Note: Since writing this review article, Elias has completed the entire Musiah course and has written a follow-up review which you can read here: Musiah Review: “The Impact Of The Program On Me Has Been Profound”
Prior to trying Musiah, there were a variety of reasons for not pursuing piano lessons, which might have in turn prevented or discouraged me from giving Musiah a chance.
I am an adult and the perception, perhaps well founded, is that learning an instrument or language or other similar skills is best undertaken as a child, when your capacity to absorb and apply your skills is greater.
Being an adult, one is consumed with 'adult' responsibilities, like work, studies, and family and social commitments and finding the time is difficult for learning an instrument, which takes dedication and commitment.
The idea of finding the right piano tutor and identifying the optimal frequency and place of lessons was also a challenge.
I had one or two lessons as a young child with a group of students and didn't enjoy the experience. My thoughts about giving the piano another try were only that, until I decided to give Musiah a try.
On giving piano lessons with Musiah a try, I was impressed with a number of features with the Musiah program, some anticipated and others surprising.
I was worried about learning and remembering the foundation/mechanics of playing the piano but Musiah teaches this in an interesting way, and the animated design and characters really aid in the rote understanding of what might be a turn off in a book or other method.
I also thought I would give a lesson a try, find it too hard and give up, but so far that hasn't been my experience.
The lessons have been challenging for me undoubtedly but I have continued to devote time to progression, not because of need but because I am enjoying learning new skills and pieces.
Progression is a rewarding experience and is encouraging in a way that might not be possible in other programs.
I really like how Musiah teaches the fundamentals of playing the piano (where to place your fingers, where the different keys are located, what sounds each key makes independently and in relationship with the others, finger positioning/coordination, note reading, note lengths) and how these fundamentals are constantly built upon and reinforced with challenges throughout one's progression through the level/s.
Sometimes I get frustrated with him because he appears very particular about mistakes but I appreciate his approach because it is teaching me to be a better player, albeit at my very elementary level, and he is teaching me good habits.
It is as if I have a piano tutor in my room but don't have to worry about making too many mistakes or running out of time.
There are lots of other benefits to Musiah. In particular, I like;
1. The flexibility to revisit previous lessons, which I found particularly useful in order to pass the performance challenge at the end of each lesson which requires successful completion of three random pieces from the level.
2. The ability to go back to a lesson and also improve your audition score is very effective and encourages you to spend just a bit more time practicing, which is beneficial.
3. The convenience of set up. I don't have to get dressed up, travel somewhere by car or other form of transport, which also saves me time, which is in short supply for most people.
All I need is a keyboard and Musiah is waiting for me and lesson takes up automatically where we left off (unlike a tutor who might need to spend time trying to work out where we left off), with the option to go back a step or two if you need it.
4. Variety of lessons and challenges. Musiah has a great mix of playing and knowledge retention. Nothing ever feels dull, which is perhaps the most important attribute of the program. Boredom is the greatest impediment to motivation, at least for me, and Musiah keeps things fresh.
I am under no illusions that the challenges will become more and more difficult and maybe I'll have a limit as to far how I can progress, but considering what I can play now compared to what I could play before, it is a testament to Musiah.
I would absolutely recommend this program. I have only been learning with Musiah for a few weeks and maybe there is a 'honeymoon' period but learning with Musiah is one of the high priorities in my day at the moment.
Time will tell of course how much I can advance but I'm very happy that I gave it a try and hope to continue with Musiah and learning in an interesting and exciting way.
I must say, I really appreciate the considerable work that has obviously gone into developing Musiah into a living, breathing and responsive character with a mystery and a purpose to bring out the best in you.
The solar/futuristic setting combined with the animation and narrative is great, perhaps an underlying message that music is transcendent.
Elias H - St James WA, Australia
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