Musicpedia: Your custom piano course
How It Works
All you have to do is request the skill you wish you had from our Musipedia skills list. Our genius programming monkeys will then find your requested skill in the Musipedia, which is basically a family tree-style skills list the size of Texas, where every skill is linked to the other prerequisite skills. We then send you just the exact videos, play-alongs and print-outs you will need to accomplish your goals. Whenever you change your mind or find something else to learn, just send another request and you'll get your new materials delivered to you at no extra charge. It's like your own custom piano course personalized for just your goals.
Music teachers have been able for centuries to sell the idea that there is a "right way" to learn the piano. The truth is that there are all kinds of ways to approach music, or any other language. Fortunately, YouTube is putting terrible, pretentious teachers out of work in all kinds of fields by allowing anyone to access any information at any point in their journey. The only problem is that the exact video you find usually assumes you have some necessary skill you don't have yet. But the only other option has been to sign up for an entire piano course full of boring lessons you don't care about in order to finally arrive at that one thing you wanted in the first place. Musipedia is our way of making sure you get the skill you want without the boring stuff you don't absolutely need.
Musipedia definitely has a specific audience. Some people like the comfort of being told what is the "right thing" to learn, and they want to learn it in the "right order". For these people, another resources such as Klopol Academy will ensure a well-rounded approach to the instrument, and insure their educational path is similar and superior to other traditionally trained musicians. But other people just see life as an experiment and find themselves jumping around from one thing to the next, picking up a wide range of skills everywhere they go. That is the group that will most benefit from Musipedia. It's exactly what you want, exactly when you want it, with the added insurance of success. It's piano lessons for those who know precisely what they want out of thier piano lessons.
Just like everything at Learn Piano Live, it's all included. Subscribe to get full access to the Musipedia, live lessons, and Klopol Piano Academy!
The short version is: we’re working on it, and I’ve been doing the job of the Musipedia on my own, one-on-one with students.
Long version: It’s new. We’re just now putting it together. Like everything so far, I’m just amazed that it doesn’t already exist somewhere else. A little history will make more sense of it…
We started out with the live lessons. Show up, learn whatever we’re talking about. I assumed for years that someone was already doing this well, which is why I kept turning down my drummer friend’s suggestion that I start doing it. He was, and is, killing it doing exactly that in the drum world. As zero pianists stepped up to take this field over, I finally decided I’d get in the game, if only to hold the place for someone else to come in and take over the market with high-quality live group lessons from knowledgeable, engaging teachers; or at least to inspire a sucky version to do it better. …still a pretty barren field out here…
And as students outside the US started to outnumber the US students, we tried changing the broadcast time, but eventually just had to build out the archives so they could catch the lessons we did in the middle of their night.
But many absolute beginners and adults (who usually feel like they are absolute beginners) wanted a step-by-step, classical approach so they felt confident they weren’t missing what they might have gotten from traditional lessons. Again, I assumed the major academies already had something I could point students to: CM? Royal Academy? And major piano school? Nope! So we started Klopol Academy, which is essentially the same program as all of those, in the same order, but we offer it online instead of having to go through one of their approved teachers, paying for private lessons. Klopol Academy is self-paced and included for all Learn Piano Live subscribers.
Building out the program and being careful to include all the concepts from all the major programs, I was shocked to realize that literally zero traditional piano methods include any jazz and basically no improvisation or composition. It’s crazy – even Beethoven and Mozart improvised!?! The best these programs provide is during their competitions you’re “allowed” to improvise for a couple minutes but get no feedback. In other words, they won’t kick you off the stage, but they don’t care if you ever learn the skill.
So, of course, we’re weaving that into the program, level by level, adding the jazz, improvisation and composition components, which means Klopol Academy is a little more difficult than the other programs, but you also have a well-rounded skill set and learn what you’re actually going to need entering a music school. There are 12 levels to Klopol Academy and the goal is to be prepared to audition for Juilliard or any other music school as a jazz or classical piano major by the end of the program. Fortunately, I have advisors from the top music schools on the project, so it’s not entirely my baby (and, thankfully, not up to me to determine what qualifies as “prepared” to entered those schools.)
That brings us to somewhere in 2017, where the Learn Piano Live program really seems to be taking off and I started learning that:
- the live lessons are great for students who want to just “learn piano” in general but don’t have their own personal goals/passions for the instrument – they just want to add some piano to their lives and don’t want the cost or accountability of traditional lessons; they’re happy learning whatever on the instrument.
- Klopol Academy is great for the opposite type of students, who are self-motivated and want a clear, tested, well-rounded path and a way to track exactly where they are on that path.
Somehow I didn’t foresee the third group: the students who are motivated, practicing students who are often self-taught and have very definite ideas about what they want to learn and where they want to go, but need direction on how to get there. As it turns out, this might be a majority of students. As those students needed help, I’ve just been meeting with them one-on-one through Skype or something to point them in the right directions:
“You want to learn jazz chords? Cool – start with this intervals lesson and then add this chords lesson and then you’ll be ready for the extensions lesson and the jazz rhythms lesson. Good luck; have fun! Let me know when you need more help.”
And as more and more students’ requests grouped around the same topics and I was giving the same advice, I thought, “Surely there’s already a music family tree with a music concept on each node that I can point students to that will show them what they need to work on to get where they want to go, right?” Wrong. Or at least I haven’t found it yet. It would mean a customizable piano academy that only teaches you what you want instead of the well-rounded approach.
So I started compiling a list of topics and noting which ones depended on which other topics. It became a mess very quickly. Now I’ve got a programmer on the team and the data part is much neater. However, there are still a lot of missing nodes and the face of the program is still not determined. How do students access the information and since we’re dumping a bunch of money into developing this thing, how do we protect it from someone else coming in and just stealing the tree for their own program? This is where we currently stand.
I don’t dare to think that Musipedia will be the last part we’ll need to add to the Learn Piano Live program, but I can’t think what will be left…and that’s probably for the best - there’s plenty to work on now without concerning myself with the future. This is a humbling endeavor, and as many innovators and leaders, I keep feeling that I’m surely not the right guy for this. I can think of ten other guys who I feel are more qualified to disrupt the traditional piano method or codify jazz piano or create a comprehensive jazz and classical method, but here we are, the means and the opportunity just mocking me. This thing should exist, so I will make it until someone else does it better or first.
“You prepare because you don’t pick your circumstances; they pick you. When the baton is in your hand, you’re the one who runs; when you’re the one in the battle, you’re the one who fights.”
- US Navy Seal Jocko Willink
“We don’t go on because we’re ready. We go on because it’s time.”
- Tiny Fey, writer and performer for the live comedy show, Saturday Night Live
Oh – also, I do this because it’s a ton of fun and it’s a challenge and none it really matters anyway. It’s just piano.