and probably most of the students.

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#960290 - 05/27/08 12:11 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
boobooric Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 14
Loc: Midwest
Is anyone willing to answer the questions I posed yesterday? There is no agenda here; I am just really interested in your answers, as a fellow piano teacher. Thanks.

 Quote:
Originally posted by boobooric:
1. What is your opinion of the Simply Music goals (stated above)? Do you have any of these goals in your own studios?

2. There are many comments in this thread from and about Simply Music teachers and students attesting to its validity and success, in the beginning stages as well as beyond. Do the thousands of people (students and teachers alike) experiencing its benefits have no merit in your eyes because the method is non-traditional?

3. How would you define a successful piano method? How about a successful piano student?[/b]
_________________________
Laurie
Associate Simply Music Teacher

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#960291 - 05/27/08 01:18 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
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 boobooric:
Is anyone willing to answer the questions I posed yesterday? There is no agenda here; I am just really interested in your answers, as a fellow piano teacher. Thanks. [/b]
How much are you offering?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#960292 - 05/27/08 03:34 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7200
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
boobooric, you asked:

 Quote:
1. What is your opinion of the Simply Music goals (stated above)? Do you have any of these goals in your own studios?
and the goals as you expressed them are:

1. Experience playing as a natural self-expression
2. Have the ability to play a huge repertoire covering various genres of music
3. Have the ability to self-generate and progress independently
4. Have a self-affirming experience throughout the whole process1.[/b]

My guess is that every piano teacher, every music teacher for that matter, shares the same goals, perhaps expressed differently, but in essence the same.

As we all know, goals are wonderful for focusing our efforts, measuring our successes, keeping us on track, but they do not, in themselves, make a teacher good nor bad, nor a method good nor bad. They are what they are, goals.


You also asked:

 Quote:
2. There are many comments in this thread from and about Simply Music teachers and students attesting to its validity and success, in the beginning stages as well as beyond. Do the thousands of people (students and teachers alike) experiencing its benefits have no merit in your eyes because the method is non-traditional?
Testimony is important, but it means more when I know the individual providing the testimony. This is why I asked about providing more videos of more students, at different levels. I could claim to be the greatest teacher of all time, but when listening to my students, you might just form another opinion. \:D

Finally you asked:
 Quote:
3. How would you define a successful piano method? How about a successful piano student?
Success comes in many flavors. In piano, you might be talking about musical development, you might be referring to technical advancement, you might be referring to performance and recording ops, you might be referring to pecuniary issues.

I still receive cards and notes from students I taught 25 years ago telling me how much they appreciated lessons with me, how much they love music, how they enjoy being able to play as an adult. To me, this is great success. It is my sincere hope that every teacher, regardless of method used, obtains that which constitutes success for them.

John
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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