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.
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
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.
Overland Park, KS
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.