What makes PianoMagic unique from other online piano courses?

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Topic author: pianomagic
Location: Georgia USA
Subject: What makes PianoMagic unique from other online courses???
Message: A Question for My Students

Hi folks,

As the instructor and creator of Piano Magic, I have received a question that I'm unable to answer, so I need YOU to do it for me, please.

Since I've never taken an online piano course (or any piano class), I am totally UNqualified to provide an answer.

The question received from a website visitor asks, "What makes PianoMagic uniquely different from other online piano courses?"

If you'll respond as honestly as you know how, I would sincerely appreciate it.





Reply author: honeycomb
Location: Arizona, USA


In Piano Magic, when you learn to play a song, you also learn How Chords and Melody notes fit and Work Together.

There is No Memorizing needed in Piano Magic! You will KNOW what chords to play by what Melody notes are being played throughout each song.

Piano Magic DOES NOT depend on “Note Reading”, so you have your "Book of Songs" ALWAYS with you, ready for you to sit down and play a piano ANYWHERE!

We are taught "Creative and Artistic Playing". The learning is Fun and continues to be FUN! I’ve been here over 10 years, and the learning and progress is STILL FUN for me. We become Piano Magicians! Learning never ends--it is an Ongoing Adventure!!

Learning Songs FIRST in the Key of C, has got to be the Best and Fastest Way to learn and Progress! When a Student follows Mike's Instructions, frustrations are gone, and Fun and Enjoyment are at an All time High.

Playing piano should be Easy and Fun---and at Piano Magic---IT IS!

At Piano Magic we learn to "listen" to "what" we are playing—and the Inner Teacher in each of us, instructs us how to become better and better Piano Magicians!

Mike and my Inner Teacher are the Only Teachers I need to grow as a Pianist. I don’t really KNOW what it means to "lose the Fun" as so many Note Readers complain about.

We have a Great Bunch of students and friends in our Forums who share and help each other on a daily basis. As Mike writes to help "one student" what he says helps ALL of us in one way or another. Mike seems to KNOW "what" we need---and "when" we need it!!!!!!!

Honeycomb ("The Pianist")

"Keep A Song In Your Heart" - Lawrence Welk




Reply author: Laurent
Location: Florida, USA

For me, the question is not whether Piano Magic is unique from other online courses (even though it is! ) but rather if Piano Magic meets the goal of teaching to play by ear (which 99.9 % of other "play by ear websites" fail to accomplish )

I have personally tried several other courses (old, contemporary, modern) only to find out that:

* The only website that has a step-by-step and holistic methodology for playing by ear from zero to infinite is Piano Magic.

* The only time I was able to fully understand and incorporate the compilations or bits and pieces obtained from other courses was because I came to see the bigger picture through applying the fundamentals taught within the member's pages of Piano Magic.

I compare Piano Magic to a comprehensive music education package that helps people understand music in an era where such education is RARE. Some have referred to it as "the little known secret". In fact it is a secret so simple that one may be blinded to see its uniqueness even after stepping on the front steps.

As far as Mike is concerned, ALL the good things you heard about him are true. He's not a salesman, but a teacher that takes his role very seriously. He truly believes that every student is capable of success as long as he/she follows the simple Piano Magic instructions. AND following instructions is all that it takes to reach enlightenment here at Piano Magic!

Hope this helps.



At Last!




Reply author: HisKidd
Location: Alabama, USA

PianoMagic is a "right brain" approach to playing piano. While traditional piano courses are rich in their study of theory, scales, and technique, PianoMagic is a wholistic approach which looks at the big picture. In PianoMagic we are much more concerned about how music thinks. Rather than spend our time learning scales, and music notation, we learn the expected and predictable movement of chords.

PianoMagic is chord theory at its best. And it's much more! PianoMagic teaches how to play melody by understanding that melody notes come from the long tones of chords or their extensions.

PianoMagic students understand how to build simple chords into complex chords, and reduce complex chords to simple chords. Rather than depend upon notation or a lead sheet, the student learns how chords flow in progressions, and understand why this is so. Once one understands the expected and predictable movement of chords, those chords can be extended, modified, or substituted with unlimited possibilities! The result is that the student plays piano from the inside out and never again has to depend upon anything written.

PianoMagic students become composers and accomplished performers!

"A good PianoMagician will NEVER graduate from Level ONE, but WILL learn to expand those basic principles with additional options..."
Michael Anderson




Reply author: popeye
Location: Louisiana, USA

I bought a keyboard when I turned 60 (2007) to see if I could do anything with it. I could always pretty much hear stuff going on in music like melody, harmony plus rhythm, and thought I could sit down on a bench and figure out how to play tunes with both hands. After a few months of not making much headway I knew I was missing something about putting it all together.

I joined Piano World and kept hearing a few members talk about Sudnow, PianoMagic, etc., so I checked the websites out and heard Mike at PM play a bit while talking about it some. I knew then I wanted to know what was going on in his head and 190 bucks wasn't too much to find out.

That was the key for me ... if you want to learn what ear players are doing while they are playing by ear, Mike starts at the start, bypasses all the bars, half notes, lines and spaces and gets to the meat and potatoes of making music using the ears, fingers and one foot to deal with melody, harmony, and rhythm. In three months I was playing tunes that I and others wanted to hear, and I mean a lot of tunes.

While other courses may get you the same results, I seriously doubt they can do it that quick.

So what's the catch? The catch is that Mike lays it out so simply that an idiot like me, with little talent can even do it. If I had problems with harmony, Mike/gang helped me solve that ... if I had problems with rhythm, yep, they all helped me solve that too. Was it worth $189 finding out what was going on in Mike's head? Nope. Counting all the fun it's been learning, it was worth ten times that.





Reply author: Anna Cooper
Location: Scotland, UK

I cannot Compare other websites to PianoMagic.However If you want to know what makes PianoMagic unique I am willing to try to explain my experience as a member of PianoMagic.

Michael Anderson is Unique. Here is a man who has never had a music lesson in his life~~~yet he can play anything and everything Beautifully.

Michael has obviously given much thought to his teaching. He plays by ear,and his dearest wish is to teach all of his many, many students the joy that he himself has found through playing by ear.

The lessons are laid out for you, simplified up to a point. Michael has cleverly left you to think for yourself too.

You choose yourself what you want to play, as you have made a list of all the songs you can hum or sing.
To start with simple songs in the key of C. You learn to build on the lessons that are clearly and laid out for you.

Post your tunes on PianoMagic website. Michael will be there listening encouraging advising and leading you forward and forward to the next level. Here I might add All other members will come in by posting their thoughts and advice with encouragement too. All this is tinged with lots of fun, to help you on your way.

All you have mentioned:--Chord progressions,Circle of fifths in fact everything in music is covered.
Rhythm Timing and especially hesitation, something we all need help with are paramount on this ,uniquely exceptional site.
Michael's own words,"If it's not fun,it won't be done".





Reply author: DrTechDaddy
Location: North Carolina, USA

I'm a relative newcomer to PianoMagic.
I've been trying to learn keyboard off and on since I was a teen--now I'm retired.
In all that time, I never finished "Book 3" of any method.

Before starting PM, I was paying $15 a week for 30 minute private lessons.
I had been with my latest teacher for over 2 years.
I was playing some interesting stuff--Linus and Lucy from Vince Guaraldi's Charlie Brown Christmas, for example.
But I was not playing it well. My recitals were "embarassing".

After six months with Mike, I can play more tunes by ear than I "learned" from sheet music in two years of private lessons.
And I've still got another six months coming--all for about the price of 3 months of private lessons.

I think the secret of Mike's method is going straight from your "mind's ear" to your hand.
It's "ear-hand" coordination vs. "eye-finger" coordination. You learn to reach for the "sounds," not play spots or letters.

PianoMagic isn't a "supplement" to or variation of a standard sheet-music based approach--it's a total self-standing "Play by Ear" method. In fact, to get the most from it, "forget" what you may have learned about playing from sheet music. "Start over" and learn a whole new approach to playing MUSIC instead of reading notes.

You will be playing complete "solo" arrangements of songs--melody, harmony, rhythm--not just "chord accompaniment" or "band piano" like many other systems teach--although once you learn the PM way, playing in a band should be no problem.

If you've had any other piano lessons, you might think Mike's hand positions are "all wrong."
They certainly aren't like any other method's beginner hand positions.
But they work! Not only that, they prepare you for "professional" hand positions later on.
You won't have to unlearn anything when you go from one-note melodies to right-hand harmony or left-hand bass patterns.

As I write this, Mike and the other students are working with me in the on-line forums on my notions of rhythm,
trying to help me understand the relationship between the poetic rhythm structure of lyrics and the musical rhythm structure. In 50 years of "study", no teacher or book ever before explained to me that those were not the same!

That's just one example of another facet of Mike's method--the Piano Magic Members Only website. Everybody helps everybode eise. We're all on the same journey. Some have been on it a lot longer, but we all, even Mike, basically started in the same place, ear-wise. You can watch numerous videos Mike has prepared, and follow discussiona he had with others struggling with various aspects of developing their ears or sense of rhythm or playing technique.

Of course, Mike can't do the "playing" for you. If you're a "self-starter" and have the discipline to sit down and play EVERY DAY, you will do well. If you log on to the forum, record and post your own playing, discuss your own challenges and follow the progress of others--I would say at least once a week, as if you were taking private lessons--you will do even better.
But an advantge of PMMO is you don't have to wait a whole week to get the attention of your teacher, or your peers.
But obviously nobody will MAKE you do it!

(Let me add an aside about playing EVERY day. Another teacher once told me to play EVERY day, even if it's just a couple minutes. Of course, 2 minutes a day won't make you a Ray Charles or a Stevie Wonder. But say you vow to play an hour a day, or even a half-hour--sooner or later something will come up and you "won't have the time." Then again. You'll miss a day a week, then two, then more--eventually, you will "never" find the time, and it will all be over.

But you can "always" spare 2 minutes--to play one time through of that song you're working on, or just your I IV V chords or "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Of course most days, the "2 minutes" will stretch to a respectable amount of playing time.)

If you're worried about paying a year in advance,
--BTW, I've paid more IN ADVANCE for just a semester of private lessons at a studio--
but if you're worried, I'll say this:

PianoMagic is not hype. It's not what everybody else is selling; it is something truly different.
This method really works. And it doesn't run out of gas after "10 easy pieces".
You WILL learn to just sit down and play what's in your head. And sound professional doing it.

Mike is the genuine article--he delivers MORE than he promises!

Joe aka DrTechDaddy




Reply author: Grietje1985
Location: Denmark

I have tried other courses and books before pianomagic (and even since I'm a member I'm adding courses and books even tough I'm very satisfied with pianomagic, it's a bit of an obsession I have, like other women have with shoes!). Pianomagic is definately unique. To me in these 3 ways:
- A lot of courses tell they teach you how music works. What they mean is, teaching you how scales and chords are built, some common chord progressions and the circle of fifths. Sometimes they explain how melody relates to chords, but not often. Pianomagic does all this but a lot more, it teaches how and why chords move in a song the way they do. This is the only course that really explains how music works.
- Real playing by ear. Other courses that offer playing by ear, learn how to play from a lead sheet, with given chords and melody. Playing by ear means to them making your own arrangement. Or some courses offer the method of listening to intervals and chords. I have tried this and if you spend years on this it might teach you how to play by ear but it's hard and not fun at all. Only in pianomagic you learn how to really play by ear, making your own arrangement but also finding the chords and melody by yourself on the fly. You can start playing songs immediately. You have to start with simple songs of course, but can build on and on to more complex songs, step by step.
- The online community is great. Mike spends a lot of time answering to questions and giving guidance. But also the other members are very active, helping each other out and encouraging each other. I have not seen this anywhere else. Besides from the help and encouragement, it's really nice to talk to each other about the thing we all love: playing the piano.




Reply author: cats-1
Location: Tennessee, USA

If I had to answer the question of what makes Piano Magic unique, what makes it worth the (small) membership fee, what makes it different from other websites, I would say...."Because the PianoMagic site delivers the ability to play piano by ear". But not JUST the ability to play by ear, but to play by ear with emotion, to give a tune just enough twist, that you knew it was played from the heart, one that makes the listener not want the tune to end!

I wanted to learn to play by ear. I KNEW that when...and if...I ever learned to play, that I did NOT want it to sound like I was reading each and every little note from a page in a book. I wanted my music to sound more full, different, from the heart, with emotion, mesmerizing. I wanted to sound like some of the performers that I had heard and had questioned in the past, asking them if they were reading their music or playing by ear. Of their music that I remembered and made such an impression on me that made me ask that question, their answers were all the same...."playing by ear".

PianoMagic will teach you what you want to know and it doesn't matter about the level you are at currently, it's the real deal! The members are so helpful....and in my honest opinion, our teacher is an absolute piano-playing genius...that can flat-out teach!!!!



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