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We believe music education is an unsung hero that can transform today's society. Music is more than entertainment, it can bring about personal development when applied with intention!
The secret is a term that we usually associate with construction.
Here in New York City, I see it every single day. It’s “scaffolding.” Scaffolding is the temporary structure that assists the workers in building the building. In the western world, most of it is metal, but in Hong Kong, where I lived for years, it’s still made of bamboo! The term scaffolding has been appropriated by educators to mean a similar thing. In education, you offer support while the student learns a new concept or skill.
This reminds me of the time I was teaching my son to ride a bicycle. When my son was a toddler, I began seeing beautiful handmade two-wheeled push bikes without pedals.
The concept was that the child could focus on balance before learning to use pedals.It was a phased learning process.
Training wheels have been proven to be more of a crutch than scaffolding.
So, I bought a $30 kid’s bike and adjusted the seat as low as possible without adding the pedals.
As soon as my son began to develop balance, which he demonstrated by lifting his feet while rolling along, I knew he was ready.
So one day when he was 4 years old, I pushed him down the slope of our Brooklyn sidewalk with the pedals turning.
He grabbed my hand yelling,“Papa, do NOT let go of me!”
I began to push and run alongside him, holding on as I had promised. Before we had traveled twenty feet, he began yelling, “Let go! Let go! I can do this!”
And sure enough, he pedaled down the block with the most triumphant smile on his face.
I needed a phased-learning process, some kind of thoughtful scaffolding so the student does not get hit with a multitude of new abstract concepts at the same time.
Just five notes on the keyboard that match the five fingers. For the guitar, I taped off three of the strings and just used the three higher strings, using one for melody and the others as drones.
There are more possibilities in a closed system
By directly labeling the keys, the fingering, and the notation, I could work on playing songs which they loved while gently correcting their technique over time.
Then I could start sneaking in some music theory through games.
Eventually, we would start tackling learning to read music on the staff.
Since 2007, I’ve created a completely unique way of teaching music drawing on all my diverse experiences.
It required my going to the very edge of my expertise in fields like composing, film-scoring, arranging, information design, story-telling, user-interface design, parenting and even cooking to see what author Cal Newport describes as the “adjacent possible.”
"This is where leaps of innovation can happen-only after exhausting the current possibilities."
PROBLEM: Traditional methods force you to learn abstract symbols before you can even start to play.
SOLUTION: We enable any beginner to succeed Using color as educational scaffolding enables anyone to start playing immediately. It makes learning music intuitive and direct.
PROBLEM: Traditional methods need to wait until child can read, usually 7-8 years old, unless a prodigy.
SOLUTION: Our simplified Musicolor notation makes it possible to teach any age -even preliterate and special needs students - no prodigies required.
PROBLEM: Traditional methods start with boring exercises and scales leading to students dropping out or not practicing.
SOLUTION: Our fun songs are exercises in disguise to build confidence through competence and joy!
We teach all the basics of music, just in a different (better) order!
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