We recently had the opportunity to review Music & Creativity – Foundation Course from Simply Music.
If you are looking to begin playing the piano yourself, or looking for a fun way to teach your kids to play the piano FOR FREE, you may wish to check out this program from Simply Music.
What is Simply Music?
Simply Music was created by Neil Moore. Moore took his passion for music and teaching and created an online program called Music & Creativity Program. This completely free program in honor of the 20th anniversary of Simply Music.
Simply Music is a self-study program which means it is online and self-paced. But what makes the program unique is that the student is playing music from the beginning.
Moore mentions that he felt that many students become frustrated with learning to play the piano because most traditional programs teach the student to read the music from the start delaying the playing of music.
The goal of Moore’s program is to have the student playing music from lesson one to help instill a love of music and unleash the inner musicality of every person, which he feels is truly within everyone.
The program introduces blues, classical and contemporary pieces. The lessons, which can be taken on tablets, phones, or a computer, are online and short lessons. He uses the piano for the student to watch the fingerings and how the music is played. The student can follow along on the video as well as listen to the instructions.
Moore indicates that his method is a breakthrough in music education. He considers his program to excel in speed and ease of learning compared to traditional piano instruction methods. The distinction lies in his use of the “playing method” of teaching rather than the traditional “reading method” of piano teaching. The program teaches the student to play the piano by immersing them in the actual process of playing.
Another interesting point is that Moore emphasizes the impact that his method has had on ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, PTSD, brain trauma and autistic student. He states that his program has seen much success with these special needs student compared to the traditional piano education methods.
The lessons are short and easy to follow. The conversation and demonstrations are very lively. You do feel like you are in a lesson. Moore also draws on the piano to point out things the student needs to see so the lessons are appealing to the visual learner as well.
The lessons are tracked within the program so your student knows where to start/where they left off when the student returns to the program. The pace of the lesson seemed appropriate and was easy to follow.
The lessons include reference materials and a soundtrack. These are supplied in pdf form for you to have on the ready as they are mentioned and referred to throughout the course. I thought the cut out piano practice board was an interesting idea.
How to Sign up for the Free Course
The lessons are truly free. The entire Foundations Course. You don’t even need a credit card to sign up. However, you do visit the website and register so that the lessons can be moved through and check off as completed. Progress is tracked. Just visit Simply Music to sign up for your free course.
What We Thought
My son, who has had minimal piano lessons, started the program at the beginning and began at lesson one. It was a good start and he liked that he was playing right away. He asked where his music was and I explained that the lessons were going to be a little different and to go with the flow. He was obviously confused by the new approach but did like that he was playing the piano right away.
I moved through to some of the more advanced lessons, since I play, and found that the approach was definitely different than traditional piano education. I can see that for one that wants to start playing right away, Simply Music may be a really nice approach.
My son liked the lessons. He liked that they were not long and was able to follow them by himself. He thought it was cool to set up the iPad as his lesson books. We used the phone once too and he didn’t seem to mind the smaller size. He liked that the finger placement was on the video and he could imitate instead of trying to figure it out.
For me, it was hard to imagine not teaching the reading of the music from the beginning. I thought at first that the program was going to teaching playing by ear as the program began but that was not the case, though I’m sure some of that could develop using this program.
I can see this be a good fit for a child with a short attention span and some of those students with special needs. But the price – FREE – means it’s a great choice for those homeschooling families wishing to include piano instruction in their homeschool without the expense.
Overall, I think Simply Music is a good choice for many students and something that you should try for yourself if you are interested. It was easy to sign up for and easy to use.