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Simply Music Review & Giveaway!

NOTE: After you read the review, be sure to scroll all the way down to see the discount information that we added to the post!

When three of the Hip Homeschool Moms review team members chose to have a look at the Simply Music Piano program, they had no idea that their individual experiences would confirm the claims of this unique method of learning piano.  According to Simply Music, their method makes learning to play the piano easy.  Playing beautiful, two-handed pieces with chords can happen immediately, and just about any age person can learn to play.  It’s never too late, says Neil Moore, the director of this “Australian-designed breakthrough in music education.” Sounds almost too good to be true?  Keep reading and find out what happened when Taryn, Trish, and Taunya put these claims to the test!

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Simply Music says: Learning to play is easy!

Taryn, mom to Kiera (11), Katie (10), Sam (7) and Micah (5) agrees:

I can’t explain just how excited I was when Simply Music came up for review with the Hip Homeschool Moms team.  Why?  I had never heard of the program until quite literally the day before.  My sister-in-law, who was visiting from Australia, showed me her kids’ new piano program: Simply Music.  We spent two hours side by side on the piano stool going through everything she had learned via her kids.  I was blown away.

You see, I had had some piano training as a child.  It was three years’ worth that has left me with some very rudimentary knowledge and a whole lot of self-doubt.  My sister-in-law, with her Grade 8 piano skills, felt the same.  Neither she nor I felt we could play for a group, never mind as an accompaniment for anyone.  I wanted something different for my own kids.  While I have no expectation of my children becoming concert pianists, I do want them to be able to enjoy and bless others through music.  What better instrument than the piano?  But…  I wanted it to be fun.  I wanted to introduce piano in a way that felt more like immersion language learning than grammar lessons where each word is learned in isolation of the other. Enter: Simply Music. Just that two-hour Simply Music crash course with my sister-in-law unlocked an understanding of the piano that I had never quite fathomed before.  She tells me that even the accomplished pianists in her young adults group had no idea how some of the simple chord structures worked and how they translate easily across the keyboard.  They too were blown away when she showed them what she’d learned by using the Simply Music program. simplymusictaryn

Now that we’ve had a few weeks of hands-on Simply Music piano lessons, I can say that I am still excited about what the program offers.  Even my most reluctant-to-learn child has accomplished two-handed pieces within the first week of trying it out.  My eldest is hooked on playing the Jackson Blues over and over.  She loves it.  She also branched out and started creating her own tunes with both hands.  And they sound beautiful.

My 7-year-old son is not far behind his 11-year-old sister, just starting to learn the Jackson Blues himself, which is about 1/3 of the way through the first of the two levels.  With 60 lessons in total and a price of $97, it’s a bargain too!  Especially since one can use the program for multiple students, including this mom who managed to learn a simple Für Elise in fifteen minutes!

Simply music is not a conventional piano-teaching program.  It comes with no tests, exams, or theory work.  In fact, in the beginning, note names and rhythms are not taught.  They are mentioned along the way, but Simply Music students usually learn how to understand chord structures and very simple ways to memorize them in no time at all.  Just like children learn a language through immersion and then only identify parts of speech, grammar rules, and the like, Simply Music introduces note names, sight-reading, and all the mechanical rules of piano-playing only once the children can communicate through their fingers.

So does Simply Music have any cons?  If you have a slow internet connection, then watching online lessons can be frustrating.  The videos are of high quality, but it does mean that there can be streaming issues.  The hand gestures the teacher uses are many and can be distracting.  Many classically taught music teachers may struggle with this approach as it is very foreign.  All in all, however, Simply Music introduces piano in a way that is likely to create life-long piano players who love music.  And for that, I’m grateful!

Simply Music says: You can play the piano immediately!

Trish, mom to Gage (13) was skeptical at first, but her son’s progress in just a few weeks amazed her.

As a homeschool mom who doesn’t know how to play music at all on any instrument,  I was a bit skeptical but excited to be one of the reviewers for Simply Music. For almost six weeks now my 13-year-old son has been using the Simply Music curriculum and serenading me daily. I am absolutely amazed at this curriculum! It is written for students with no experience playing an instrument and who certainly are not classically trained.  You just won’t believe how quickly your children will be able to play music beautifully … and not just any music–I’m talking Beethoven’s Für Elise here!

One of my favorite aspects of this curriculum is that it teaches the student to play advanced music from the beginning! Gage was learning to play classical, blues, jazz, and other popular music from very early into the program. I think the fact that he was learning to play such beautiful and complex musical pieces right away motivated him to keep working through the program. Simply Music doesn’t teach students to read music right away; rather, it teaches patterns. Patterns function as the “building blocks” for this curriculum, and I am completely shocked at how well it works!

The teacher is Neil Moore, who is the Founder and Executive Director of the Simply Music Institute of Learning & Education. He is also the creator of the Simply Music Piano methodology (And did I mention he has this great Australian accent?). He teaches the building blocks separately for each hand. Once your child has grasped each of those building blocks, both hands are combined. You will be thrilled at how quickly your student is playing these amazingly complex musical pieces!

Gage  has only been working through Simply Music for almost six weeks, not more than 30 minutes a day, for a few days a week. The lessons are really short; five to ten minute lessons are the norm. I think the longest one has been twenty minutes or so. Once the student listens to the lesson, he will practice. Gage switches back and forth between listening and playing, and he loves being able to stop and start the video as he works through it.  Gage really wants to share an abbreviated “recital” of some of his favorite songs he has learned thus far. I am beyond pleased and so very thankful we were able to review this product! In fact, I plan to work through the curriculum myself!

Simply Music says: You can learn to play piano at ANY age!

Taunya was doubtful.  Could she learn to play as an adult with no experience?  

I am “The Piano Player’s Daughter.”  As a child, I loved watching my father’s hands fly up and down the piano.  When I was about 13, the questions began.  “How can you not play the piano? Didn’t you receive your dad’s gift?”  My father never had a piano lesson and did not know how to read music.  He just knows how to play the piano.  I have never been able to play the piano aside from picking out notes here and there. When I was given the opportunity to review Simply Music, I intended it for my daughter.  However, it looked like such a wonderful program that I decided I wanted to try it myself!

Simply Music Review & Giveaway!

The premise of Simply Music is that every one of us is deeply and profoundly musical.

I began learning by watching the basics video. The program teaches the student to think of music as a language. We begin learning to write by learning words.  Once we learn words we can write sentences.  Once we can write sentences we can write paragraphs. Then the world of writing opens up!  This process is exactly how the student learns to play a wide variety of songs through the Simply Music method.

The first song was “Dreams Come True.”  This is a fairly simple song that uses the first 5 notes on the scale.  I watched the video while sitting at the piano.  Placing my hands exactly as indicated, I was able to play the notes and mimic the rhythm.  After going through the video once, I wrote the numbers down on a piece of paper.  This became my practice sheet.

Simply Music Review & Giveaway!

The first sentence I memorized in one day.   3 — 5-4-3-2.  Over and over I sang those numbers in my head as I played the keys.  After a few days I felt confident enough to move on.  1-2-3-4 — 2.  For some reason this sentence took me a little longer.  But once I mastered the second sentence, I moved on to playing the entire song.  I must admit, it felt pretty good to be able to play something besides Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star!

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Learning the left hand was easy, but I knew the hard task was ahead.  I procrastinated.  I put off watching the lesson because I believed that it was going to be too hard … that I just couldn’t get my right hand to play the notes while the left hand played different notes.  When I sat down to begin learning the process, it was much easier than I had thought!   This really is a simple piece of music.  After about 2 weeks of practice, I finally did it!  I played the song through and kept both hands on rhythm.  I was elated!  NOW I know I CAN learn to play the piano. As an adult, I think fear was my biggest obstacle to being absolutely successful with this program.   I found that although I understood what the instructor was showing me, I still doubted my ability to play.  Once I managed to overcome my doubt,  I accomplished my goal of learning one song. I am now working on learning the second song.  It’s a little harder, but I think I will be successful if I keep pushing myself.  My hope is to gain the skills I need so that eventually I can play the songs that I have written.  I’m grateful for this glimmer of hope that I CAN learn to play the instrument that helped shape my life.

Buy it (including updated discount info):

If you’d like to buy Simply Music for your child or yourself, they are offering Hip Homeschool Moms readers a discount code for 25% off the regular price! The promo code is HIPMOMS, and it will take your order total from $97 to $72.75.

Instead of getting 25% off, if you buy Simply Music’s Learn at Home Program by August 31, 2014, you’ll save $58! That means it will cost you only $39! Use the code HIPMOMS to get your discount.

Win it:

We will be giving away a free membership to Simply Music to 3 winners! Just enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About the author

Taryn

Taryn Hayes calls Cape Town, South Africa her home. The crazy antics of her husband, Craig, and their four kids feature regularly over at their family blog, Hazy Days. Taryn is also the author of the youth novel, Seekers of the Lost Boy, about a 12-year-old homeschooled boy and his family. They end up on an incredible adventure after finding a mysterious message in a bottle, washed up on the beach one morning. Read more at her author site: http://tarynhayes.com

About the author

Taunya

Taunya began homeschooling in 2010. Currently settled in the Pacific Northwest her days consist of taxiing kids to various activities. When they can, her and her husband enjoy spending time with their three tween/teens exploring the US in an RV. Her greatest passion is to share her story of abuse, acceptance and forgiveness; giving a voice to the voiceless.

About the author

Trish

Trish is one of the owners of Hip Homeschool Moms. She has been married to her best friend, David, for 20 years and they have three sons (ages 17, 16 and 14). Trish is from the coast of North Carolina, but they now live in rural West Tennessee on a 40+ acre farm. She has been homeschooling since 2009 and her homeschool style leans towards a Montessori approach with a heavy emphasis on hands-on learning. They also own a small business that Trish runs from home. Trish’s family is Messianic and they love studying the Scriptures, learning Hebrew and growing in their faith and walk daily. In her spare time, Trish loves to write, work in their garden and can regularly be found trying to learn something new, modeling that learning is indeed a life-long endeavor!

44 Comments

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  • Thanks for posting these reviews! I’d heard of Simply Music but had no idea what it was. My son and I would both be using it. He already spends an hour or two every day playing on our piano for fun (making up movements in what he calls Nori’s Song, in honor of his adored little sister) but with no piano instruction at all. I wonder what he would do with some building blocks for more?

  • I just put my kids in piano lessons, but they are getting too expensive and I don’t feel like it moves quick enough, pulling them out next month. I would LOVE a program like this, seems like you can move right along. 🙂

  • I would love to try this out with my son, and let my daughters join in, too! I would likely try it out, just to see what it was like, as well. 🙂

  • We would LOVE to try this program! My three sons have been tinkering around on the piano for months now (ages 12, 9, 7) and are itching to play some “real” music! I’d also love to take a stab at it. My husband is naturally musically gifted and can just simply sit down on the piano bench and play away. I’d love to be able to share that with him!

  • I have been looking for a program to use to start teaching my boys piano. This might just be the perfect fit. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • My kids would love this – especially my 7 year old daughter. She’s been asking to play and I bought some books to teach her… but I quickly learned that my high school flute abilities didn’t translate well to the piano. 🙁

  • This review is so timely. I was just revisiting the idea of getting the Simply Music program today! It would be so awesome to be able to have my children (9, 6 and 4) learn the piano at home. I think it would work especially well for my 6-year old boy who would find it hard to concentrate and learn in a group piano class.

  • Having “failed” Ms. Betsy a strict, totalitarian music teacher years ago, music has been on the sidelines around here. She told me my kids have no rhythm … seriously?? But she did bring bags of candy which I think in retrospect were more for her incentive than the kids! Fast forward and the gorgeous keyboard is still around the house and the kids would love to play for fun. They are now in their early teens – so hopefully I’ll win! Then, I can blog about this… LOL… thanks Trish for the great review. 🙂

  • My daughter and I will be using it. She’s been dabbling with the piano for a few months and would like to learn more.

  • I have always wanted my boy to learn to play music, but I am about as musical as a brussel sprout. I would love to try this method for him!

  • Three of my children are using the Suzuki method to learn violin and have thrived with it. I have been looking for something comparable for them to learn piano. 2 of my children play piano by the traditional method, but it doesn’t compare to Suzuki. I am hoping that simply music will do the same for learning piano.

  • I would love to try Simply Music piano myself. These reviews have inspired me! I’m sure this would be great for my 3 girls as they enjoy music a lot.

  • My boys aged 8 and 11 and I would live to use this. Who knows – maybe even hubby will give it a go!

  • All 3 of my kids will be learning via this program. 2 of them have had formal training but lack motivation as lessons can be dull and move too slowly. My youngest will start using this and hopefully enjoy it!

  • How exciting! I’ve always wanted to learn to play the piano but as a child we never could. Would love to give our girls the opportunity to learn it as well!

  • Thanks for the review. My daughters (7 &9) have wanted to try piano lessons, but our rural area limits our options are limited. I was not a successful piano student and would love to try this with them to redeem myself!

  • I’m very interested in this – we can’t really afford traditional music lessons but my son is incredibly gifted. Can’t wait to find out more.

  • O, wow, I so wanted the kids to start learning to play music, but dreaded formal lessons for little ones that tend to just dampen their excitement. This program sounds like just what we are looking for. Thanks for the review!

  • My eldest daughter got a keyboard for Christmas last year and both she and her sister would love to learn to play piano properly – with both hands. They’ve taught themselves Happy Birthday and a few others, but I worry that not learning with both hands will cause a problem later. Would love to win this.

  • Perfect for our family of practical vs. theoretical learners, who are fed up with traditional instruction. I am hoping this will bring the joy back into piano practice!

  • Would love this, my son is very creative and has taught himself a lot just by copying people he sees on videos.

  • I have 3 girls and homeschool all of them. The one thing Ive been wanting to implement more but need help is Music! They sing, sing, sing, sing till they pass out. They use things around the house for music. They are always putting the TV on music to dance. Music is such a big piece of their hearts. Our little girls have wanted to learn how to play piano, guitar and flute for sometime with piano in first place. I have a 11.5 yr old, 8 yr old and 6 yr old. My husband is so musically inclined with guitar but not piano. I grew up with a piano but never the honor to learn how to play it coming from a poorer family. But that passion never has died. I never heard of you guys until I found HipMom last night while searching for a good resource, community and information site. This is a Godsend and would be so amazing. We are blessed to have girls that delight in music and this would help me as with 1 income, lessons are hard to do. Music is what we are lacking to add spice to our classroom!

  • I am just starting to teach my daughter some basic piano, but my skills are not so great themselves! This would help us out a great deal!

  • I would highly appreciate it if you considered ‘us’ ( myself & my son ). Unfortunately he had to stop his music lesson’s due to some unfortunate circumstances. Fingers crossed it will truly be a blessing.

  • Hello,

    I was just searching for Simply Music Online reviews and found your blog. Is this discount code still available?

    Cheers

    • Hi Jodie! The best thing to do is probably to contact Simply Music, tell them where you found the discount code, and ask them if they’ll still give you the discount. You never know–they just might still let you have it! We’re glad you came across our site! Come back again soon. 🙂

  • I am homeschooling a junior boy.. who is very musical. This sounds great. I would love to trial it and see the program in action with him.

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