Simply Music

  • Simply Music

  • What is Simply Music?

    Simply Music Piano is a remarkable, Australian-developed playing-based piano and keyboard program that offers a breakthrough in music education. This unique method has children, teens, adults and elders playing great sounding contemporary, classical, accompaniment and blues piano pieces – from their very first lessons. Even as a beginner Simply Music students are immersed in playing beautiful arrangements, compositions and improvisations.

    Playing-based Education

    In the same way that we all learn to speak years before we learn to read and spell, Simply Music Piano temporarily delays music reading and introduces students to an array of unique ‘playing-based’ concepts that unfold directly onto the keyboard. The direct result of this is that students quickly, easily and naturally are playing a solid foundation of 35 to 50 beautiful pieces, and this is typically acquired over the first year of lessons. Thereafter, our unique approach to music reading is introduced. We love that our students become strong readers and we love our unique approach of how we teach students to read. We also love the fact that we don’t introduce reading from the very beginning – it’s much more natural that way.

  • How can I learn more?

  • Curriculum

    The Simply Music Piano curriculum unfolds over 6-10 years, depending on individual rate of progress. Here is a broad outline of the first few years:

  • YEAR 1

    Learn 35-50 great sounding pieces in various musical genres.

    Develop the basics of accompaniment performance, composition and improvisation.

     Prepare to begin music writing and reading.

  • YEAR 2

    Learn another 25-40 pieces of various musical genres.

    Gain a foundation of music reading and writing.

    Build a stronger understanding of accompaniment, blues and jazz pieces.

    Further develop improvisation and composition.

  • YEAR 3

    Learn another 25-40 pieces of various musical genres.

    Expand the foundation and understanding of music reading.

    Broaden accompaniment performance abilities.

    Develop a more complex repertoire of diverse musical genres.

    Establish an understanding of music theory and its practical application.

  • YEAR 4

    Develop greater self-generative capacity in playing, reading, composition and improvisation.

    Foster a high degree of responsibility for own learning.

    Explore individual musical interests.

    More deeply explore expression and technique in playing.

    Expand and broaden knowledge of music theory.

  • Common Questions

    When are lessons scheduled?

    Lessons are currently scheduled Tuesday through Thursday.

    How much practice is required?

    A minimum of 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week. A higher quality short practice is better than a longer low quality practice. At our studio, we utilize the Better Practice tool to help our students enjoy practicing and accelerate their development.

    Does the student come alone?

    No, the parent stays in the lesson with the student. This allows the parent the opportunity to be directly involved in the student’s musical education. The parent is also there to encourage and keep the student accountable.

    How often are lessons and how long?

    Lessons are weekly. We meet year round with periodic breaks for holidays. Lessons range from 35-50 minutes, depending on the number of students in the class:
    2 students = 35 minutes
    3 students = 40 minutes
    4 students = 45 minutes
    5 students and up = 50 minutes

    What if I have already taken piano? Why switch to Simply Music?

    The traditional approach to piano generally limits students to reading music only and often with a heavy emphasis on classical.

    In Simply Music, students start playing blues, contemporary, and classical from the very first lessons. They also learn accompaniment, which includes learning how to play most contemporary chords: major, minor, 7th, major 7th, minor 7th, augmented, diminished, 2nd, 6th, 11th, 13th and split chords. This opens the door to being able to play virtually any song; pop, country, Christian, blues, etc.

    In addition, students also learn how to compose and improvise. Students become self-generating musicians, as opposed to the more receptive skill of purely reading. We learn strategies on how to see different patterns and shapes in music, and how to map those onto the keyboard. We don’t need a map to drive to school, church, or the grocery store. Musicians should not only rely on the page in front of us to play music. Instead, we treat music the same way: We map it onto the keyboard, much like we map out on the road when we’re driving. This results in a deeper, more thorough understanding of a song (as opposed to purely memorizing). Reading music is certainly a crucial part of becoming a musician as well, and Simply Music presents reading in an extremely natural way.

    Do you offer recitals?

    We offer a variety of performance opportunities. These may include recitals, jam sessions, or other opportunities that are very rewarding experiences, and give us a goal to work toward. I also hold periodic “Piano Play Parties,” which are informal, fun, music-making get-togethers.

    Is there a certain commitment required after I sign up for lessons?

    Yes, there are requirements to be a part of the studio. These are discussed in detail at the information sessions; however, ultimately, one of the most important (if not THE most critical) is to have the time available and the focus needed to devote to learning to play piano.

    Are there materials to purchase?

    Yes. Digital is here and opens up a whole new world that makes learning music more effective and more convenient. Our educational materials are primarily digital in form and can be accessed anytime, anyplace. We talk about out the materials in more detail during the free information session. Please sign up today to learn more.

    Do you offer in home lessons?

    No. Lessons take in-place in my home studio.

    Do you have a make-up policy if I miss a lesson?

    We understand that life happens and occasionally, there is a need for make-up. We offer specific make up days that we discuss in further detail during our information session.

    How is reading incorporated into a play-based method?

    Absolutely, Simply Music incorporates reading, but we starts the process when the student has developed a confidence and breadth of experience of actually playing. If you think about the way we learned our first language, we began by learning to speak, developing a practical grasp of communication before the additional layers of complexity such as reading and writing were added. If you remove the complexity of deciphering the code on the page, you will be more free to establish a natural, musical relationship with the instrument, and will then be free to focus more fully on sourcing instructions from the page.