Hello Matthew!  I really do enjoy them as they supplement the actual video course I purchased. I just want to confirm I have registered for your Piano by Ear course and have loaded down and am working through the lessons. The key is to practice the lessons in between and sometimes I miss a week or so before going on.  I find the video ;lessons excellent and believe you have a very clear way of getting the info across. Not sorry I spent my money and supported you.

Ian, Australia


 
Hi Matthew,
I meant to tell you before now, I did get your course and I am loving it! I have learned a lot already and have been practicing my scales, chord, and inversions every day. I am pretty excited about this because I feel like I am starting to learn the WHOLE keyboard like never before, and I think learning my inversions will really propel my playing. I am in no hurry however, because I don't expect it to come overnight, but that's ok. At least now I know what and how I need to practice to get better. Besides I am enjoying the journey. Your instruction videos are very easy to follow, and I like that I can go back over them as many times as necessary, something I couldn't afford the luxury of, if I had a piano teacher sitting beside me. Great course! Glad I got it!
 
Tom
Kansas
 

 


Mine is the usual story: traditional piano lessons as a child, a general interest in all sorts of music throughout my life. When I retired I decided to go back to the piano. I live in the south of Ireland and there is a university level music academy here and I found a nice teacher. It wasn't long, however, before I realized  the lessons were continuing where I left off as a kid. The approach was designed to make you into a concert pianist or a music teacher. That's fine because we need concert pianists, but I just wanted to play from memory all the tunes in my head.  My teacher was patient and nice as she listened to me stumble through my little Chopin pieces but my progress was very slow and frustrating. I couldn't really take notes, could not review anything. When the lesson was over it was over. I gave it up.

I stumbled along on my own for a while: a book here, a YouTube video there. I had a good ear and after a while I could play a little and have fun but finally got to a place where I was just repeating myself and had no idea how to go farther. What I wanted was a base to build on. I realized I learned best watching somebody show me things. There are many fine players on YouTube and it took me a while to find the approach I felt would be for me. Then I saw a video of "Amazing Grace" on ThePianoByEar where the tune started very basic and then was played in a more and more advanced way. I knew that was for me. I would be happy if I could play like that.

Since I didn't know where I would fit in I bought all the DVDs. That was much cheaper than the piano lessons anyway. It turned out I could comfortably start with the second disk. My only regret is that I didn't find that sort of course as a child, because I really enjoy playing and might have saved myself many years of stumbling around.


Michael
Ireland

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Matthew,
I just thought I'd let you know that I'm enjoying the DVDs, and the lessons via the newsletter, as well. I was able to progress to the lesson on adding a chord to the melody in the right hand fairly quickly, but can see that I'm going to be here a while. I feel very challenged here. When I first ordered your CDs, I was more interested in learning how to  "accompany" people who wanted to sing, rather than learning how to actually incorporate a melody line into the chord. However, the more I do this, the more interesting it has become to me, and I find myself really enjoying it. 
 
The only questions I have, would be about learning to play accompaniment. I'm needing help in the rhythm, with the left hand as well as the right. The more I get into the lessons, though, the more I can see that what I'm doing right now, will help me learn all that, down the road.
 
I'm very happy with the products I've purchased from you. I've looked for a long time, for online lessons from someone who actually plays the kind of music that I want to learn to play.
 
Thanks,
Donna 
United States
 

 

Matthew,

I'm a 74 year old "senior" who took piano lessons for two or three very brief periods of time during my childhood and teen years; but the materials used and the approach to learning, did not appeal to me - did not excite me - did not give me early "successes" and satisfactions - only a continual sense of "I'll never learn this stuff."

As the years have gone by, I have occasionally sat at the piano my wife and I bought more than 40 years ago and played from some of the sheet music, pop song and hymn books written for piano players.  However, when I played, my wife would often say, "Would you just stop the noise!"  Sort of hurt my feelings, but I sympathized with her because my playing really was so awful.

A year or so ago I decided that I really would like to learn to play the piano with a much improved level of knowledge and skill, but I did not want to repeat the approach of long ago.  I decided to make a commitment to learning to play by ear.   I made an effort to find local piano teachers and materials that could help me start out on my goal of learning to play by ear, but without satisfying results. So I turned to the internet and was amazed at all the information and resources that were available.

I settled on your web site, and ordered the first few items available for beginners.  I was emotionally touched with joy when I found that the materials and instruction were so clearly presented that with even only a little practice and study I could begin the process of learning to play by ear.  In just a few weeks, if not a few days, I was experiencing the early satisfactions that I had wanted and needed in my youth.

My piano practice time is extremely limited because I'm still quite active with obligations to my business, my church ministry, and my family. However, I have found that by following your instructions, DVD's etc. my skills are developing.  I know my piano playing must have significantly improved because for the past year, I have never heard my wife say:  "Would you please just stop the noise."   And I have even played a hymn or two, a time or two, for my little church congregation!

From the bottom of my heart, Thank you Matthew for bringing a long time cherished desire and joy to me.  There is a long, long way to go to reach the skill level I'd really like to have. Time and circumstances may prevent me from ever getting "there."  However, the trip itself is one of the most satisfying ones of my life.  Keep up the good work; keep the DVD's and other materials coming.

Gary
Overland Park, KS

 

 


 

 

 

 

This is Caroline, I can't begin to thank you enough for the piano course. I am stopping at the moment at lesson 5, to allow my brain and finger tips to absorb it all in. I love the way you teach. This course is so much fun. I look forward to practicing everyday.  I also think you are very kindhearted and too generous to give me that extra DVD!!! God bless you. I like how you open your student forum for all to see, because i enjoyed reading peoples discussions about the courses.  I also love how you start off with a simple melody and you build it up with chords and variations to show us how you can really dress up a plain melody. LOVE IT! I watched the Xmas DVD and can't wait to get started on that!  I learned about a 7th chord yesterday, I had no idea what it was used for, so when i learnt that it was used to move onto a higher chord I was soooooo pleased, felt like a kid who found a candy at the bottom of my pocket..haha. All these little details make learning piano so much fun, because I know how to use them. Well, if ever I know someone who wants to learn, I will highly recommend to them your courses. Take care and god bless your family!

Mrs. Kido, Japan

 




Matthew,  a few weeks ago I received my copy of Chords Galore. I purchased it during the promotional period because of the introductory price, but I knew I wouldn't watch it right away. I was sure the DVD was full of good information, but I thought to myself, "What could be more boring than an entire DVD full of lessons on chords?"

 

 
Well, today I finally popped it into my computer to see what it was like and I can honestly say I can't quit watching it. The instruction is not boring at all but concise. And the 'real world' examples keep me rushing to the keyboard to try them out. This DVD is another home run! Way to go.

Steve, Missouri


 


This is Clark... I ordered your DVD Advanced III the southern gospel stuff. This is great ! Thank you so much for making this. I've taken lessons off of many top Southern gospel pianist like Tracey Phillips etc.. I play at singing conventions and attend gospel music schools, but this helps break it down where I can slow it down and learn. I'm already starting to apply some of these things to other songs I play. Great Job ! I can't wait to practice this more and to continue with the rest of the DVD. I'm glad I ran across this resource ! Let me know if you ever continue with the southern gospel series. You're great..
Clark, West Virginia (USA)

 

 



I really appreciate the great service you provide. Since it is a DVD it can sometimes bring up a lot of questions and it's really helpful knowing you respond to my emails so fast and answer my questions. That was the one thing I was nervous about when ordering online. I knew I would have a lot of questions and it's so nice knowing you will answer them. A lot of services online do not have great support like you do and I really appreciate it. And I am hoping to buy your next DVD soon, because it has been a dream of mine to play by ear. Thanks again. -
Luke, New York

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Hi Matthew.  As a piano teacher who has a great interest in learning more about playing by ear as opposed to the traditional methods, I am very impressed with your course. You make the approach to the keyboard so easy to understand and your inventive methods are clear, concise, and easy to follow. Also, your personality comes across as a very sincere person that makes you feel an infinity to you even though we've only met via your DVD's.  Thanks for giving budding pianists an effective method that will propel them into the wonderful world of playing by ear.
Jim, Arizona

 

What a deal! Matthew is a great piano teacher and we have found these dvds to be so beneficial! we loved them so much for our daughter, that we bought the advanced set as a gift for our Pastor's wife who wanted them. Athough she has played beautifully for many years, she says that she has learned so much and isn't even finished with the lessons, yet!
Stacy, USA


Hi Matt!  I wanted to say thanks so much for the wonderful music lessons you have been sending me.  I have already purchased all of your DVDs and I am so excited.  I am 70 years old, recently retired, and have always wanted to play piano.  I took traditional lessons about 10 years ago, and frankly, I was a bit overwhelmed until I eventually stopped playing.  Thanks to your lessons I am already making much more progress than I ever dreamed.  Never did I think I could play piano by ear.  Thanks again for your encouragement and may God bless you and your sincere efforts to help others play piano.
Bill
, USA

 

 

NEW LOOK AND FEEL!

 
New Digital Video Format available now!
 
Matthew Stephens
matthew(AT)thepianobyear.com
417-255-4210
Learn Piano By Ear Blog

Learn to Play the Piano By Ear Questions and Answers
August 27, 2009 By Matthew Stephens

From time to time, my students email me with questions that they have about playing the piano by ear.  I take the time to give the answers and so, I'm going to post my answers here for everyone who needs help as well.  It may be that on your journey into playing the piano by ear you'll be able to learn from it as well.

If you have questions and don't want to post on the discussion forum, feel free to post here as well. 

matthew

Visitor Comments (21)
video lesson
Posted By SAMBABU.SIRRA on February 22, 2016
hi sir this is sambabu kindly send an video files because we don't have time to read that pages of information.
I appreciate you
Posted By RUBY.JOHNSON on February 9, 2015
I play by ear already in church but would like to play with a southern gospel style piano. I am interested in learning fill-ins and runs. Thank you
Chords to Why Should I Worry
Posted By KAREYC on January 6, 2015
I already play by ear and have since the age of 8. If I have chords I can play without having to spend time picking them out on the piano. Thank you!
It's In the Savior's Hands Chords
Posted By KAREYC on January 6, 2015
Can anyone help me with the chords to this song?
Keeping good timing
Posted By TYLERD on August 15, 2014
Hi, I'm Tyler Spalding from Hamlin, Tx. I love trying to play the piano! My mom was an awesome piano player and my wife is really good too. I don't have much trouble with my right hand but I have lots of trouble keeping up, especially on fast songs, with my left hand. What can I do to help myself there?
how do i tell which note to play and know the sound of the notes.freely?
Posted By ANETTE on February 4, 2014
I really want to tell the differences between notes.i sing too and i know it will help me sing and play, as well as teach my choir easily.do i have to fumble through the various keys to know what and what not to play?
Bigger want to play by ear
Posted By AHIJAH CAMBELL on January 4, 2014
How can I get started to play piano by ear
Question and Answer
Posted By MATTHEW STEPHENS on August 20, 2013
You are wondering why i have no questions on our previous lessons, simply because before joining "learn to play the piano by ear",as a beginner i started searching the internet on how to play a piano and at the same time looking for the piano chords to use and printed it. I did it because i want to play the piano version of "Imagine" by John Lennon, my favorite which i played it easily using guitar.I want to know which instrument is more likely easier to play with. I search on the youtube the actual and different piano demonstration of the song on how to play and what chords the player used compared to the guitar chords i used.During my free time i open the computer, i watch and learn how to play then practice and practice it repeatedly until i fully played the song but not100% perfect. From that, i can sing and play another song but my reference is the guitar chords which i converted it to piano chords. My question is, is it correct to use/applied what i have learned in the Imagine piano version, on other songs which i do it at present?

--------------------------------------------
ANSWER:

Yes, understanding what you're "doing" when you're playing a song a certain way can carry over to other songs. Not every song, but some songs. There are typical chord progressions, etc. that we use on a lot of songs. So, to answer your question: YES!

Matthew
is it correct to use/applied what i have learned in the Imagine piano version, on other songs which i do it at present?
Posted By JOSE SANY T. TORINO on August 19, 2013
You are wondering why i have no questions on our previous lessons, simply because before joining "learn to play the piano by ear",as a beginner i started searching the internet on how to play a piano and at the same time looking for the piano chords to use and printed it. I did it because i want to play the piano version of "Imagine" by John Lennon, my favorite which i played it easily using guitar.I want to know which instrument is more likely easier to play with. I search on the youtube the actual and different piano demonstration of the song on how to play and what chords the player used compared to the guitar chords i used.During my free time i open the computer, i watch and learn how to play then practice and practice it repeatedly until i fully played the song but not100% perfect. From that, i can sing and play another song but my reference is the guitar chords which i converted it to piano chords. My question is, is it correct to use/applied what i have learned in the Imagine piano version, on other songs which i do it at present?


Picking out the melody
Posted By SILVERY-MIDNIGHT on February 20, 2010
So after a few instruction books about playing piano by ear (that cost a fortune) I still have problems with THE one thing: Picking out the melody
What I want to do is to hear a song on the radio, hum the melody and then play it.
I can't find the first note let alone a part of the melody.

I know all about seventh and progressions (although I'd be thankful for more of these :))
it's just no use without the melody

I'd really be thankful for an answer and you'd be my saviour because I know I'll just resign again and give up.

Thank you
Fingering Question
Posted By MATTHEW STEPHENS on December 27, 2009
QUESTION

Just a note to tell you i had surgery so i was not doing much practicing. I did buy your dvd and enjoyed working on lessons 1-3, I just started on lesson 4. I was wondering if your dvd can be burned on my hard drive and how would i do it. Also i was womdering if using the right fingers when playing scales is important. Thank

--------------------------------------

ANSWER


Thanks for writing. I don't have a problem with you burning the DVD to your hard drive, but I have no idea how to do it. You might try "googling" it and see if you find anything.

I've never been very picky with fingering. I would suggest that you watch what I do on the DVDs and mimick that. The reason I'm not so picky is because peoples fingers are different sizes and what's good for one may not be for others.

If you want to use traditional fingering for scales here it is:

1-thumb
2-index finger
3-middle finger
4-ring finger
5-pinkie

Right hand on a scale ascending
12312345

Left hand on a scale ascending
54321321

Let me know if you have any other questions.
What's the difference between your different instructional DVD packages?
Posted By MATTHEW STEPHENS on December 27, 2009
QUESTION

What is the difference between the three packages you offer on the web site? I am not sure I see it.

I want to order at least the intro package, but if I can understand the others I might go that way.

--------------------------------------

ANSWER

The Bundle contains:
Volume 1 Piano By Ear for Beginner
Volume 2 Piano By Ear Continued
(plus bonus DVD)

The Mega Bundle contains:
Volume 1 Piano By Ear for Beginner
Volume 2 Piano By Ear for Continued
(plus bonus DVD)
Christmas DVD (2-disk set)

The Ultra Mega Bundle contains:
Volume 1 Piano By Ear for Beginner
Volume 2 Piano By Ear Continued
(plus bonus DVD)
Christmas DVD (2-disk set)
Volume 3 Southern Gospel Licks and Runs

Let me know if you have any other questions. I'm glad to help!
Keyboard question
Posted By MATTHEW STEPHENS on December 27, 2009
QUESTION

Dear Matthew,
These lessons are a christmas gift for my husband. I am wondering if you could give me suggestions on a keyboard that would be comparable to a piano. I don't know a lot about any of this, but I really want to surprise him. We don't have it in the budget this year for a piano, so I want to start him off with a keyboard. Is the standard a 61-key keyboard?

Thank you for any assistance you may offer.

-------------------------------------

ANSWER

Thanks for your question. I'm glad to help.

There are different types of keyboards to pick from. It makes answering your question tough. I would say, it depends on what level of playing he is at. If he is a complete beginner, I would get something something that's in the $200 or $300 range.

If he already plays, then I'd say you could graduate on up and get him a Yamaha keyboard that'll run about $900.

If you want to invest, you could get a keyboard that I really like. It's sensitive and plays wonderfully. It requires an amplifier as it's output. It's a Roland RD300SX.

All of these keyboards you can find in music stores, but I like to shop on ebay. I ordered my last one from there and was VERY happy with it!

Let me know if you have any other questions, and Merry Christmas!
Limbering up the fingers
Posted By MATTHEW STEPHENS on December 27, 2009
QUESTION

Hi Matthew,

Here is hoping you had a wonderful Christmas and will have the best of fortune in the New Year.
This is the Year of the Tiger and foretells great strength and speed (esp. if you are Chinese:->)

I got the CD's for the Beginner, and Lesson 1 & 2 plus the bonus last night. I am eager to begin.

Yes, we are about an hour away from each other and I come to West Plains to the VA on Missouri Street/Ave
about 4 times a year. I used to live in Cabool not long ago. I really want to compose (desperately) so learning
by ear holds promise that I will be able to play soon, invent/improvise and let computer software 'write it up.'

Thanks for all of your freebies online...that is what got me interested and helped me make the decision to choose your package.

Again, thank you for your encouraging style. I'm an all-American workaholic, so now the task at hand hinges on turning
off the work web site and practice!

Any ideas on limbering up the fingers?

Warm regards,
-------------------------------------

ANSWER

It's great to hear from you. I'm committed to making this dream of yours a reality. Be sure to contact me if you have any questions at all.

Limbering up the fingers is fairly simple. If you suffer from arthiritis, you should contact your physician about that. Otherwise, you can do stretches. Throughout the day, you can do any or all of these stretches:

1. fold your hands together where each finger slides between the other fingers on your hand. Then, turn you palms away from your body and bend your fingers back slightly and hold for a few seconds, then repeat.

2. Go to the piano and place your thumb and pinkie against the from of the keys on the piano. Then push your palm toward the keys allowing the thumb and the pinkie to move away from each other. Once the forefront of the palm reaches the keys as well, you have a sufficient stretch. Hold it for a few seconds and then repeat.

I'm off to Texas this weekend, but if you need a picture to help, let me know and I'll add a picture to show you what I'm talking about.

Keep me posted on your progress. I look forward to hearing from you more!
Various Questions
Posted By MATTHEW STEPHENS on December 27, 2009
QUESTION

Hi

I have your DVD's thank you!

Your emphatic caution about not moving on until you have mastered the material first is sensible. But, do the lessons via email track the lessons on the DVD?

Also - I notice you referring to some sort of charts and stuff in the DVD - I did not get any charts. Was I supposed to?

I notice also I am running into trouble with knowing which fingers to use - your DVD does not really address this. Can you comment on this?

Thanks a million!

-------------------------------------

ANSWER

I'd be happen to answer your questions.

1. It's quite fine for you to move to the next lesson when you're ready. I only emphasis NOT doing so, because I believe most building blocks need to be mastered before moving on. This allows for new content learned to become concrete rather than turning to mush after about 6 of those lessons.

However, I do believe this idea wouldn't apply to you since you have so much "musical" talent and knowledge already. I'd say you're good to move on when you feel like you're ready.

The lessons by email are "short sections" of various lessons from the DVDs. As you can probably tell, it's a bit difficult to teach piano by email when I'm unable to "show" you and you "hear" what I'm doing. Therefore, the email lessons are not in any particular order and although they do contain information presented on the DVDs, the email lessons do not follow the instructional material on the DVDs completely.

2. You should have received an email when your order was placed containing the important documents. I've attached the to this email just in case it was accidentally deleted from your inbox.

3. Fingering is always a question that I get. I've never been real picky about a "specific" fingering to use. First, most people's hands are different sizes and what works well for "long-fingered" students, doesn't work well for others. Second, I find that if you use the "thumb-middle-pinkie" fingering for major chords containing three notes, then when the student progresses to a "four-note" chord, the fingering has to change. So, as strange as it may seem, I suggest that my students do one of the following:

A. Do what my fingers do on the piano when watching the DVDs.
B. Do what feels comfortable (with the exception of some twisted distortion that just isn't practical.)

I hope I've answered your questions in a thorough manner and want you to know that I'm committed to assisting you on this piano by ear journey. Feel free to contact me anytime in the future and keep me posted on your progress.
I want to take my piano playing to the next level...
Posted By MATTHEW STEPHENS on October 12, 2009
QUESTION
Hi Matthew,

Thanks for sending me these piano lessons. They are really informative but it seems like I already knew the lessons from your DVD1. I watched your video Blessed Assurance at you tube and makes me wonder which one of your course will let me learn these types of piano playing. I already know how to play piano by ear but I want to make my piano playing to a next level, like using suspended chords, diminished chords, fills and runs, chord substitution and etc.

---------------------------------------

ANSWER

Thanks for contacting me. I enjoy conversing with my students!

The techniques I used on Blessed Assurance are taught in Volume 2 DVD - Piano By Ear Continued and Piano By Ear Advanced.

Let me give you a brief description of the courses in a nutshell:

Piano By Ear for Beginners - Volume 1 - You'll learn most scales and major chords and a few minor chords as well. Plus, you'll learn the fundamentals of what it means to pick out the melody with the right hand, use the proper chord progressions with the left hand. Learn to add seventh chords and minor chords to basic chord progressions. I teach the "hows" and "whys" to all of this.

Piano By Ear Continued - This is volume two and picks up where Volume 1 leaves off and/or is for an intermediate pianist. I focus on taking "typical" or "basic" by ear piano playing to the next level. On this DVD, we continue to learn more chords, different types of chords, and their inversions. We learn why and when to use them in chord progressions. I also focus on Left hand and Right hand techniques individually so that the playing sounds full and rich.

Christmas Piano By Ear - Everything taught in Volume 1 and 2 is revisited just with a different genre (Christmas Music). I also teach how to play songs who's main chords are minor, ie. What Child is This? I also use songs such as O Holy Night, The First Noel, and O Come All Ye Faithful to teach techniques taught in Volume 1 and 2.

Piano By Ear Advanced - is for a experienced and focus mainly on techniques such as fills and runs from the Southern Gospel Genre. I teach from songs such as: Just a Closer Walk With Thee, Goodbye, World Goodbye, He Keeps Me Singing, and Where Could I Go. I use these songs to teach advanced Southern Gospel techniques to make you're playing shine!

If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Matthew Stephens


How do I teach my children to play piano by ear using your course?
Posted By MATTHEW STEPHENS on August 27, 2009
I've been receiving your e-mails for about a year now. I am a homeschooling mother. I took piano lessons as a child and played in church from about the 6th grade until a few years ago (about 15 years or so total). I'm not a great piano player, but I always thought that teaching my kids to play piano would be something I would at least not have trouble with.....surely all those years of lessons could enable me to at least do that, right?!! Wrong. I have no trouble teaching my kids all the other school subjects, but teaching piano is something I can't seem to get disciplined enough to do. Why?? I'm not sure. Maybe it's my own lack of confidence. I'm very frustrated and I see my kids losing interest. We get disciplined with our lessons for about a month and then we start forgetting and getting lazy about it. We have 8 kids, so taking piano lessons and paying an instructor is not an option for us. I want them to make progress and enjoy it, but I think I'm failing. My oldest is 13 and is in level 2 of her piano book, having completed the primer level and Level 1. I can't help but think that I was on Level 5 by the time I was her age, which makes me even more frustrated with myself.

There you have my background. My question for you is...do you think your program could help us? I've had young children who love to pick around on the piano and get a real sense of accomplishment from playing little songs, but then I begin attempt "lessons" (note-reading) with them and either through the slow progress or my lack of discipline at sticking to it, they lose interest quickly.

My second question is....if we start on your program, when would someone start learning to read notes. Is that necessary??

Thanks for any help you can offer me!

------------------------------------
ANSWER

Thank you so much for writing. I can sense the frustration in your mail and yet I want you to know that me and my family admire homeschool families and we're working toward homeschooling as well... so it's great to hear from "like" families!

In regards to your question about my program. Piano By Ear for Beginners has been approved as one of the top ten piano curriculum options for homeschoolers by homeschool.com.

With my program, you'll have individual segments of each lesson for your child to watch and complete. I think this is helpful to keep students on track and making progress. It is good for you or the child to take notes in their own notebook and practice that for a few days before moving on to the next lesson.

Also, I do not teach note reading with this program. This program is designed to teach you to play entirely by ear by teaching you about the piano as an instrument and how it works to play by ear. Within the first few lessons, you're child will be able to play simple tunes such as "mary had a little lamb" with both hands!

let me know if you have any other questions. I look forward to hearing from you.

-----------------------------------
QUESTION

Thank you so much for your response! Your program definitely sounds like what I'm looking for. I have two questions for you....

First, I guess my nagging question is how does note-reading fit into piano instruction in general. I know it's not part of your program, but what is your opinion about if and/or when it should be introduced. Is it even necessary? Should both the piano by ear method as well as note-reading instruction be tackled at the same time? Does working through your program first make note-reading easier later on?

Finally, on the practical side, how long does it usually take to go through your DVD program.....I think I saw that there are two levels?? Is that correct? Can our whole family watch the lessons together or is it best for each person to do them individually and work at their own pace?

Thank you again for all your help.
---------------------------------

ANSWER

You're quite welcome. In answer to your questions:

1. Note reading is not required, however, I think note reading fits nicely into playing by ear in my opinion. Both will give your student a well-rounded piano education. They can be taught simultaneously, however, I think it's important to focus on one as the primary curriculum and then allow the other to be supplemental. I think that learning by ear first makes it easier to learn by note later on because it allows the student to understand how music works and how he/she can make music on the piano.

Note reading is different from playing by ear because the student is playing what someone else has written...note by note. Although when playing by ear, the student is playing what a composer has written, he/she is allowed to change whatever he/she likes based on how the student wants the song to sound.

2. Each DVD is the equivalent of one year of piano lessons (based on a 20 minute lesson each week and allowing for vacation time). That means that if you took each lesson in the DVDs and practiced each one for a week before moving on, you would finish each DVD in approximately one year. However, using DVDs can speed things up if you wish. I've had a complete beginner complete the first DVD (Beginner - Volume 1) in 3 months and is playing like crazy!

Each family member can work at their own pace and EVERYONE can learn at separate times.

There are 3 levels of DVDs:

Beginner - Piano By Ear for Beginner
Intermediate - Piano By Ear Continued
Advanced - Piano By Ear Advanced

Plus, the Christmas Piano By Ear Series teacehs both beginning and intermediate techniques in relation to Christmas hymns.

Let me know if you have other questions!
Is your course suitable for homeschool students?
Posted By MATTHEW STEPHENS on August 27, 2009
I’m interested in buying your first CD lessons, but I’m interested in it in the context of teaching my 3 ½ and 4 ½ year children piano. Could you let me know whether this CD makes sense for that, or if not , if you have a suggestion?

----------------------------------

ANSWER

Thank you for contacting me. Piano By Ear for Beginner (volume 1) is appropriate for children with the guidance of an adult. Preteen students can work through the DVD alone. I've had children ages 8 and up use it alone. However, I believe that in order for your younger children to benefit from the program, it would be necessary for you to do the lessons with them and "help" them with what I'm teaching.

We were named one of the top 15 curriculums for homeschoolers by Homeschool.com in 2008.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me.

----------------------------------

QUESTION

Thanks very much for your detailed feedback. That's interesting that children as young as 8 have used it by themselves. And it does make sense that for younger children the parent would need to learn this and help guide the instruction. And good to know that Homeschool thought so highly of your program. I am beginning to get inspired to find a way to make time to take this on.

----------------------------------

ANSWER

It is my pleasure to provide you with information about our program. I might add that the program for beginners is very simple and you wouldn't be required to "learn" the program before beginning it with your children.
What chords do I play on the left hand when I'm playing the melody on the right hand?
Posted By MATTHEW STEPHENS on August 27, 2009
Hello Sir Matthew,
Thank you for sending me lesson no 2 which I followed it rightly with the right hand.What I would like to ask you is while palying the tune with the right hand which chord I should play with the left hand?.I know the to read & write musical notes by heart.
I REALLY AM THRILLED TO LEARN & LOOKING FORWARD TO LESSON NO 3.

-----------------------------------

ANSWER

Sorry I haven't responded sooner.

When you play the melody on your right hand, you will play the root chord inversion on the left hand such as:

C-E-G (instead of E-G-C)

It sounds better this way.

-----------------------------------
QUESTION

Please never say sorry.You are doing such a great deed of teaching me free me at free cost.
You have told me to play CEG chord with the left hand.That means through out the song I should strike CEG chord [is it a broken chord ] or CEG together with three fingers?

-------------------------------------

ANSWER

As a beginner, I would encourage you to play it as a whole chord. Otherwise, you could break it up and play each note individually with two notes per beat and in this order:

C-E-G-E-G-E and repeat

Let me know if you have other questions.
Can you play melody in any key when playing piano by ear?
Posted By MATTHEW STEPHENS on August 27, 2009
Can you play any song in different keys?
I'm in the worship team in my church and I've always wanted to learn how to play the piano by ear because that's what our worship leader does: leads, sings, and plays the piano all at the same time. I know its going to take years to get to that level but at least i started...
I've also noticed that we can sing one song in so many different ways depending on who's leading it... Our worship leader has tried to explain it to me but I get confused because she uses transpose a lot... 3, -7, 0, 2... I'm trying to understand everything but there's so much info!

--------------------------------------
ANSWER

Yes, it can be confusing at times. Numbers are a big thing with "by ear" players because it's universal no matter what instrument you're playing (especially bass, guitar, piano, organ, etc.) besides the drums of course...haha!

Yes, you can play ANY song in ANY key. For instance, if you look at the key of F, if you play the F scale, you'll find that when you say the notes by number, then C is the number 5. That means you started on 5 when you began to play Amazing Grace. The second note (F) was 1.

So, if you want to play that song in the key of G, you could play the G scale and start on 5 then go to 1.

Numbers also apply to chord changes, but that's a topic for a different time. I don't want to confuse you too much right now.

Have a good day, keep me posted on your progress, and let me know if you have any questions!
Question about playing the melody when playing piano by ear
Posted By MATTHEW STEPHENS on August 27, 2009
Hello, I'm takin your piano by ear for beginners dvd lessons. Everything is going good and im exited at how much im learnin. Im on lesson 7 where you asked to find the melody to amazing grace by ourselves first...and I did but then I realized after a couple stops and reviews that its different than your version, but it sounds the same. Mine's just sounds higher and i can sing it more comfortably. I was just curious and wondering what is the difference.
Here is how i play it:

CF AFA GF DC
CDF AFA GC
AC AF FF DC
CDF AFA GF

This is how you play it:

GC ECE DC AG
GAC ECE DG
EG EC CC AG
GAC ECE DC

I was thinking that maybe it has to do something with iversions because many of the same notes are used but i dont know...im confused lol

----------------------------------

ANSWER

Hello *****!

Thanks so much for writing.

What has happened is that you are playing the song in the key of F instead of C. This means that when you add the chords on the left hand, you will need to use the three major chords of F, Bb, and C instead of C, F, and G.

Occasionally, that will happen and it's then that you realize that you're playing it in a different key. No harm done.. :-)

Glad to hear you're doing well and I'm looking forward to hearing more from you. Keep me updated on the progress and be sure to let me know if you have any further questions.

One more thing, please respond to this message let me know that you received my reply. There nothing more disheartening than to find out that a student has asked a question, I replied, and they didn't get it. I feel more comfortable to know that you got my reply.

Have a blessed day!
Loading...
Related Articles · More Articles
Share with me your biggest question or hurdle that you need help with so you can learn to play the piano by ear.
Tell me WHY you want to learn how to play the piano by ear!
October 21, 2008 - Here you will find useful information about learning to play the piano by ear.