The following is the complete Pianofool story as told by Tim Mitchum the PianoFool himself 😉
It was back in 1979, when a little 6 year old Pianofool (wow I feel old) stepped very proudly out of his family’s 1976 pinto station wagon to go into my very first piano lesson, you know the one with metallic green paint and the wood paneling that screamed “Don’t rear end us or we might blow up” Something about a gas tank issue I guess.. Anyway I digress.
I was so excited to be learning the piano but soon realized my piano teacher didn’t feel the same way. She told my mom after 2 weeks, 2 lousy weeks, that I didn’t like to follow the rules and that because I didn’t read every freaking note on the sheet music I would not be teachable. So she kicked me out. The funny thing is that I didn’t have to read every note of music because I had actually practiced the music a little bit every day. I didn’t have to read a book to tie my shoe either teach..
After being kicked I took my 6 year old walk of shame past the fancy cars in the parking lot, the ones with all the fancy hood ornaments and shiny wheels to get into our pinto and it was at that point ,I realized I was way out of my league in the whole piano deal. I just didn’t fit in.
Even though Life went on… But I always held onto that dream just a little bit of being able to sit down at the piano and play songs I wanted to play and as the years went by and I got older I never stopped hearing people having the same exact story OVER and OVER again.
They would always say “I used to take piano lessons but I quit”
It became very clear to me that Traditional piano lessons must be set up for you to fail. I mean I knew way more people that failed at piano than I did who actually played even after years of lessons. You may even be one of those kids whose parents spent thousand of dollars on to put you through the lessons.
Sometimes I wonder if traditional piano teaching is really a just a high priced babysitting scheme. Im serious,for instance you could pay a 13 year old neighbor girl something like 6 bucks an hour to watch your kids, or pay a traditional piano teacher 15-30 bucks a half an hour to watch your kids and chances are either way your kids come out with the same result. Not actually being able to play the piano the way they want.
Okay okay , I know I am considered the black sheep of the piano industry but I don’t really care. I actual come to the defense of traditional piano teachers.. Yep I sure do.
Here’s the deal.
In defense of traditional piano teachers it’s not their fault either. They are simply repeating the teaching the way they learned it. They are the 1% who made it. We are not! Which is why learning from someone who is kind of from the other side of the tracks in the piano world is the best way to achieve actual results. Kind of like the business professor at Harvard who has never owned a business vs. the uneducated millionaire who figured out how to do it in the real world.
So after taking all of this knowledge into consideration I finally came to the realization that traditional piano teaching was not the best way for me to learn to play piano. But I wasn’t going to give up. So whats the first thing a REALLY smart guy like me did?
Signed up for Traditional piano lessons.. Well that lasted about 2 weeks. Hmmmm… I am seeing a pattern here. Strike 2 .
What’s the definition of insanity again?. “doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results” well it only makes sense that my next attempt was not with traditional piano teacher.
So I chose to learn from my girlfriend who had 17 years of classical training, by a Julliardish teacher of some kind. Its funny how I never heard her play piano though… But she was a current piano teacher at the time and she was teaching a very popular program that was supposably “Alternative” ooohhhhhhh..
Well needless to say the only thing alternative about the program was calling it alternative. You were still trying to compute something from the paper, in this case, triangles and numbers, and squares and on and on.. To put it to the keys of the piano and make it play. I failed again…Strike 3. But I wasn’t out.
You see I have failed at many things in my life and I am thankful for the blessing that comes from the experience of failing you see if you never fail you will never actual know what it is to succeed. But I was determined to learn this thing called the piano if it took me the rest of my years.
So I sat my girlfriend down and we had a heart to heart. I said ” Honey, its you , not me” Just joking.
What I really did was get down on my knees and beg her to teach me the piano the way I wanted to learn. I said if after 3 months there are no results and I fail for a 4th time I will never pestered her again about it. I will accept defeat and move on knowing it just wasn’t in the cards for me. And my first piano teacher who kicked me out at 6 years of age was WAY smarter than I thought. But a funny thing happened… I actually started to play the piano, but there was still something I felt like that was holding me back. I mean I was playing but it still wasn’t as easy as I thought it should be. And then the accident happened that changed it all..
Here is what happened. I caught my teacher playing the same thing she was teaching me but her hands were barely moving. I confronted her about why my hands have to move all over the keyboard when yours just barely move at all? She said she was doing an advanced move called inverted chords. I ask, “What is so advanced about it because it looks a heck of a lot easier than what I was doing?. She said is just is. I said hogwash and made her teach me with these so called advanced chords right away and that was the game changer.
Let’s play a little game to demonstrate:
Of these two pictures which one seems harder to do?
Or Picture B?
You see there is no difference in level of difficulty but a massive difference in how quickly you
Learn how to play the piano.
After learning with inverted chords right away I absolutely Crushed the learning curve of piano and after 3 months I could play more songs than she could after 17 years. I’ll never forget we went to a party where there was a beautiful grand piano and everyone there knew she had spent more than half of her life in piano lessons, so they asked her to play a few songs.. I kid you not she turned into a statue of fear.. As frozen as popsicle in Antarctica. I leaned over and asked her what was wrong and she simply said “I don’t have any music” HUH????? ” I don’t have my sheet music “, she said . And then I truly saw the tragedy of traditional teaching. Without her sheet music she could play nothing. I mean nothing..
So Pianofool to the rescue and I sat down and played 3-4 songs that I had learned in the 3 months and they all thought I was Elton John. Well not quite but at least I fooled them a little bit. It was a really big moment for her in the fact she realized she really couldn’t play anything without a duffel bag full of sheet music. But it turned out for her to be a blessing in diguise. So let me fast forward and tell you how that moment changed her life.
She sat me down and said, ‘Honey, its definitely you and not me” (insert tears) After leaving me for better horizons she quit teaching all together, sold her house, and become a traveling dueling piano player. I can really run them out of town huh. Oh well.. Life goes on.
But that is when I started to develop the “Layer Method Of Piano” and in less than 18 months I did my first dueling piano show and actually learned 40 songs in the last 9 days to accomplish this. Funny thing is I could have done it a lot quicker but I just didn’t have a reason too. I wanted to learn piano to play songs I loved and wasn’t concerned about playing any shows or being on stage but It just kind of happened and I knew I could do it with the method I had developed.
And before now playing the piano was limited to a group of
Musical genius types
Or Julliard Schooled prodigies da da daaaaa
But not anymore. The only reason you are reading this and the only reason Pianofool has been so successful is because of Jason. Ah….. My good old comepletly tone death and rhythmic challenge little buddy from college. I have heard him sing and have seen him dance and let me tell ya its not pretty. It’s a mixed between Elaine dance moves from Seinfeld and what I think it might sound like for a Elephant to give birth.. Wow, sorry for the image.
Moving on.. I reluctantly said I would teach him but I didn’t really think he could actually do it. So I had to break the process down so simply that he at least had a chance. And guess what?
30 days later my phone rings.. And its this recording of someone playing “Let It Be” by the Beatles really well and obviously with both right and left hand. Wondering which one of my cool music buddies it was I looked at the phone number and realized it was Jason. I about passed out with amazement. And in that moment I decided I will never let the traditional piano teaching ways, keep the rest of us, the 99%, from playing the piano. If Jason could learn, there was Double ZERO doubt in my mind that anybody could.
Musical background, age, social status, dance moves, Or singing skill.
Despite all those things You can absolutely play the piano. Quickly.
… And that is how is how it all started Ya ll!
Now look, I know you have probably tried a few types of programs or courses in the past and chances are they didn’t work-trust me I understand, but the “Layer Method” isn’t the same old repackaging of traditional piano teaching ways – it is a real mind shift in how we learn piano delivered through a proven method.
So if you are spending your time racking your brain on how to read sheet music or boring yourself with cheesy practice songs-that stops today.
If you’re trying to get all your scales down or chord progressions mastered you knock that off right now.
And if you’re worn out from wasting money on courses that only dump mountains of overwhelming amounts of information with ZERO direction on what to actually do with it- Forget about it.
The layer method isn’t about doing any of that-it’s much easier and WAY more effective. In other words it actually gets you playing REAL Songs REAL FAST!
I know it probably seems like being able to sit down at the piano and play a song that actually sounds good and impresses other people is out of reach- like that moment is only saved for those special few who have been trained for life to play or have some god given musical ability. But just imagine how you will feel when you fool everyone into thinking you have been playing for years as they turn their heads to see who is making that beautiful sound come out of the piano.
In fact, the more trained they are, the easier it is for you to fool them.
Listen-even if you have felt taken before, like most of us have, I mean seriously think about the thousands of dollars spent by parents for lessons that yielded no results, by now you’re are smart enough to know that simply renaming and repackaging the same traditional teaching philosophies just aren’t going to get you anywhere…
Fortunately the reason the layer method system works so well is that it broke the code on traditional teaching and only gives you what you need to know, when you need to know it, all laid out for you in a step by step process. No guesswork.
Ready to start playing piano with both hands by ear? Go here: http://www.pianofool.com/products/