A person enquiring about my course referred me to this thread, so I'm here to find out what has been said. Although it's an old thread, it apparently is still being read by PianoWorld visitors, so it seems fair that I should have the opportunity to respond. (If I had known about it sooner, I surely would have been here sooner.)
As the author/instructor/owner of PianoMagic.com, I would like to clarify a comment above that mentions my course, because I recognize the posters screen name...and he left out a few important details.
...I would avoid Piano Magic--this investment was a complete waste of money...
I completely agree that Psalm23 wasted his time and money in PianoMagic, but it wasn't because I didn't try to work with him. According to his own comments (still posted and available within the PMMO Forums), Psalm23 was attempting to work through several courses at the same time, and asking questions within PianoMagic, that revealed he was not studying or developing the important principles taught in PianoMagic.
His posts revealed he was not following instructions. When he would post a question in my Forums, I would provide an answer based upon the very principles I teach. Very often, I ended my detailed responses with a few questions of my own. Psalm23 never offered a single response to any of MY questions, nor followed up with a related comment or question. Although I asked if he understood my responses, he never posted a follow-up response...EVER.
Our last communication was via email, when Psalm23 politely asked for a refund. Unfortunately, unlike other courses mentioned above, I don't offer refunds because I sell no product, so students have 'nothing' to return. In essence, I am 'the product', and members gain direct access to participate with ME for a year. Granted, there are well over 100 videos, 100 audios, and thousands of pages of written guidance posted within PMMO Forums, but ALL were created in response to members who participate 'with' me in the learning process. What's more, I continue to provide new content, and it's instantly available to ALL my members 24/7.
I won't post Psalm23's email, but I see no harm in posting MY last email to him, because it contains what I consider to be a 'common sense' and 'logical' approach to working with ANY instructor...in ANY setting that expects student participation.
My Dec 11, 2008 email to Psalm23:
"By the policy clearly stated within the public pages of [my website], which you agreed to before making your payment, you do not qualify for a refund.
Membership in PianoMagic is non-refundable, except under two conditions:
1. Inability to connect to the website, or
2. Inability to comprehend the simplest of instructions.
As far as I can tell, you have the ability to ‘connect’ to the website. (If not, I can help.) Based on your own posts within PMMO, you also have the ability to comprehend and apply the instructions…AND you have the ability to tell me where you’re experiencing difficulty.
Thus far, you have posted a total of 11 times within PMMO, and asked a number of questions. I have responded to your early questions, and followed up with FIVE questions of my own for you to answer. I’m still waiting for ANY response to MY questions.
As a member of PMMO, you are expected to interact with ‘yours truly’, so you can receive direct guidance to advance yourself into fully understanding and using the info. This IS what you paid to receive. Whether you choose to ‘do it’ is a choice. Whether you ‘do it’ for a day or a year is optional…the fee is the same.
When I ask a question, it is with the intent to learn HOW you are thinking, to determine your present understanding, and HOPEFULLY, to hear how you are able to apply the instructions. For ANY of this to occur, you must communicate. When I ask a question, I expect an answer. If your response demonstrates understanding of key concepts combined with the ability to ‘think clearly’, I’ll personally lead you to the next step. We can do it through the Forums, via email, or by telephone…your choice.
As stated in my post to you on November 8, 2008, “By design, if you do not follow instructions to participate and provide feedback, you will be 'on your own'...and the remaining options truly are "counter-productive" for BOTH of us.”
No response to direct questions asked by the instructor IS “counter-productive”, and logically results in far less guidance than you are capable of receiving. By not participating WITH ME, you will be ‘on your own’, and that’s the most difficult way to proceed. The PMMO Forums are TOO LARGE for you to find the info you seek by yourself, so if that’s what you’re doing, you’re ‘spinning your wheels’ needlessly. Not good!
Likewise, if I spend my time asking questions of a student who won’t respond, I also will be ‘spinning my wheels’. I am not a fan of ‘wheel spinning’ on any level.
Whether you continue to use it or not, you have paid for MY TIME in advance. How should we proceed?
I received a brief email response, but no questions or comments related to my message.
Psalm23, if you read this (and I hope you will), I notice your last visit to the PMMO members area was March 7, 2009, so you basically allowed the last 7 months of your membership to expire with total inactivity. If you should ever decide that you're willing try again - focusing upon only ONE course of study at a time - I will gladly extend your expired membership by an additional 7 months: But you would still
be expected to participate 'with' me in the learning process, because that's how we 'do it' in PianoMagic. (I limit the maximum number of members for that very reason.)
I harbor no ill will, and you are free to maintain a completely horrible opinion of me and my efforts if you prefer...but I would prefer an opportunity to change your mind, by assisting you to understand the thought process you clearly missed. You are welcome to email or call me to accept my offer...or we can discuss it further if you like.
As I tell my students, there's a lot more info about playing piano 'out there' than I know about, have ever heard about, or will ever use...and I'm confident ALL of the available courses are designed around whatever ideas their creators believe to be excellent! To learn, understand and gain that excellence for yourself, you must focus upon the materials provided. If your course of study comes with a living, breathing instructor, work with that person!
PianoMagic was never intended to be the only course of study one will ever need or want...but it's the approach that makes ME the happiest when I play, and I rely upon it to keep myself in business as a professional musician (currently 44 years). To the moderator:
It is not my intent to 'plug' my course, but to fairly present the 'other side' of the story, regarding a negative comment that your readers have brought to my attention, and to offer the poster another chance to do more than waste his time and money.
When I have time, I enjoy reading the PianoWorld forums, always find the quarterly recitals to be enjoyable and inspiring...and it's especially FUN to read about the excitement folks experience when playing the music they love!
As far as I'm concerned, the world is a better place because of the musicians in it. It doesn't matter WHERE or HOW a person learns to play, but whether or not they enjoy it...so my advice is to 'follow the FUN' wherever it may lead!
Thank you for the opportunity to post my response.
In the posts above, I recognize a few other screen names as former members of PianoMagic, and I hope you're all doing well! I remember that you offered wonderfully supportive and inspiring comments to help me cope with the illnesses my puppy began to experience, and your thoughts were very helpful to me.
Just to let you know, my sweet doggie 'Coco' unexpectedly died this past Sunday. If you have connections with 'the giver of life', I would certainly appreciate a good referral for 'my girl'.