Master a new way of classical piano training. You will learn how to play with ease, uncover your unique musical voice, and learn new pieces quickly and effortlessly.
Beta Enrollment ends on
November 30th, 2019
Watching a professional pianist like Lang Lang or Martha Argerich can be an awe-inspiring experience. They can seem engrossed in the music, completely connected to the piano. Their fingers fly about effortlessly.
Trying to play the piano yourself can be the exact opposite of “motivating”. Your fingers do not do what you tell them to do. The music is overwhelmingly complex.
When you hear that professionals generally start at the age of 4 or 5 (or sometimes earlier!), you're left wondering “what hope is there for me?”
Nevertheless, you give it your best try, dedicating yourself to practicing the piano. You watch instructional videos, read books, maybe even sign up for weekly lessons with a teacher.
And you make some progress. But still, it feels difficult.
Even after learning to read music, it still takes forever to learn new pieces, because you have to work through them note-by-note.
Or, maybe you sit down to improvise your own music, which should be a relaxing, creative experience.
But, it’s not. The music doesn’t seem to flow naturally. You start with a good idea, but you run out of inspiration halfway through.
If you’re learning on your own, you might be overwhelmed and confused about how to proceed. How much sight-reading should you do? How should you practice it? Which piece should you learn next? How do you know if a piece is too hard or too easy for you?
When the goal is years away, it can seem like one wrong step will set you in the wrong direction permanently.
There is nothing difficult about piano playing. It only seems that way, when you try to tackle the whole thing at once.
Yes, I am a professional musician, but I wasn't always. Since I started learning the piano, I struggled with many things: poor technique, performance anxiety, constantly comparing myself to others.
I found myself playing the piano in high-pressure situations such as opera auditions and choir rehearsals. In these environments, a pianist is expected to sight-read unfamiliar music without any practice. It is not possible to take the time to stop and figure out notes or fingerings; one must play expressively, at speed, while simultaneously being aware of one's surroundings (including a conductor or singers).
My deficiencies soon became apparent. Sight-reading was always a strength of mine, but in this high-pressure environment, any hesitation is fatal. Tension accumulated in my body, making it difficult to rely on whatever piano technique I had. If something was difficult, I couldn't play fast.
I became extremely self-conscious, comparing myself to other pianists and noticing how much easier things seemed for them. Even 9-year-old kids on YouTube made me envious!
I realized I needed to go back to the beginning, and get to the root of my problems. This quest led to me several piano teachers, books, and a wide variety of personal experiences. In the process, I discovered some rather remarkable things about how piano playing works.
And I learned even more remarkable things about how the human mind works.
If you decide you want to learn to play the piano, you might go to a traditional piano teacher. You will find that, even with a good teacher, piano playing is still really hard.
The teacher will instruct you to learn a piece of music, and play without mistakes. This is easier said than done. The teacher will correct your mistakes, and you might go home and even practice those corrections, but still, you will make mistakes.
Even if you understand intellectually what you're supposed to be playing, it might not stick. That's because you can't "muscle" your way to the right notes. You can't just "try harder". Seriously, try it.
Instead, you need to learn how to practice.
When you know how to practice, you will find that the mistakes correct themselves.
Even if you have no problem hitting the right notes, you still have to contend with the fact that it's hard to move your fingers in the right way.
This is because playing the piano is complicated. It's like learning to ride a bicycle. You can't just hop on and expect things to go well.
Yet, if you've ridden a bicycle, you know that it's pretty easy once you get the hang of it. That's because there are only three things to do: pedal, steer, and brake.
That's it. All of that complexity is reduced to just three basic steps.
Do you know how to do that with piano playing? Do you think the average piano teacher knows how?
Your teacher may give you some exercises to do. But, those exercises are probably based more on tradition than they are on your unique situation. Or, your teacher may give you vague instructions such as "play more lightly", or "use more weight." These are subjective descriptions that make more sense to the teacher than they do to you.
You don't need subjective descriptions. You don't need words. You need an experience that teaches you something that you can understand.
Yes, you will learn "how to push the right buttons." But that is not music. Music is expressive and creative.
Until you are connected to the music, you will find it impossible to express anything. You will be worried about your mistakes, and you will feel awkward and uncoordinated.
Playing the piano must be as natural as speaking. Just imagine trying to say something meaningful in a conversation if you are worried about how to move your lips, or exactly which words to use. You can't do it. It's impossible. Yet, this is how music is normally taught.
In a traditional piano lesson, the teacher will make corrections and you will be expected to agree with them. Even if they make no sense to you. Even if you are unsuccessful in incorporating them into your playing.
This is because, in a traditional piano lesson, the teacher is the gatekeeper. They alone get to decide if you are worthy of playing the music of the great composers.
But, this is not why you want to learn the piano, I'm sure. You want to learn because it's fun and exciting for you.
You don't need someone telling you that what you're doing is wrong. You need someone to stand behind you and help you achieve your goals. You need a way of learning that helps you understand your experience.
I want to introduce an ingredient that is missing from traditional piano lessons: mindfulness. One way of defining mindfulness is “paying attention to the present moment, without judgment.”
This is a really helpful skill to have if you are trying to learn anything.
If you have experience playing music or learning any physical skill, you might have noticed how annoying it is when tension makes things more difficult.
You try harder and harder to relax. It works for a short time, but the tension comes back sooner or later. After all, you can't control when you get nervous. And, if it happens in the middle of a crucial spot, you're in trouble.
So, what can you do about this?
Take a moment right now to observe the room that you're in.
What do you see?
What do you hear?
What are you feeling in your body?
How much of it is clear to you?
How much of it is hazy or foggy?
Have you ever noticed that when you can see clearly what your senses are telling you, things go better? How about the opposite? Isn't it the case that when you feel like you're in a fog, it's much easier to get overwhelmed?
So it is with playing music.
Instead of trying to get rid of the tension, what if you could sharpen your senses? What if you got to be so clear on what's going on, that you could see exactly what the tension was doing to your playing?
You could then play well, even without having to get rid of the tension!
You need to practice this way. It's hard, and it takes time, but you can do it.
Many people in our society doubt themselves. This is especially common among musicians!
We all have that little voice in our heads that says "I'm not good enough." How on earth can you feel successful when you have a mind giving you that kind of encouragement?
How much energy do you spend trying to shut up that voice?
Maybe you’ve tried things like:
Has any of it worked? Have you succeeded in turning off that voice?
Have you ever been super-annoyed by something, and you somehow stopped fighting and just let it be? You probably didn't even know it was possible to stop fighting until you stopped by accident.
I'll bet you noticed that when you stopped fighting, it stopped being so annoying. It even freed you up to pay attention to things that were more enjoyable, right?
So, what if you didn't need to get rid of the voice of doubt? What if you could turn the volume down instead? How would it feel if the voice were like a radio on in the background, instead of a megaphone blaring in your ear?
You'd be able to just let it be, and do your thing anyway...
Now, I'm not suggesting that there is a volume knob so clearly visible anywhere. You will have to learn how to find the knob, and this will take practice.
But, you can learn to do it.
Just imagine how this would make it so much easier to pay attention to what you’re studying.
This is an online video course that will teach you a new way of playing the piano, based on mindfulness. You will learn how to get in touch with your body, so that playing feels effortless and easy. You will learn how to understand the barriers that your mind creates, which are getting in the way of your progress.
Special offer! Enroll now and get a 50% discount!
When you sign up for this course, you will immediately have unlimited access to all of the video lessons in the course. The course is self-paced, so you are free to complete it on your own timeline. By the end of the course, you will have the confidence that you can take your piano playing in the direction that you want it to go in.
Learn how to cut through the complexity of “piano technique.” Discover a set of simple principles and exercises that will show you how to develop an intuitive understanding of how to move your hands.
Once you understand how everything fits together in music, you will be able to learn new pieces easily. This goes beyond “reading music”, getting to the roots of what is contained within the musical notation.
Teachers can be great, but you will be amazed at what will happen once you get in touch with your personal power. This does not replace teachers, but rather gives you the ability to see what they are seeing, so you can help yourself when you need to, and understand how to plan your long-term progress.
Music is supposed to be an art, and yet too often learning to play consists of boring and seemingly pointless drills. You will learn what separates great artists from amateurs, and how to access that creative energy within yourself.
Mindful Piano Basics is for beginning and intermediate pianists who want to try an unconventional approach to classical piano playing. It’s for people who are curious, rather than passive, and willing to question their assumptions. It’s for people who have realized that self-discovery is the way to personal empowerment.
Mindful Piano Basics might be for you if:
The point is mastery. Even as a beginner, you should be working towards this goal. You want control over what you’re doing. This is about tapping into your unique artistry and talent.
Music should be simple to understand. When things are simple, you have the freedom to explore, to learn, to create. If you’re overwhelmed by details, without having a context to put them in, you may as well be walking around in chains.
This course will give you knowledge. Let me clarify that a bit, since the course itself cannot give you anything. The knowledge comes from your efforts, from the work that you do. And, this course will teach you exactly what effort you need to put in. Then, the knowledge (the result of your personal experience) will be yours forever.
Mindful Piano Basics contains the following modules:
We will go over the basics of reading music. You will learn what the symbols mean, but more importantly, you will learn why the composer wrote them that way. We will cover how to read music in a way that immediately helps you play it on the piano.
We will discuss the obstacles that musicians always create for themselves, which makes playing the piano unnecessarily difficult. You will learn a technique for uncovering technical difficulties in any piece, no matter how complex or how simple. You will learn practical exercises for getting in touch with your body, and how to connect it to the music you’re playing.
We will discuss how to practice the piano with an eye toward long-term progress. You will learn how to develop the kind of ear and understanding that a piano teacher has so that you can start to make confident decisions about what’s best for you. You will learn exercises for sight-reading that make it possible to approach any piece, at any tempo.
Also included in the course are the following bonuses:
Even though this is a self-paced course, it is still useful to have feedback from a teacher. When you enroll in the course, you will have the opportunity to submit 3 videos of your practicing and receive written feedback. This will allow you to check if you are doing the exercises correctly.
You will have access to the course forever. This includes access to any updates or new lessons that are added to this course.
The course includes a downloadable workbook with written exercises. These exercises will challenge you to think deeply about the material in the course and encourage you in self-discovery.
Michael Korman is a piano teacher with many years of experience playing and teaching the instrument. He has worked as a rehearsal pianist for opera productions, a vocal coach and choir director, and holds a master’s degree in piano.
His unusual style of teaching is influenced by his background in science, meditation, and a ton of personal experimentation. He gets bored easily and is always trying to learn a new skill.
Let’s talk about how a typical piano lesson works.
You will play a piece for your teacher, and the teacher will give some constructive criticism. You might receive feedback on your fingering choices (which fingers you use to play which keys), your dynamics (how loud or how soft you play), or perhaps you will get some technical advice. The teacher will instruct you on what to practice for the next lesson, and you will be expected to do so over the next 6 days. The following week, this process will repeat itself.
These lessons are expensive. A piano teacher in my area will typically charge at least $60 for a one-hour lesson, and usually more. I have personally paid $200 for a single lesson in New York City, and I know this isn’t the upper limit!
I am not trying to devalue live teaching. Many students find it incredibly useful (including myself). However, there is no question in my mind that it can, at times, lack direction and clear goals.
The material in this course is concrete and includes actionable exercises to reinforce the important points. If you do the exercises, you will learn. And, you will not have to come back week after week with no end in sight.
Imagine signing up for 6 months of piano lessons. Let’s say that’s 24 lessons at $60 each. This comes to a total of $1,440.
And, I still have no confidence that you will learn what I’m teaching here. I know people who have taken lessons for years and years and are still at a beginner level.
This material took me years to understand, and I am distilling it here for you so that you don’t have to spend that time and frustration.
Enroll now in the BETA PROGRAM
Beta Program Enrollments close on November 30th, 2019
Try Mindful Piano Basics risk-free for 30 days.
If for any reason, you feel you are not benefitting from the material in the course within 30 days, I will refund 100% of your payment.
I have no interest in tricking people into paying me for this. I want you to buy this course happily because it offers real value to you.
Not as old as you will be the next time you ask this question.
Does it matter? You are whatever age you are, and you're not getting any younger. If you enjoy playing the piano, then play. It doesn't matter how much time you have "wasted". That time is gone, and you will never get it back. What matters is the present moment, because this is the only moment you have to make decisions about how you want to spend your time.
If you practice the exercises, you will improve.
It’s not easy. You will have to work hard. But, you will see that your work translates immediately into benefits. There are no shortcuts.
I don’t care how talented you are. I care about whether you are able to utilize your natural talents to their maximum effectiveness. And that’s what I will show you how to do.
Then, this is an opportunity to learn some new habits.
I have nothing against teachers. I have learned a lot from teachers, and so have many other pianists I know.
This course will teach you things in a very direct manner, in ways that you probably will not learn from a teacher. Try taking lessons with a teacher and see how it goes.
Please try to put aside your preconceptions about reading music. You probably never learned to do it in a way that works for you. This course will show you a simple way to understand what’s written on the page.
I teach classical piano because that is what I know.
The course starts with the basics, and encourages you to progress at your own pace. It is challenging, however, and will stretch you in ways you might not have thought possible.
This course is for beginners, or for intermediate-level pianists who feel they haven’t quite “gotten it” yet. Even if you understand the basics of piano playing, you should understand that I teach things in a different way. This course is not aimed at advanced pianists, although I believe they would still benefit from reexamining their assumptions about how things work.
Enroll now in the BETA PROGRAM
I believe that all human beings have the right and the potential to learn to play a musical instrument.
This path can be extremely difficult. Music can challenge us physically, emotionally, and mentally. But, that’s why it’s worth doing, right?
I am confident that if you put in the work, you will make progress. And that progress may be way beyond what you ever imagined possible.