Coloured note piano method

  1. mmsteer profile image51
    mmsteerposted 9 years ago

    Id like to tell you my experience as a piano teacher of how using coloured noteheads has revolutionised children's learning. Yes, to a point this is a info-mercial because i have published it, but actually my motivation in publishing it was not commercial but a wish to see children's experience of learning music transformed in the way it has been for my own pupils.
    My background is a broadcast composer /writer (hundreds of productions for BBC) & Head of 20thC Studies at the Junior Royal College of Music. The intermediate steps by which I became a rural piano teacher in Wiltshire UK need not feature here, but they included an increasing disenchantment with the discourse of professional music. When I was approached to teach a child in the village where Id moved I realised this was a perfect opportunity to put all the 'child-centred' ideas Id evolved at the RCM but which simply didnt fit in that high-pressure environment.
    I began to advertise that I taught without exams & over the next few years pulled in a range of interesting parents who all didnt want their children to be schlept throu the exam racket. About 6 years ago my music program Logic introduced coloured noteheads, so I experimented by using them with an extremely dyslexic pupil, and the effect was immediate. I then intro'd them to all my pupils, and the effect was immediate there too.
    So I thought this has to be the mega discovery of this century. And you know what? Not one teaching colleag or publisher was remotely interested! I thought I must be viewed as a complete madman if nobody would take my word that it made the difference of night & day to beginner's experience & progress. And then I realised the awful truth – most teaching colleags & publishers simply dont care! As long as they make money sticking in the same tired old grooves theyre happy.
    What changed my experience from one of incredulity at my inability to communicate my discovery (which seemed to me as important as penicillin in musical terms) was the backing of the MD of a large bookshop chain who had seen the difference in effect of one of his children learning with my method as opposed to his older two who had learnt (unhappily) in a conventional way. He intro'd me to a multinational publisher, who seemed red hot until my friend's company was taken over & he was out. Then, with little ceremony, they dumped me.
    It took me a year to pick myself up after such a calculated slap & then I decided that as I have a designer son & am pretty techy Id publish it myself. Which I did about a year ago.
    I will not breach netiquette by telling you what it is or where you can see it unless someone 'drops a hat' - in which case, before it reaches the ground, Ill give you full details.
    Maxwell Steer

  2. cynthiaalise profile image60
    cynthiaaliseposted 8 years ago

    I think that there is room for innovation in any subject.  I am glad that you are undertaking this work and hop that you do not sway from your teaching method because it isn't accepted by the establishment.  Best of luck on everything.

  3. caspar profile image66
    casparposted 8 years ago

    Your method sounds very interesting, but not just for children. I started having piano lessons as an adult and I found reading music very difficult, especially reading two lines at the same time and making each hand do something made my brain hurt! Unfortunately my then 2 year old daughter used to cry every time I practised (can't blame her really) and I gave up after struggling with the stress of taking my Grade 1 (embarrassing sitting in the waiting room with 5 year olds.)

    I think a colourful method would be good for adult beginners too.