BrillKids Forum

EARLY LEARNING => Teaching Your Child Music => Topic started by: Lappy on September 14, 2010, 07:57:55 AM



Title: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: Lappy on September 14, 2010, 07:57:55 AM
Did you know...  :rolleyes:

(http://www.brillkids.com/images/main-images/icon33.png) Playing an instrument can improve your child's grades and test scores?
(http://www.brillkids.com/images/main-images/icon33.png) Playing the piano can improve your child's self-esteem?
(http://www.brillkids.com/images/main-images/icon33.png) Playing music can help your children understand math better?
(http://www.brillkids.com/images/main-images/icon33.png) Playing music can help your children get into medical school?
(http://www.brillkids.com/images/main-images/icon33.png) Playing music can make a person emotionally healthier?
(http://www.brillkids.com/images/main-images/icon33.png) Playing music helps under-achievers?
(http://www.brillkids.com/images/main-images/icon33.png) The world's top academic countries place a high value on music education?

(http://new.brillkids.com/ext/images/pwa-report-3.png) (http://www.brillkids.com/ext/partners/join-the-mailing-list.php)

Sign up for our Music Mailing List and download the free report (http://www.brillkids.com/ext/partners/join-the-mailing-list.php)
   
How Music Can Dramatically Affect Your Child's Development and Life-Time Success
A Summary of the Current Scientific Literature Concerning Music and the Mind


And after you’ve read the report, don’t forget to share your opinions with us here – we’d love to know what you think!  :yes:

We've also invited an expert to help us gain a little more insight about this topic:

Introducing Chris Salter

(http://d2.brillkids.com/upload/files/Emails-ELE/images/pwa-01.jpg)

Chris Salter is the founder and CEO of Music Wizard Group. He had no previous music education, but one day he signed up for a group piano class and ended up staying there for 4 years. He went on to get a double degree in Music and Linguistics from SIU, and then a Master’s degree in Musicology from UCLA.

Music literally changed his life, and this led him to founding the Music Wizard Academy, which develops a unique method of teaching children music.

Chris has been gracious enough to offer us his help by joining us at the Forum to answer your questions about teaching your children the wonderful subject of music!

So for those of you who haven't read the report as yet - do sign up for the mailing list and read through it.  And when you have time, visit us and share your insight with the rest of the parents here in the community


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: KL on September 16, 2010, 05:16:20 AM
Welcome, Chris! Looking forward to you sharing all your wisdom with the members!


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: ChrisSalter on September 16, 2010, 05:19:58 AM
Hello all,

I am reposting a response I posted in another part of this forum because I think it will be useful to most parents as at least food for thought, and will give you some sense of my approach to learning music. I absolutely believe that Mozart learned music as if it was a native language, and believe it is possible and great to start them young and make it fun.

   
Re: How to teach music to my son while I am not good at it at all??

My background is in linguistics and music, and what fascinated me was how children all over the world learn to speak whatever language is around them fluently through some kind of natural language acquisition process. I wondered how that could be used to learn music as well, so here are some suggestions. First things first, kids learn by doing, not abstractly studying music theory or notation. "Music first, then studies" said Franz Liszt.

A) Dance with them. Movement in rhythm embeds the rhythm in their bodies. Be crazy and fun, and let them mimic you, in fact make a game of it where you do something crazy to the rhythm and then they follow and then switch. This is "call and response" or modeling. Brazilians use the samba, and while they start drumming early, they dance first.

B) Sing with them, if you are off key, sing along with music you like and then things they like. Play guessing games with classical music (Dum dum dum daaah! Who was that? "Beethoven!") Look for call and response type songs where the lead singer sings something and the chorus mimics or "answers" them. Look for that in Motown music, soul, etc, but it is in classical as well, like in Spring by Vivaldi.

C) Play drums with them. You might find drum circles around your town, or just put on some funky music and beat on some tables or clang a fork on a glass, but don't be afraid to have "loud time" and "free time". Then go into more follow the leader stuff (boom BOOM . . . boom BOOM) You can do this with words too (Boom shaka laka BOOM shaka laka BOOM shaka laka BOOM) alternating in a call and response. They learn by mimicking you. They also learn it is OK to be wrong and silly from you. Relax and have fun. It helps to have loud music in the background and join in rather than create it from scratch.

D) As they get comfortable with simple rhythms, go to a piano and choose just a couple of keys to improvise rhythmically on. The piano is a percussion instrument and by starting with 2, then 3 notes, you can have a lot of fun and get funky.

E) We learn our first language passively at first. A one year old can understand dozens of words, but speak only a few. Saturate your children with all kinds of music and make them guess who is who, from Pop, to classical to folk, and make it a game. They will surprise you. Learn a few motifs or signature hooks from some pieces or songs and sing them and develop a little repertoire of great pieces you admire and sing just fragments and make them guess, then have them sing songs to you and guess too. Move to identifying different instruments in songs or pieces, so they recognize piano, harp, horn, sax, Taiko drum, whatever you can pick out.

F) Make the adventure of learning about music something you share with them. You don't need to be the expert, just the courageous guide, saying, "Let's live dangerously, and listen to this!" When they bring their songs (they  may be soundtracks to video games) break them down like you would Mozart. Language is built brick by brick with vocabulary, music is the same, give them lots of interesting musical bricks to play with, and soon they will be wanting to build their own structures and be fascinated with how others did things.

I hope these ideas help.

Thanks

Chris Salter
Music Wizard Group


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: LilViolet on September 16, 2010, 06:00:57 AM
Thanks, Chris, those tips are very interesting!

I remember my mum used to play her classical music CDs for us whenever we were studying for tests at school and I think it did help us focus on what we were reading -- not to mention, I eventually did the same thing when I needed to concentrate on work!  lol

I also believe that it is possible to "pass on" your love of music to your kids, even if you can't play an instrument or carry a tune. My mum was able to do it, so I think I can manage to do the same too!


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: MutyaB on September 16, 2010, 06:26:10 AM
Thanks for the report, it was most interesting. I guess it just confirms what most of us parents here already know - that music can play an enormous role on the growth of our children.  Although the report was quite short, I found it informative.

And thanks for the tips Chris. I've already started doing a few of those exercises with the kids, especially the mimicking activity. Kids are great that way, they enjoy imitating what the adults do, and it IS a fantastic way to g et them started on their music education

I'm particularly interested to learn more about how music can help with learning math - just because I can't quite wrap my head around the concept. The report provides proof of this positive effect, but not how. If any of you can explain how this is done, I'd be grateful.

As a musician, I am inclined to agree on how music can impact our lives and the lives of our children - only because I've experienced first-hand how music can literally move people to greater heights. I can only hope that I can pass on this love of music to my kids.



Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: Hsmummy on September 18, 2010, 05:18:52 AM
Thanks for the report - and the tips. I read the report this morning and was left with the thought "so how do I do this?". I didnt receive any musical teaching beyond the very basic at school. I was and still am what you might call mathematically challenged but the opportunities to help my children in this fascinate me. So I was highly relieved to find the tips.

As a totally unscientific aside the paper got me thinking about the people (friends /family) that I know who are musical and how well they have done in life compared to those of us that arent. And from this annecdotal evidence I can totally see the point.

Im going to try the tips - we had quite unwittingly been doing some of them - lead by my little girl's current ideas - but Id really like to know more and how to keep this going. I looked on the internet just now for example,  for piano lessons in the area I live for pre schoolers - and perhaps unsurprisingly found nothing !?


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: tatianna on September 20, 2010, 03:02:32 AM
i signed up to read the e book and now i can't find the link
what should i do?

thanks for the info by the way
karma


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: ChrisSalter on September 20, 2010, 06:35:33 AM
Check your junk mail folder, there should be a link in an email to get it. If not, try and register again. You will enjoy it.

Thanks

Chris


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: Lappy on September 20, 2010, 08:40:31 AM
Hi Tatianna! Chris is right - do check your email junk folder for the confirmation link.

In case you didn't get it, please check the PM I just sent you. :happy:


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: ChrisSalter on September 21, 2010, 08:36:49 PM
More tips

For those of you who have little or no experience teaching or playing music, getting your kids started seems like a very daunting task better left to professionals. But kids will do nothing you say and everything you do, which is life's way of making us better people! So, we need to lead a little by example, and remember it is not the complexity of music, (language and math are complex and we do OK with them) it is the way we learn that is important.

Follow the leader. Start with a simple song (A Simple Song by Sly and the Family Stone is one) and teach it to them in pieces, either singing, clapping or both. I sometimes pat out a song on my daughter's head or belly and ask her to guess what song it is. I choose classic riffs like Eine Kleine Nachtmusic by Mozart or Beethoven's fifth. I play guess what is playing in the car (I have control of the CD player, and confess I sometimes bribe them to get them started). If they ask me a question ("What does Baroque mean?") I look it up in Wikipedia and read it out loud (NOT while driving!). I am musically curious and lead by example, and I am interactive with them to dissect music into phrases and patterns. I don't CARE about conventional terms, I care that I am listening with a way to break it down and see how it comes together.

For example, Vivaldi's Four Seasons, "Spring" is based on a very universal musical trait of pattern creation (expectaion) then variation. Almost all music uses this in some way.
First verse
Bada bum bum bum bada ba
Second verse repeats
Bada bum bum bum bada ba
Then the third varies from that pattern and expectation
Bada bum bada bum bum bum bada bum . . .

And that kind of AAB pattern is one of the hidden keys to musical enjoyment, because there are endless variations on that. (I think the group ABBA named themselves for a popular song format of First verse, variation, repeat variation and back to first verse) You can hear this in all kinds of songs, Blues, Classical, Rock, Pop, percussion, it is everywhere if you start noticing, and it can become your building blocks to talk about virtually any music and notice its magic being built one phrase at a time.

The second great principle to listen for is tension, release. That might be done with dissonance (tension) and then harmony (release) or with tension being caused by confusion (variation) and release being the return (repeat of an earlier phrase). Blues music has a universal 12 bar pattern that is the base, and it harmonically establishes the base harmony, then shifts to a new harmony, (tension) shifts again (more tension) and returns to the base key. It is a wheel of theme and variations, tension and release and that is how it hooks and rehooks us. Most ethnic rhythms are the same in creating a pattern and then surprising you with a variation.

Hope this was good food for thought, they are simple tools but so basic you will find these elements everywhere. It is tough to write about these things, but once you start to look for them, you will find them in virtually everything you listen to, and it will give you new appreciation and tools to talk about and create with with your children on this life long journey of music making and appreciation. More later.


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: Luana on September 22, 2010, 08:21:45 AM
Hi Chris,
Great tips.   :)
I am aware of the benefits of music and saw its effects on my older son.
As I also have a toddler with Down Syndrome (she is three and non-verbal at the moment but loves music) I would like to know if you have any experience with DS kids. Would it be needed a different approach or you would use the same as for any other kid? What instrument would you go with and at what age.
Thanks,
Luana


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: michelleclk on September 25, 2010, 09:51:19 AM
Hi All(",)! :laugh: My baby is two months old. May i know what sort of music is suitable for my baby ?
 :biggrin:


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: bella on September 25, 2010, 02:52:10 PM
hi chris , thank you so much for your tips . i know i can learn a lot from you . i have absolutely no music experience and i cannot sing , my husband can , i kind of squeak when i sing , i cannot follow rythm , i don't know if i can do something about it or if it can be taught , but i wanted my babies to grow loving and appreciating music , so from birth i played different music cds , we live in very remote area no toddler music , no music classes , so i am always on the look to dvds that both me and my babies can learn from . i got some baby and me music dvds from australia and those were great , we listened , danced , and played with the music , using various instruments scarves,...
i like to do more . how to teach my child to play aan instrument if i myself cannot , this is when i found soft way to mozart through this group , i thought maybe i can start by learning myself and play for my kid . but even the task of choosing the right digital keyboard to use with this program is hard . i have no cle what is good instrument , good keyboard, do i really need to spend a fortune for a start ?? i was looking at some yamaha , or casio , there are some with 61 keys some with more  , some with lighning keys some no ,... they can range from 100 pounds to 1000 pounds . what can be considered good one to start with at home to foster love for music and learn some playing ???
also i am looking at a specific program : themes to remember which got postive reviews from homeschooler .
of course for a person who doesnt have music background and is desperate to teach her kids they all look wonderful , but i often found myself buying something to be disappointed after .
 can you look at those programs and advice if they are good or not . i am hoping with themes to remember , i can be more consistent and organized in including music in our daily life , great variety , information for me to learn from and pass along to the kids .

we read a lot about the benefit of music but we really like some practical advice on how to do it .
cannot wait to read your reply
viv


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: bella on September 25, 2010, 02:54:14 PM
i also signed up but didn't get any ebook .
viv


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: Ouroboros1 on September 26, 2010, 02:54:38 AM
Viv, check in your spam folder.  Sometimes the email can get shipped there depending on how strict your email filtering is.


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: ChrisSalter on September 28, 2010, 05:44:29 PM
More tips

One of the great secrets of learning is that we must, either within ourselves or within our children and homes, create an environment where it is OK to fail. Not only is it OK, it is expected, even relished on a daily basis. This seems completely contradictory, but it is not, IF failure is accompanied by feedback and learning, and a re-attempt, and more learning.

On an abstract level this seems logical, but on a practical level we try too often and too soon for "perfection". But let's think about how a child learns one of the most complex and amazing skills they will ever master, to speak. First they observe, and begin to make associations passively to words, like their name, and family names, then objects, etc. All of this going on without formal instruction, the mind of the infant looking to "make sense" of its world, and relate to it.

Then it begins to mimic the sounds of speech around it, PLAYING with sounds, without judgement, getting POSITIVE feedback when it approximates or mimics adults sounds around it. ("Dada!") Rarely do parents "correct" every bit of gibberish a child experiments with, though they will MODEL the sound they think the baby is trying to say (yes, "DADDY")

The child will make thousands of such guesses, with gradual and mostly positive feedback begin to sort out on its own the "logic" of the language and begin to organize words, ("Dada go here!"), over generalizing and missing the nuances of here or there, past or present tenses, etc, but again they are encouraged and corrected, parents are amazed and delighted, not critical and judgmental (at least not at this stage).

They begin to learn from their siblings and peers, caretakers and extended family, they watch people's faces to get the nuances of pronunciation (This is why "r" and "l" and some vowel sounds are learned later, the visual cues are not obvious like they are with a "b" or "o" sound.)

During this whole process, they are expected and encouraged to fail (try). To try means to risk failure, allowing feedback, correction and refined learning. We do this naturally, gently and constantly with children with language, and no matter where they  are born, how "complex", "weird" or "obscure" the language, they learn it fluently, mostly without trauma! (I do remember some "experiments" with swear words that did not end nicely!)

Now think about most of your music lessons as a kid. MOST of us found ourselves judged, condemned and hanged at the court of musical correctness before we got out of our first lesson. We were like the "Marathon Man" character being tortured by the Nazi dentist who kept asking us these questions we could not yet answer. ("Is it SAFE?").

How did (does) that work out for most of us? Very poorly.

So, my strongest advice is to create a loving and fun environment where children and adults can "play" with music, make mistakes, enjoy them, learn from them, incorporate the feedback and try something different.

I believe it takes at least 10,000 mistakes to learn a foreign language, or deep skill like math or music. Each mistake (and correction) takes us closer to mastery, so we need to both feel safe and get busy making those mistakes in the most fun and supportive environment we can! The more fun or at least effortless it is to make mistakes (try) the more we can learn. The more we traumatize ourselves or our children for trying and missing, the more cautious we become, the more we narrow our vision, the less we learn, and in this ever changing world, being afraid to fail and learn could be the worst thing we could teach our children.

More later.

Thanks

Chris


(I taught English in Brazil, where by and large my students were undisciplined (did not study) and then later in Japan where they were very diligent. However, the Brazilians learned about 10 times faster, because they were not afraid to come to class and "wing it" or try to speak. I could correct each of them dozens of times in a single class, and they learned through doing. The Japanese were terrified to make a mistake, I had to beg for them to answer simple questions, they looked at their notes, stopped in shame at every error, and if I could correct a half a dozen utterances in a whole class I was lucky. The willingness to try and fail gave the Brazilians a profound advantage over their much more diligent Japanese counterparts. I was persistent but gentle in my corrections with each, the difference was in the self judgement, inhibitions and exaggerated sense of shame. Bring these ideas to music and you will see it flower and thrive in unexpected ways. Prune that garden rarely and very gently, instead feed it, water it and fertilize it, as Mr. Suzuki would say.)


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: khatty on September 29, 2010, 07:06:30 AM
I signed up but also didn't receive an email.  I checked my spam filter and there was no email.  Could someone please send me a copy/link.  Thanks.


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: LilViolet on October 06, 2010, 04:31:20 PM
...
One of the great secrets of learning is that we must, either within ourselves or within our children and homes, create an environment where it is OK to fail. Not only is it OK, it is expected, even relished on a daily basis. This seems completely contradictory, but it is not, IF failure is accompanied by feedback and learning, and a re-attempt, and more learning.
...
I believe it takes at least 10,000 mistakes to learn a foreign language, or deep skill like math or music. Each mistake (and correction) takes us closer to mastery, so we need to both feel safe and get busy making those mistakes in the most fun and supportive environment we can! The more fun or at least effortless it is to make mistakes (try) the more we can learn. The more we traumatize ourselves or our children for trying and missing, the more cautious we become, the more we narrow our vision, the less we learn, and in this ever changing world, being afraid to fail and learn could be the worst thing we could teach our children.
....

I also believe that it's ok to make mistakes, because often that's the best way to learn (by heart, even) anything! I regret not being adventurous enough to actually try a lot of things back then, such as playing an instrument or singing (on my own, like in a contest/recital, for example), as I was afraid of failing to do it "perfectly." In the end I've always stuck to just the few things that I knew or that I was consistently good in.

Maybe it had something to do with the fact that both of my parents were the best or smartest in their families, and they were very eager on making us grow up to be as amazing as they are. Another factor here is how one parent often compares us with other peoples' children or with each other, while the other parent supports, encourages and acknowledges each of us for whatever achievement (and non-achievement) we have -- looking back, it was indeed very confusing (and somewhat counterproductive)!  :rolleyes:

I'm still afraid of failing (at being a good parent), but I'm convincing myself little by little that there's no harm in trying. Hopefully I can manage to be as supportive as possible, and my kids won't be afraid to try new things so they will not miss out on discovering the many many things that they can do. I also hope they'd be able to understand and appreciate music even if their current teacher isn't exactly well-versed in the topic!

Looking forward to more fantastic tips! At the moment I'm quite curious about how to figure out when it's the "right time" to introduce playing instruments, or what instruments to show first, to different kids. I'm looking at the piano, just because that was the very first instrument I've discovered when I was little (my grandparents from both sides had a piano at home) lol


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: HH on October 09, 2010, 12:24:58 AM
More tips

(I taught English in Brazil, where by and large my students were undisciplined (did not study) and then later in Japan where they were very diligent. However, the Brazilians learned about 10 times faster, because they were not afraid to come to class and "wing it" or try to speak. I could correct each of them dozens of times in a single class, and they learned through doing. The Japanese were terrified to make a mistake, I had to beg for them to answer simple questions, they looked at their notes, stopped in shame at every error, and if I could correct a half a dozen utterances in a whole class I was lucky. The willingness to try and fail gave the Brazilians a profound advantage over their much more diligent Japanese counterparts. I was persistent but gentle in my corrections with each, the difference was in the self judgement, inhibitions and exaggerated sense of shame. Bring these ideas to music and you will see it flower and thrive in unexpected ways. Prune that garden rarely and very gently, instead feed it, water it and fertilize it, as Mr. Suzuki would say.)

Portuguese language belongs to group of Latin languages and in common with English via:
1.   Pronunciation
2.    Vocabulary
3.   Alphabet
However, Japanese belongs to completely different group.
Therefore, Brazilian students were learning more gradually then Japanese and it has nothing to do with the reason that you had mentioned.

Here some video about natural proportions in learning:

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Here is some article about it:

I cannot stress my words enough when speaking about the gradualness that is necessary to go from simple to complex. Many years ago, while still studying in the conservatory, I stumbled upon an interesting hypothesis in observation of the proportion of the mind’s acceptance of new material. I can’t remember the name of the author but his words have been engraved into my memory: for one part of new material, there should be a minimum of three parts of what’s already been learned. In other words, there can’t be more than 25% of new information.

When working with my students, I’ve always tried to keep to this formula, and it’s never let me down. I tried to organize all that is new and unfamiliar so that the base of knowledge was always about three times more.

Often, I’ve asked myself this question: why must there be exactly one fourth of new stuff, and not a third or half? Here is what I’ve decided. At which moment does a person start to understand a new language without a dictionary? When he learns a minimum of three-fourths of the words. Here is a good example.
Let’s take the sentence "Mike is going to ______." Where is Mike going?
To guess without an identifying word is impossible. The known information comprises two-thirds, and the unknown, one-third.
But if we read "Mike is going to ______ to learn," then it isn’t at all hard to guess that he is going to school, an institute, or some type of lesson. There are three-fourths of known information, and only one-fourth of the unknown.

This exact formula is used on alphabet blocks, too. The child is familiar with the image of the Apple, the word "Apple," and the symbol of a letter. All that is unknown is one-fourth, the name of the letter. It is easily guessed with the help of the givens, which he already understands.

New information is easily perceived when it has a minimum of three sources of support. It is possible that this is one of the main laws of human perception. At the foundation of any reasonable education is a progression from simple to complex. But how complex can the new information be in relation to the simple? How steep can the ascent be in order for the person to develop without any overloading and trauma? My experience says that the "incline" should be limited to one-fourth of unfamiliar information.

Once, I discovered several of my company’s competitors on the internet. They’ve also created a computer game that teaches the student to play the piano. The authors did think of flipping the music staff, but tried to tie it to the keys with graphics: they colored the notes and keys with the same hue. All that the beginner had to do was match the keys to the notes of that color. As I explained earlier, this dependence on color isn’t the best guide for the student’s perception, but worse, the process breaks off entirely as the student progresses. "They learn intuitively to hit the right note at the right time. Gradually, as their skill level advances, so does the game. Before you know it, it isn't just a video game anymore; it's reading music."[18] As for how exactly one can cross from the blind copying of different colors to really reading the music text, the creator doesn’t have the slightest idea.

Unfortunately, the majority of methodological programs that have decent ideas for beginners stop short of developing their skills gradually, from simple to complex. Teachers only vaguely imagine what gradualness is, and how to build a staircase that the student won’t stumble down, scrambling along the missing steps without a handrail to hold on to.
http://softmozart.on.ufanet.ru/smbookeng/music16.htm



Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: ChrisSalter on October 11, 2010, 09:14:57 PM
I am reposting and editing some posts from other sections to summarize our position on color coding, and our logic. This is not to put down other systems, only explain our thinking, process and results.

There is a lot of talk about whether colors work in teaching or if people will be hopelessly tied to color coding and never learn to read sheet music (contradictory assertions by the way, which is it, it doesn't work or it works too well?)

I am not going to argue about this, just post one of many videos, one that for me closes the case that anyone can both learn with the colors and then learn to transition to music notation. He is not an exception, he is the norm, even though he faced extraordinary challenges. We learn best by doing, and the game is designed to transition children from the colors to the reading. Here is one irrefutable piece of proof.

http://www.amazon.com/Wizard-Premier-Silver-M-Audio-Keyboard/product-reviews/B001ARGZEC/ref=cm_cr_dp_all_summary?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

I cannot compare this to Soft Mozart, I have not used the system, she seems to have success with it, but I am pretty sure she has not used Piano Wizard Academy either. When you see Piano Wizard Academy in action, there is no more argument about whether it works or not, and the children are insisting on doing it again and again.

There is a method to our color coding madness, as there is in DoReMeFaSoft, it is different, but let me explain ours. First, color coding often restricts itself to the white keys, or diatonic scale in C major. This is obviously a dead end, as most music is not in C or does not stay there if it is. We decided to map the colors to the chromatic scale, or all 12 notes. We used white for "C" because that is a reference note for many styles of teaching. We experimented with following the color wheel at first, but the adjacent colors (red, orange, yellow, light green etc) were too similar to distinguish easily. So we tried contrasting colors, and it was a lot of work to come up with something that both worked (first priority) and was not aesthetically clashing. We finally decided to let the white keys be pastels, and fluorescent type colors, with the black keys being darker, and we distanced dark green and light green so they weren't adjacent, same with blue and red. We used white and black and brown because we wanted colors that were not subtle that any kid could see and say. That being said, the biggest issue was to be able to map to MIDI. MIDI means Music Instrument Digital Interface, and it is a computer protocol that has been around for over 20 years, and there are hundreds of thousands of songs online in this format (we are upgrading our Wizardtunes to include tens of thousands of legal MIDI files from Hal Leonard Corp). Computers could not handle the confusing code of music notation, so they created something much more mathematical and simple to translate to computers. Then people translate the MIDI into music notation. We used this bridge technology to create a system that turns almost any song written in music notation or MIDI into a game, that would then take them back to the notation. By mapping the colors to the chromatic scale we ensured that anything from Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto could be played in the game. That consideration of making this open source so people could load and learn their favorite music became our main consideration for the 12 color system. We transition the kids to fingering numbers before taking the colors away completely, so the color coding is just a step along their path to music literacy, one dropped in the last two steps of the 5 step process.

 We also had to deal with two different color schemes CMYK used for print and RGB used for computer screens and other backlit sources, so our stickers are actually printed on a 10 color pantone printer, quite expensive, but it helps the kids see the colors on the screen match the ones on the keyboard. The stickers are washable and removable, so they can be put on virtually any digital or MIDI keyboard.

A little history is perhaps in order. We first developed the game, and its curriculum was just a random collection of folk, classical and pop songs. While it had the four steps, it did not have any supporting materials how to use them to move from the game to sheet music, nor did it have a step-wise set of songs to take someone gradually from zero to 60. In other words there was no smooth path or guidance. It was at this time Fisher-Price licensed the program from us for a toy version, "I Can Play Piano". This was our first deal with a Fortune 100 company (Mattel) and we learned a lot about this process. First, they did not know music at all (in fact their keyboard was missing a key when it came out) and their arrangements were worse than ours for easy learning. As you know, music is infinitely complex and some kind of sequence needs to be laid out or people can get quickly overwhelmed. Parallel with this we of course saw those gaps, but did not want to do something half way. At that time my former piano teacher, Don Beattie, founder of the International Beethoven Society, MC of the World Piano Pedagogy Conference and 30 year professor of piano pedagogy at SIU embraced the task along with his wife Delayna, also with about 20 years experience with children, to create a solid, play tested piano curriculum to go with the game. This took him about 18 months to complete, and he worked with children every step of the way to optimize that sequence and those arrangements. He was having spectacular results from those kids, children with behavior issues were doing their homework to be able to "practice piano", a girl with dyslexia's reading improved to grade level, his college student helpers were changing their majors to music education based on their rich experiences, and more. He then came to Boulder Colorado to do the first every "boot camp" of a week long intensive class at our local school, a kind of summer camp for kids. The children were grouped ages 3-6 in the morning, 7-12 year olds in the afternoon, the classes were about an hour long, 4 days in a row, and then the fifth day, a Friday, they had a little recital. On that fifth day, the kids had learned up to 20 songs in a single week (Books 1 and 2 of the Academy) and were reading at the grand piano with no tears or trauma. You talk about my enthusiasm, but even I was stunned. I realized that Don had a lot more science and art behind his choices of curriculum then I had realized, and that somehow his contribution needed to be captured. We spent the next 18 months filming 50 lessons, each based on one of the first 50 songs, but gearing the video lessons toward PARENTS and NON-music educators, with extensive notes for piano teachers included. This was the creation of a much deeper product, the Piano Wizard Academy, which I don't believe you really understand, is much deeper than the original game we designed years before. We also modified the game play, and created the sheet music, created an Academy Quickstart DVD so people could get a handle on all the was involved.

As for reviews and testimonials, I only gave you one (above), we have dozens and dozens, but that one testimonial, spontaneous words of gratitude from a mother and a video she posted online, speaks volumes for me. If you read the mother's words, you realize that somehow this game and method reached even someone who had trouble with basic language and comprehension, couldn't understand even toddler programs on TV like Teletubbies, but was now playing piano and reading music, with his language abilities improving as well. My point is, this dramatic example proves it will work for almost anyone. We see every day other examples, but his moved us beyond words.

I consider this system to be "training wheels" for the piano, nothing more, nothing less. A great way to get started without the normal trauma associated with learning music, and especially reading, which as you know is usually where you lose most kids, and yet is fundamental to their musical literacy. This program, the Piano Wizard Academy, is NOT the only way, the only path, the be all end all. It is a great tool, and a welcome advance, and designed for people with NO music or education experience to be able to succeed quickly and consistently. One day I would like to meet with you HH, perhaps at a conference, and we can trade notes as fellow colleagues both on the same mission, to bring music to the world, and make it a universal language, for the betterment of mankind. I know what we have, and I am sure there is great merit in what you have, as there is in Suzuki practices etc., but this is another approach, and it is WORKING. Thank God for that, and God bless everyone trying to find a better way for all.

Thanks

Chris Salter
CEO and Founder
Piano Wizard Academy

PS We are working with BrillKids to create a special package for their readers for the holidays, anyone interested in our Piano Wizard Academy system may want to wait a few weeks to take advantage of that offer, which will have discounts and bonuses as well.


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: HH on October 11, 2010, 09:54:52 PM
Please, answer my concrete questions! http://forum.brillkids.com/teaching-your-child-music/piano-wizard/15/
Thank you!


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: ChrisSalter on October 11, 2010, 10:15:54 PM
This is to HH above. Somehow my web page did not load the videos you posted until after I had posted, but I wanted to respond to your video and post about language. First of all, I loved the video, it illustrates well some of the different approaches and pros and cons, also that we need to take things in steps. I would go a little further in this exploration of how we learn, and list some common pathways.

1) Trauma. This is obviously built into our DNA to ensure survival, but of course not the preferred way to teach or learn! In fact Post Traumatic Stress Disorder shows how our complex nervous systems can be damaged and cross wired, and how deep and permanent this kind of learning is. Hopefully no piano teachers use this, though it is the stereotype.
2) Association. We have all used association to remember things, this is a technique that is very natural for us, and in fact we need to leverage it often. Association gives memorable context that we can often revive later to remember the rest.
3) Metaphor or analogy. We use metaphors constantly to explain and understand things. For example, we talk about currents of electricity, but it really has nothing to do with water currents, it is an analogy that helps us make sense of something. Myths, and whole sciences use this constantly to explain results in a way the makes sense to us.
4) Modeling. This is one of our primary modes of learning, by imitation, and a large part of the logic of Suzuki method, or any parent based learning. "Kids will do nothing you say and everything you do." It is in our DNA as well, as almost every learning animal does this.
5) Play. This is a higher mode of learning, again we see this in many forms, sports, games, improvisation, imitation, it is how we "test out" ideas in a safe environment. Some kinds of play translate into the real world better than others, but the attraction of play is probably because those who play learn more and faster. Play should be safe, a place to make mistakes and learn from them without condemnation or shame, which was my point about how embarrassed Japanese speakers were to make mistakes, hindering their ability to learn. We learn by doing.
6) Chunking. This is addressed a little in the video above, but let me be clearer. We "chunk" information into "units" to better handle it. One example is a phone number. Put the ten digits together without dashes or spaces and it is almost impossible to read let alone remember. Break it down into chunks and no problem. We don't read or hear words letter by letter or sound by sound, we break it into words, and then phrases ("on the porch" rather than "on" "the" "porch"). We do this with music as well, taking notes into motifs into phrases into melodies into movements, etc. So breaking information down into manageable "chunks" and then adding them up and connecting them is critical for creative use of the information we gain.
7) Repetition. One of the mainstays, but here is some color on how to make that much less boring. First, repetition through variation, in other words, learn the same thing different ways, through colors, singing, movement, names, fingering, etc. Second is "Practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect." (Vince Lombardi). Real attention to the quality of the repetition is important, so you don't have to unlearn things.
8) The proportion of new to old, as in the video above. She points out that Portuguese and English are both related languages (Indo-European) and so share many cognates (different or differente?) that English and Japanese do not. Very true, though my focus in the classes was on pronunciation, and the differences there between English and Portuguese and English and Japanese are about the same, i.e, there is mostly overlap in the sound sets, with some key differences like "L" and "R" for Japanese speakers, but "TH" and "R" for Portuguese speakers. The point is, moving from known to unknown should be broken down into bite size pieces (chunks) and use of metaphors (known process like how water currents work to unknown theory about how electricity works) . But taking kids from A to Z doesn't work, they need the letters in between, and a lot of times we need to back up and rephrase so they can absorb it. When we do that, they catch on very fast.

I for one am enjoying these conversations and think HH is also fascinated with how people learn and how we can leverage different modalities to teach and learn better. Thanks again for the video.

Chris


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: priatezeta on October 17, 2010, 07:07:36 PM
Even though I am currently set up to get the e-mail updates on learning music though BrillKids I find myself checking the website to see if it has come out at least once a week! I can't wait!
For now we are just using a key board to get familiar with the keys. I have little ABCDEFG stickers on the keys and my 2 year old will find all the A's etc. I'm so excited!


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: HH on October 17, 2010, 07:51:49 PM
Even though I am currently set up to get the e-mail updates on learning music though BrillKids I find myself checking the website to see if it has come out at least once a week! I can't wait!
For now we are just using a key board to get familiar with the keys. I have little ABCDEFG stickers on the keys and my 2 year old will find all the A's etc. I'm so excited!

What's a great idea!

When I only just started learning, I found a treasure: a small knick on one of the keys of my piano. Thank you, whoever it was that put it there! It served me as a loyal and honest hint for several years, before I completely memorized the keys of the piano. The knick was very close to Do; it was on Re! When learning new pieces, I looked to it like a ship’s captain looks for a lighthouse. Even now, I think of this tiny little scratch with appreciation and fondness. It saved me like a life vest saves a man overboard!

Because of this, I made some stickers that can be applied to every key. This is like a map of the entire space. It gives a beginner all of the information he needs. On each key, I placed its name, whether it is on a line or space (depending on its color), and in confluence with sheet music, I added the lines of the treble (green) and bass (brown) clefs. The keys, the grand staff, and the keyboard’s sound are united by stickers into a single entity.


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: Ana3 on October 20, 2010, 01:55:50 PM
Oh thank you Chris ,  I read your blog on tips for parents with little or no experience: :mellow:

I am one of those parents when I sing or attempt to teaching singing BIRDS DROP OUT OF THE SKY, poor things :wub:

I want to help my children develop a ear for tone not be tone deaf like myself  :wacko:

I do have 2 questions though:  I did sign my daugher (5) up for singing lessons.  How do I know if she is picking up the correct tones, and ihow can I tell one music teacher from another?  Does that make sense?

Thanks Ana


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: ChrisSalter on October 20, 2010, 06:16:40 PM
Ana,

Singing is actually a fairly subtle art. It involves tiny muscles in your voice box, that we are rarely trained to use correctly. You have heard of voice lessons, and even gotten some for you daughter, but you have accepted and even embraced a fundamental attitude and belief, that YOU cannot sing in tune. Perhaps right now you are not able to NOW, but you can learn to as sure as you can learn to tango. Will it take work, practice and will you feel like a fool? Yes. Do you need expert guidance and feedback? Yes. Can you learn this skill and become competent and enjoy this and share in this with your daughter? Yes.

So, first off, your attitude must shift. Then you must embrace a long (life long) and initially frustrating and embarrassing process as the cost of learning this. However, once you stop worrying and apologizing over what you don't know and can't do yet, you can begin to learn.

I will give yo a few tips to get started, but you will need a teacher for feedback and guidance most of all.

First of all, find your range, that is the lowest note on the piano you can sing, and then highest. That can expand with practice, but it will be where you start. Sing every half step, (all the black and white keys between the lowest and highest). If you have an organ sound or flute sound on your keyboard, those longer non-percussive sounds are better targets because they continue to sound and you can hone in or tune into them without it dying away. Also, try just being conscious of moving down and up in a continuous glide, occasionally stopping at the "stairs" of the notes on the keyboard. You need to be able to consciously move up or down at will so when people give you feedback (higher) you can move in the right direction. Again, like riding a bike, easy if you know, but you can learn the basics once you get out of your own way.

Second, sing long tones to each of them, working on the micromuscles in your voicebox to try and tune into each note. Some will be easier than others, there will be a patch of notes where your voice needs to shift to another mode (sometimes this is called a falsetto, but I think of it as the way your body needs to shift and adjust to lift heavier weights with your legs whereas simply lifting with your arms is enough for lighter weights.

Third, the most challenging part, where you need feedback to learn what is "right", is learning not only to figure out when you ARE in tune, but to memorize (sense memory) what that feels like so you can do that with each note. The paradox is that no matter what note you hit, it has some harmonic relationship with the target note, and so you will feel (subtly, in your throat, ears and chest perhaps) SOMETHING. When you have tired to sing in tune before, perhaps as a child, you were guessing at the correct note, and probably got it wrong, without ANY instruction as to how to adjust up or down, or what was "right". You were probably told "you have no talent" or "you are tone deaf" by an adult, or peer, and YOU TOOK THAT TO HEART. The truth is this is very tricky, and not "visual" or obvious, and so getting it "wrong" was normal, like a baby speaks "wrong" and is corrected, hopefully lovingly and repeatedly. The big difference is that most speech sounds have a strong visual component (think the letters "b" and "th", and how you can watch where to place your lips, tongue and teeth). Vowel sounds and vowel like sounds ("r" and "l") are the hardest and longest to learn. Tone is far more subtle, and with almost NO visual cues, so naturally more difficult. We also practice it MUCH LESS than we do language, so we reduce the time, and should we have some elitist, impatient or just ignorant feedback, we are not encouraged but completely humiliated.

Here also is how confusing the "right" (unison, or same tone) can be. You could be singing an octave above or below and it will feel in tune, very similar to the exact same note. OR, you could sing one of the notes that harmonizes with that note, a third, a fifth or sixth away from the notes, and it will "resonate" in some distinct way as "something". Worse, the most dramatic feeling (and most "noticeable) is when you sing the note CLOSEST to the one you are aiming for, the half step or whole step above or below the target note is the MOST DISSONANT, and it "resonates" weirdly and dramatically in your ears, throat and chest, and you think (floundering with no feedback) "there, I feel something, that must be it". And you are close, but harmonically completely dissonant, and no one helped you find how to move JUST A LITTLE up or down to "tune in" and then to REMEMBER that "tuned in feeling" so you could replicate it again.

Finally, if someone knowledgeable, with awareness, technique and patience, LOVINGLY showed you the way, you COULD learn to sing, enough to enjoy it, and to please yourself your whole life long, and who knows, after a few years or even months of practice, someone else will say, "my, you have TALENT". What you will have though is not talent, but persistence, courage and faith, and a good teacher. And the birth right of music and the right to sing.

Above all, find that kind of LOVING teacher for your daughter.

Good luck

Chris


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: Ana3 on October 20, 2010, 06:54:36 PM
WOW :biggrin:
OK, I will take baby steps
Thank you for the detailed response I will read it over and over to help guide myself. 
As for my daughter I do feel she has a caring music teacher so we will go on her guidance as I learn to adjust to my own music talent  :blush:
    As a matter of fact I did buy a book series with song/cd  by Dr. Jean, www.teachertube.com and we did it today. 
My kids love music as my husband and I do.
I did sign up and received the book with I read and now l look forward to your newsletters. :)  :)


 :biggrin: Thank you again,
Anna


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: HH on October 20, 2010, 07:02:12 PM
Ana,

Singing is actually a fairly subtle art. It involves tiny muscles in your voice box, that we are rarely trained to use correctly. You have heard of voice lessons, and even gotten some for you daughter, but you have accepted and even embraced a fundamental attitude and belief, that YOU cannot sing in tune. Perhaps right now you are not able to NOW, but you can learn to as sure as you can learn to tango. Will it take work, practice and will you feel like a fool? Yes. Do you need expert guidance and feedback? Yes. Can you learn this skill and become competent and enjoy this and share in this with your daughter? Yes.

So, first off, your attitude must shift. Then you must embrace a long (life long) and initially frustrating and embarrassing process as the cost of learning this. However, once you stop worrying and apologizing over what you don't know and can't do yet, you can begin to learn.

I will give yo a few tips to get started, but you will need a teacher for feedback and guidance most of all.

First of all, find your range, that is the lowest note on the piano you can sing, and then highest. That can expand with practice, but it will be where you start. Sing every half step, (all the black and white keys between the lowest and highest). If you have an organ sound or flute sound on your keyboard, those longer non-percussive sounds are better targets because they continue to sound and you can hone in or tune into them without it dying away. Also, try just being conscious of moving down and up in a continuous glide, occasionally stopping at the "stairs" of the notes on the keyboard. You need to be able to consciously move up or down at will so when people give you feedback (higher) you can move in the right direction. Again, like riding a bike, easy if you know, but you can learn the basics once you get out of your own way.

Second, sing long tones to each of them, working on the micromuscles in your voicebox to try and tune into each note. Some will be easier than others, there will be a patch of notes where your voice needs to shift to another mode (sometimes this is called a falsetto, but I think of it as the way your body needs to shift and adjust to lift heavier weights with your legs whereas simply lifting with your arms is enough for lighter weights.

Third, the most challenging part, where you need feedback to learn what is "right", is learning not only to figure out when you ARE in tune, but to memorize (sense memory) what that feels like so you can do that with each note. The paradox is that no matter what note you hit, it has some harmonic relationship with the target note, and so you will feel (subtly, in your throat, ears and chest perhaps) SOMETHING. When you have tired to sing in tune before, perhaps as a child, you were guessing at the correct note, and probably got it wrong, without ANY instruction as to how to adjust up or down, or what was "right". You were probably told "you have no talent" or "you are tone deaf" by an adult, or peer, and YOU TOOK THAT TO HEART. The truth is this is very tricky, and not "visual" or obvious, and so getting it "wrong" was normal, like a baby speaks "wrong" and is corrected, hopefully lovingly and repeatedly. The big difference is that most speech sounds have a strong visual component (think the letters "b" and "th", and how you can watch where to place your lips, tongue and teeth). Vowel sounds and vowel like sounds ("r" and "l") are the hardest and longest to learn. Tone is far more subtle, and with almost NO visual cues, so naturally more difficult. We also practice it MUCH LESS than we do language, so we reduce the time, and should we have some elitist, impatient or just ignorant feedback, we are not encouraged but completely humiliated.

Here also is how confusing the "right" (unison, or same tone) can be. You could be singing an octave above or below and it will feel in tune, very similar to the exact same note. OR, you could sing one of the notes that harmonizes with that note, a third, a fifth or sixth away from the notes, and it will "resonate" in some distinct way as "something". Worse, the most dramatic feeling (and most "noticeable) is when you sing the note CLOSEST to the one you are aiming for, the half step or whole step above or below the target note is the MOST DISSONANT, and it "resonates" weirdly and dramatically in your ears, throat and chest, and you think (floundering with no feedback) "there, I feel something, that must be it". And you are close, but harmonically completely dissonant, and no one helped you find how to move JUST A LITTLE up or down to "tune in" and then to REMEMBER that "tuned in feeling" so you could replicate it again.

Finally, if someone knowledgeable, with awareness, technique and patience, LOVINGLY showed you the way, you COULD learn to sing, enough to enjoy it, and to please yourself your whole life long, and who knows, after a few years or even months of practice, someone else will say, "my, you have TALENT". What you will have though is not talent, but persistence, courage and faith, and a good teacher. And the birth right of music and the right to sing.

Above all, find that kind of LOVING teacher for your daughter.

Good luck

Chris

Chris, as a musicologist with major in ear training and voice development, I should say: Bravo! Great answer!
BTW, do you know, where the do tone-deaf people come from? I did my research on that: http://softmozart.on.ufanet.ru/smbookeng/music11.htm



Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: ChrisSalter on October 20, 2010, 07:22:14 PM
Hellene,

Thanks for the link to the great article, that sounds like an interesting approach. My response was based on my own efforts to learn to sing in tune, so I sympathize with Ana and anyone else who feels left out. I also know it can be done, you just need to be a bit stubborn and thick skinned, and patient with yourself. But what a joy to be able to sing, especially in a choir, where you can feel the other voices move in and out of harmony with you. Bach's mass in B minor, the opening Kyrie, where the bass sings the long notes and the sopranos and altos shift through passing notes, I could feel them "moving" away in my chest and coming back. Amazing and profound. I wish that joy for everyone, and it is an infinite pool to play in.

Thanks

Chris


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: Kimba15 on October 21, 2010, 07:58:58 AM
Hi Chris,

I am very interested in the piano wizard academy not just for my daughter and baby but also for myself. I was wondering if it would be avaliable for purchase through a payment plan or on layby. I think in America it is called lay-away.

The Aussie dollar is so good at the moment against the American dollar. I would hate to miss out on it but it is hard for me to find $550 plus shipping this close to xmas. Is there a way around this?

I totally understand if there is not.

Kind Regards,
Kimba15


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: ChrisSalter on October 21, 2010, 05:24:33 PM
Kimber,

We are working on a payment plan and a discount for BrillKids members, plus some cool bonuses, but I want it to be the best package we can do, and easy for the members. Working on it every day to get the package together, please be al little more patient.

Thanks

Chris


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: ChrisSalter on October 22, 2010, 07:57:10 PM
We have had some spirited discussion in this forum, with lots of curiosity and different points of view. We don't shrink from that, we hope to learn from it and take the best ideas and bring those tools to our homes to help our children grow.

With that in mind, we shared a free report on "Is Music a Birthright?" that gives some perspective the challenges of learning music, and their roots, some of which was brought out in our discussions. SoftMozart has some similar, more in depth articles on the origins and challenges of traditional music notation as well. What I also added, to try and give some perspective of the range of approaches and choices, is a series of posts about the four common approaches to learning piano (up to now). Both Hellene of SoftMozart and I believe that our methods begin to shape a "fifth way", but they were both developed in the context of the limitations of the others, trying to compensate for those gaps and yet leverage their strengths. Though each method has its advocates and champions, including Hellene and I for our own, and those advocates can be as we have seen quite passionate and compelling, NONE OF THESE APPROACHES IS PERFECT. We do strive to honestly "perfect" our process every day, with more and more knowledge, and this forum has been I think very fruitful in its exploration of the options. Here is my latest contribution to that conversation.

Below is the link to that section of the forum.

http://forum.brillkids.com/teaching-your-child-music/four-common-approaches-to-learning-piano-some-pros-and-cons/msg60967/#msg60967


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: nancylls on November 02, 2010, 04:48:16 PM
Hi Chris

I am really impressed by the Piano Wizard Academy method of teaching. I have started my son on keyboard at 3 years old. He is now (4yrs 1 mth old) trying to learn In the Hall of the Mountain King by Edvard Grieg. He really loves the song ...  But getting a 3 year old to practise (esp when the learning gets tough) can be quite demanding ... :P I usually bribe him with a short pink panther cartoon should he be able to focus and concentrate.

I really hope music would be his motivation and not have to resort to Pink Panther cartoon! :p Will you be offering this system to Brillkids member at discounted price? Thanks ...


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: ChrisSalter on November 07, 2010, 01:48:52 AM
Dear parents,

As promised we have been busy working on a few special bonuses for Brillkids parents. One that is very special is my mentor Don Beattie and his wife Delayna, the team that helped create the Piano Wizard Academy have agreed to join this forum. Let me give you some background on them, both general and specific.

Don and Delayna Beattie

   During the course of their careers, Don and Delayna Beattie have touched the lives of hundreds of thousands with their enthusiastic love of music and young people, gift for piano teaching and special devotion to Beethoven.  Individually and together, they have appeared in music programs, performances and festivals in all fifty of the United States, Canada, Germany and Austria.  In June of this year, Don retired after 30 years as Director of Piano Pedagogy  in  the School of Music at Southern Illinois University Carbondale while Delayna has enjoyed a thirty year professional career as an independent music teacher.  They are parents of four children and proud grandparents of Emma Elizabeth.

   They have been blessed with countless opportunities to share their love of music and people as founder and directors of the Beethoven Society for Pianists, published authors and composers with Edition HAS and Warner Bros. with their compositions performed at the White House and throughout the world, teachers and performing artists for school children throughout the country, church music performers, master of ceremonies for World Piano Pedagogy Conferences, featured clinicians in Music Teacher National Association Conventions and for G. Henle music publishers  and as founders and directors of Piano Wizard Academy and authors of the Piano Wizard Academy's music curriculum and 50 DVD piano lesson series for Music Wizard Group.  Currently, they are “house parents” to 300 college students in an apartment community in Carbondale, Illinois where human kindness, music, food and friendship mix to create one of the most outstanding living experiences for young people in their community.

On a personal note, Don's work as a new group piano teacher at Carbondale over 30 years ago changed my life profoundly. Through his work I learned not only to play piano but to play things like Back fugues, Chopin Preludes, Beethoven Sonatas and works of Debussey, Bartok and more. I not only learned about piano but about music, and education and bringing love and spirit into the classroom. I ended up with a double major in music and linguistics though I had no prior music experience before college, his teaching and influence were that profound and effective. Years later when I developed the Piano Wizard game I shared it with my old friend and he made several suggestions, and then offered to develop the curriculum for it. That "research and development took about 18 months or so, and then he came to my son's school and did a "boot camp" for the kids for a week, and blew us all away with the impact and excitement of that magic combination of the game, his and Delayna's curriculum, and their hands on teaching. I realized that they could bring all the elements of music to the game that it was missing, and make it a profound vehicle for true musical enrichment and learning. We all invested another 18 months or more into creating a 50 lesson video series, and extending even further the original curriculum, and thus was born the Piano Wizard Academy. While not perfect, and always complemented by great music teacher, it is a breakthrough in music learning, even more powerful because it empowers the parents to coach their children in music without having to do all the heavy training and lifting normally required.

Don is the greatest teacher of any subject I ever had, and it is my blessing and privilege to share he and Delayna and their work with Brillkids parents and the world. He changed my life, and I hope he can help you change your children's lives for the better as well.

Thanks

Chris



Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: ChrisSalter on November 07, 2010, 04:14:45 AM
More free music games online

http://69.93.17.74/Music/Games-Demos/Welcome/Memory/index.cfm

This one is a great memory game for ear training.

Here are some more.

http://69.93.17.74/Music/Games-Demos/Welcome/index.cfm

Enjoy,

Thanks

Chris


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: ChrisSalter on November 07, 2010, 07:07:05 PM
-Cost saving option for overseas members-

Hi  Chris

I was so excited when I saw that the offer had come out to brillkids members - have been waiting and watching for it. I have over the last few weeks managed to convince my husband that it would be worth the expense  - helped by your posts etc. So I went to order it this morning to find that the post and packing was another £90.82 (GBP)  which has meant that the cost has now become prohibitive for us.

Is there anyway of obtaining this in the UK to reduce the costs - for example have you got enough brillkids members from the UK who want this that you could send out a mass order to 1 of us so we could then help each other distribute between ourselves? Dont know just an idea but Im so disappointed  - and I know all the arguments around the cost - its just the hidden cost of post and taxes has rather blown us away.

Look forward to hearing from you
Kind regards
Brillkids Mom


Brillkids Mom,

Where most of the challenge is is with the keyboard. I don't know if you noticed but we offered a version without a keyboard included, that saves about $100 US, but also drops the shipping cost pretty dramatically. (http://www.AutomatedSalesMachine.com/app/?Clk=3973986, then just log in and then scroll down on the exclusive offer page to the actual offer and choose the unit WITHOUT keyboard on the right)

By purchasing a keyboard locally you often save quite a bit on postage, as the weight of the package drops dramatically. ANY MIDI compatible keyboard will work with the game, but we do like the M-Audio line of KeyRig 49, which has a street price of around $100, mainly because it is simple, lightweight, and powered by the USB. (http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/KeyRig49.html) If you follow this link you can track down and contact their international distributors and find resellers in your area. Here in the US Apple stores carry them, and they are popular in music stores as well.

Taxes of course are beyond our control, but we have found that for international customers the option of getting the bundle without keyboard included and finding that locally saves them quite a bit.

I also just got confirmation that Don and Delayna Beattie will conduct the monthly teleconferences starting in January to guide people through the coursework and help make sure people have the best possible results with the  Piano Wizard Academy.

I hope this helps, we actually recently had to raise our regular price $50 to $599 without any bonuses, because of increasing wholesale expenses on keyboards, but worked out this special bundle for Brillkids members, and offer the option of purchasing the keyboard locally to save more money as well. We actually are worried about internal availability of the keyboards for our domestic customers this Christmas, so we encourage Brillkids members to order early or even domestic customers may have to source the keyboards themselves.

Finally, let me share this letter we just got, it was addressed to Don and Delayna, but I think you can see, that if you can swing it, it will be more than worth it.

"Hi Don,
 
Thanks for taking your time to reply my email.
We really appreciate the Premier mode in Piano Wizard.
My 8 years old son enjoys so much playing the accompany for many songs from Academy 1 to 5.
It's a joy to see my 5 years old daughter played the main melody of  Jolly Old Saint Nicolas and my son played the Harp accompany with her. (My 5 years old daughter has finished Academy 1 and is having a lot of fun with Academy 2.)
My son also loved playing the string assemble for Morning in Colorado. (He wanted to make sure that I mentioned this to you.)
It made the piano learning so much fun to him.
He used to have a lot of power struggle with me for practicing piano and taking the private piano lessons before we got Piano Wizard.
Now, he just practices all by himself and have a lot of fun to try all different accompany.
He even tried step 3 & step 4 for those accompany.
I was very pleased with your program.
Thank you for developing such a fun and educational program.
One thing makes piano wizard so attractive to him is he can challenge me on playing the accompaniment.
He always gets higher scores than I do and gets to 100% faster than I do.
He is very proud of himself. He can finally beat Mom in piano. 
That is an important motivation for him to keep going on.
 
I will for sure find a private teacher after he finishes number 80. But for now, he doesn't need a private teacher. You guys and the program have been his teachers.

Piano Wizard has enriched our family's piano experience so much.  My son's private lessons have never been so much fun and rich. It's not how much money we have saved through this program. It's HOW MUCH we have learned from this program that attracts us. (Of course, we did save a lot of money through this program.)

--We also appreciated you mentioned a lot of music masters in your DVDs (not just techniques). It's such a great introduction for the kids to the wonders of music.

Again, thank you so much!! May God bless you richly.
 

Thanks,

Michelle
God bless you!"

Brillkids Mom, a lot of other people overseas have the same concerns as you, so I will be reposting this without your name so they can also look at this option.

Thanks

Chris


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: Ouroboros1 on November 07, 2010, 11:59:48 PM
No offense, but the same material is copied into 4 different threads.  It's kind of "spammy"


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: ChrisSalter on November 08, 2010, 06:34:41 AM
Yeah, not sure how these things work, they seem like separate threads, for example I get an email when someone responds to some thread I responded to, so I know something is new, but when someone starts a new conversation or responds to a thread I may have read but not responded to, I don't get any notice. It has also spawned about 40 different threads, so easy to get lost in it all. I decided to post it where I had ongoing conversations with people. Also, each group might have some overlap, but often there were completely different people in each thread, so I felt like I was leaving some people out. Don and Delayna are for me a major benefit to this forum, so I wanted to share that, and lots of people are overseas, so when I answered that concern I felt a lot of other people might want that option too.

Thinking better, perhaps I should have just posted a link or reference back to the new thread I created introducing them.

Thanks for the feedback!

Chris


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: Classical Magic on November 08, 2010, 07:00:35 PM
Thanks, Chris, those tips are very interesting!

I remember my mum used to play her classical music CDs for us whenever we were studying for tests at school and I think it did help us focus on what we were reading -- not to mention, I eventually did the same thing when I needed to concentrate on work!  lol

I also believe that it is possible to "pass on" your love of music to your kids, even if you can't play an instrument or carry a tune. My mum was able to do it, so I think I can manage to do the same too!
:dry: 
  Check out   http://www.classicalmusicmagic.com/MusicandBrain.html  - There are many ideas about educating children via classical music as well as a bibliography of resources that are very helpful. Your mum had the right idea.  Cheers, Marjorie


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: eva35 on December 14, 2010, 05:15:10 AM
Hi Chris,

My daughter is 15 month old. Is it too early to try out the piano wizard program?

Thanks,
Grace


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: honeybabies on December 14, 2010, 12:44:51 PM
 Thanks a lot! I have sent my four year old to music lessons.  She wants to learn to play lots of musical instruments such as the harp an violin but only piano classes are available in our  vicinity.


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: LMsMum on January 03, 2011, 09:00:15 PM
I am not sure whether this piece of research has been mentioned before:

http://www.naturalnews.com/029324_music_brain.html

The better ability to comprehend speech in a noisy environment, which is something I would like to see improved in LM, has been mentioned too.


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: ShenLi on January 04, 2011, 07:40:51 AM
Great article LMsMum! Karma! Reinforces what Medina wrote in Brain Rules for Baby.

Quote
I am not sure whether this piece of research has been mentioned before:

http://www.naturalnews.com/029324_music_brain.html

The better ability to comprehend speech in a noisy environment, which is something I would like to see improved in LM, has been mentioned too.


Title: Re: How can music dramatically affect your child's development and lifetime success?
Post by: LMsMum on January 04, 2011, 08:01:29 AM
Indeed! I have been following posts about this great book on your blog (which is great too!).