Today I am reviewing for you a free to use program for you from Simply Music called the Music & Creativity course. It is their foundation course. Taught by Neil Moore who has a strong desire to help his students learn to play music right the first time.
What I Am Reviewing
Music & Creativity – Foundation Course.
On-line, all ages, internet access required.
piano lessons, online piano lessons, learn piano online
Reviewed for Homeschool Review Crew.
This course introduces you to Simply Music’s unique, playing-based approach, and has you playing great-sounding music from your very first lessons.
The Basics of Simply Music
The Music & Creativity Foundation Course (MAC) is a video based program. Through video Mr. Moore introduces all music, terms, styles, drawings etc to help you learn to play piano. He provides PDF’s to supplement the videos.
Three PDF”s round out the videos.
- Reference Book – music, chords, pictograms, fingering
- Music and the Art of Long term Relationships – outline of his theory behind playing music. 14 chapters. Challenging assumptions about music, encouraging everyone to have a relationship with music.
- Practice Pad – keyboard you can print out to practice on
My original intent was to have my lad work through this music program. He is a complete beginner and has a vague interest in learning to play some sort of musical instrument.
I did manage to get him started but then life intervened in the way of a part-time job. Suddenly he found his free time quite truncated. Since he is only 13 years old (oops now 14) I didn’t want him to not be able to enjoy his summer as well, something had to give and that something was music.
Ergo I filled in the gap.
My free-time isn’t what I would like it to be either so I listened to the online piano lessons usually while doing something else. Pausing to check out his visuals, referencing his PDF’s as needed. I know how to play piano (rather organ/keyboard) so wasn’t too concerned about the mechanics.
It was easy for me, since I’m used to how music flows, to move out the music with my fingers. I could use his practice keyboard, my real keyboard, or just tap it out on my table. I have no pictures because taking pictures of yourself playing doesn’t work well when no one else is around. 🙂
The Details of Simply Music
One thing that Mr. Moore frequently referenced was stopping to think about what you wanted to play. Listening to the rhythm of the music and getting a feel for it in your head before you started to play. This would help you minimize any errors, which would save you time in the long run. You wouldn’t have to UNLEARN those errors first. I liked that.
Each lesson consisted of Mr. Moore teaching us how to learn his program. Seeing the music, learning hand movements, learning to listen, and learning how to diagram music.
Then learning how to translation that rhythm (so seeing the pattern that emerges from a sentence/line of music) into hand movements.
This video will help you understand this concept better. 🙂
The set up of the Music & Creativity Course helps you to know exactly where you are in the lesson.
You do need to tell the computer when you have completed each lesson so that you can move on to the next one. Marking it complete does not stop you from being able to redo the lessons, it just acts as a bookmark for when you next access your course.
I found some lag in moving from one lesson to the other. It wasn’t overly long but it was notice-able enough that I paid attention. Mr. Moore takes his time to explain how he wants us to think about music and gives us a variety of genres to provide interest. Blues, classical and contemporary pieces are some of what he plays. “Dreams Come True”, “Eliza”, “Christowel”, and “Black is Blue” are among the titles used.
My Thoughts and Recommendations
My Recommendation is easy. It’s free! Mr. Moore has a love for helping students learn to play music. It’s is easily accessible as long as you have an internet connection. Use it! It is an excellent way to evaluate his course to see if you want to upgrade. The upgrade itself is not expensive making it very doable.
If I could change anything: I would like a written transcript of the videos right with the videos. I would rather read what I need than listen to a video. My son likes the video but would like to have at least the main points witten along with the video. He says that would be helpful to him when listening to know what to pay attention to.
Check out the Reviews for Simply Music
Social Media Links: