Piano Magic: The 'Secrets' of Playing
Piano By Ear
Piano Magic members from 120 Countries, and all 50 US
What does it mean to 'play by ear'?
The common usage of the phrase 'playing by ear' comes directly
from musicians who play piano without reading or memorizing
music. Because these musicians play according to what they
remember and hear, they are said to be 'playing by
ear'...and that's a very accurate description. Such musicians
are able to predict the
rhythm, chords and melody that will probably occur within
the next few seconds of whatever tune they're playing.
The phrase 'play by ear' is always referencing the
future, and it means "to decide what to do
when you know what is happening - even
in the next few seconds - rather than planning in
In Piano Magic, I focus exclusively on teaching my students
how to play by ear - without reading music - by predicting
upcoming chords likely to occur over the next several seconds.
This is THE skill that will get you playing quickly, will
provide you with hours of daily playing enjoyment, and will
give you a lifetime of musical FUN!
Just so you know, reading music and playing by
ear are both wonderful skills (I do both) and neither
is in competition with the other. Instead, they are two distinctly
different skills that enable one to play the piano, but each
different skill is best learned one-at-a-time.
One of those basic skills for playing piano by ear,
is to understand the expected and predictable movement of
how one chord moves to the next. (Sometimes the 'clue'
comes from the active chord being played, and sometimes it
comes from the melody.) It's a hoot to do, sounds great and
will provide you with a lifetime of playing enjoyment, once
you know how to think like the music you want to play.
Before we begin, have a listen to a composition by one of
my students, and notice the type of sounds YOU might play
or compose, using the information and techniques taught within
VIDEO: "GOLDEN DAYS
composed by PMMO Member
(Click the Pic)
Why should YOU learn to play piano
Answer: Because playing by ear is the most
natural way to express yourself through music!
Learning to play before you read is the most logical first
step, yet is completely overlooked in 'traditional' lessons.
Learning to speak before you read, is the very foundation
for understanding any language.
Think about this for a moment:
If children were required to read English before speaking
it, they probably would not speak intelligibly for many years;
if ever! Yet, the majority of music students are taught that
very method; read...then speak.
- That's NOT how I learned to speak: That's NOT how I learned
to play: That's NOT how I teach...because it's grossly illogical!
Now, think about this: It often
takes years of lessons before a dedicated student can easily
read and play a piece of written music in its entirety...but
the person who created that same music (for music readers
to 'read') first played it by ear! Weird, huh? There's
Most traditional instructors encourage their students
to memorize their music, in order to perform without
reading music. Unfortunately, because they are memorizing,
instead of comprehending the structure of music that repeats
through ALL tunes, they will soon forget...and THAT
is a SHAME! All that work, and then it simply evaporates.
In my 47 years as a professional pianist, I have
forgotten every piece of music I memorized.
By contrast, I have retained the ability to play every piece
of music I understood and could comprehend, and my repertoire
includes hundreds (if not thousands) of tunes at any moment
For self played music to
be enjoyable for a lifetime, it has to be FUN!
According to a survey by the National Piano Institute, about
90% of 'traditional' piano students drop out of lessons before
the end of the first year. PianoMagic students often comment
that 'traditional' lessons were too hard, didn't show how
to play the music they wanted to play and were NO FUN! It
doesn't have to be THAT way!
IF IT ISN'T FUN,
IT WON'T BE DONE!
"I am delighted finding I can't wait
to get home to my keyboard!"
- Barbara Albrecht -
"Your personality and enthusiasm
come right out of your materials. Extremely beneficial
and fabulously interesting!"
- Sharon R. Franchini -
"Excellent, Exciting, Useful."
- Buzz Sommers -
"I love it! Your instructions are
clear and it all makes sense!
It is FUN!"
- Susan Johnston -
"Just right to spark my interest
and desire to PLAY!
This should be a TV course"
- Lee Holcomb Jr. -
"This will cause me to neglect
husband, house, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren,
Tigger the cat and Queenie the dog. Thanks!"
- Trudy Trawick -
I learned more toward understanding
the keyboard in one night, than in 8 years of music
lessons. This is really great. You make it fun, entertaining
and very worthwhile. Good Teacher!"
- Judy Turnell -
Playing music by ear for personal enjoyment can
be one of the easiest and most fulfilling activities you'll
ever experience. It can be learned in a few hours, and practiced
for a lifetime! IT'S CALLED PLAYING FOR A REASON...IT'S
SUPPOSED TO BE FUN!!!
If your hobby is taking lessons, I can't
help you. But if you want to learn how to play SOLO piano
creatively and artistically, playing music for personal enjoyment
AND the entertainment of your audiences, come on in! PIANO
MAGIC is here, and it was created specifically for YOU
to learn how to play the tunes you already know; the tunes
you already can hum, whistle or sing, played on the piano
FREE SAMPLE PIANO
In general, Free Piano Lessons are like Free
Cheese in a mousetrap! The idea sounds good, but usually comes
with a surprise ending!
Still, the Free Sample Lessons provided in the following pages
are excellent for beginners (catch the Tour Bus below) ...and
are required for ALL STUDENTS, with or without previous
You may have seen this info before, but if you
really learned it, you would already be
able to Play By Ear and would NOT be seeking such instruction!
Regardless of your previous experience, if you don't play
by ear, you are a beginner (at 'playing by
Don't skip or skim these lessons...your future
performing success depends on YOU knowing
this BASIC info forwards, backwards and inside out!
The info will seem extremely simple...and that's
just exactly how we want it to seem! If it's simple,
YOU can THINK IT and DO IT well enough to
Once you understand the Basics of Piano
Magic, you'll be able to take your new found playing ability
and musical freedom as far as your FUN can take you!
Keep your thinking SIMPLE and you'll
go farther than you ever dreamed possible, but complicate
it and progress will be slow. Simplify...always Simplify.
The tour bus below will take you to the Free Sample
Lessons mentioned above. To view video and hear audio instructions,
you'll need Windows Media Player 6.0 (or higher). If you don't
have WMP 6.0 (or higher), click
here to get the latest version direct from the Microsoft web
site... for FREE!
Catch the SCHOOL BUS for
FREE 'PIANO BY EAR' ONLINE LESSONS
us | View