For the past few weeks, members of the Homeschool Review Crew have been trying out Simply Music so we can tell others all about it. Simply Music has a free introductory course called Music & Creativity – Foundation Course (MAC) and that is what my daughter, Olivia, has been using.
I love how soft he is in his speech during the lessons. I also love how he emphasizes there is no right or wrong length of time it takes to master the things he is teaching. He encourages you to take your time with each thing he teaches so that you feel comfortable with it before you move on to the next lesson.
The design of the MAC program is “playing-based”. What this means is that you will be getting your hands on the keys of a piano (or keyboard) during your very first lesson. The parts of learning an instrument that can sometimes be considered boring are sort of skipped with this program. You don’t have to memorize a bunch of notes or even learn how to read sheet music.
Neil Moore teaches you how to truly listen to music and how to improvise and play along with soundtracks.
The course consists of mostly video-based instruction with Neil Moore, with downloadable soundtracks and three pdf documents.
When you log in to the website, you will first click on the course you are taking. Then, when you are taking the Foundation Course, it will take you to a page that looks like the screenshot below.
You have a 20-page reference book, a practice pad, which is a printable craft that will give your child a paper version of a piano to practice on, soundtracks, and a book about music education.
Below that you will see the course content. This is where you will spend the bulk of your time. It shows you where you are, so all you have to do is click on the first lesson that doesn’t have a green checkmark under the status column. Of course, you can also rewatch lessons if you want to review.
The lessons are different lengths and you also have to remember to factor in your practice time in between lessons.
There are 21 lessons in the MAC Foundation Course. Before moving on to the next lesson, the current one needs to be completed. I found this out on accident. In order to write this review, I wanted to look ahead to see what future lessons looked like, but it prompted me to finish the current lesson before moving on.
Lessons 1 and 2, “The Basics” and “Learning Strategies”, respectively, give you just what their names imply. They probably sound like boring lessons, but Neil Moore really does a fantastic job and making the basics interesting and fun. I was really impressed by that.
After the first lesson, my daughter actually sat and practiced on her own. I didn’t have to tell her to continue practicing. For me, that is a testament to the teachings of Neil Moore. He makes learning the piano a fun experience instead of a chore.
I truly recommend you enroll your kids in this course. Since it’s a free course, you literally have nothing to lose. There are more courses after this one that have a cost involved, but they seem to be reasonably priced. Especially when compared to in-person lessons, which are usually quite pricy!
Good luck and let me know if you try it out!
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