• Leapfrog Growth: How to Grow in Leaps and Bounds in 2016

    in Motivational Minutes,Piano,Self-Improvement

    leapfrog growth

    On New Year’s day, our president and founder told me that “2016 is a year of Leapfrog Growth for all HearandPlay.com students.

    I was ecstatic to hear this and received it with much joy in my heart. And now I pass it on to you along with some words of encouragement.

    Truth is, there’s no better time to share this theme with you than now, as it’s still the first month of the year — which gives you time to structure your year to accommodate this growth.

    In this post, we’ll be looking at growth and most importantly, what we need to do in 2016 to grow.

    Note: I’ll use words like diet, exercise, food class, and lots more in this post to drive my points home. If you don’t have a fair knowledge of biology, indulge me.

    What Growth Means

    There are so many ways to define growth. However, I’ll define growth as the irreversible increase in size, height, weight, and depth.

    The key word in this definition is “increase.”

    Defining growth as “increase” is obviously enough to characterize it as positive.

    This definition goes further by stressing the areas or dimensions that this increase can affect. The first is in SIZE, the second is in HEIGHT, the third is in WEIGHT and the fourth is in DEPTH.

    Growth in music doesn’t just happen. The same way your natural body depends on your ability to feed, and most importantly, on the right things to grow, your musicianship can only grow when you expose your mind to the right information, or, in our president’s language, “when you learn the right things, the right way, in the right order, at the right time.”

    Growth (aka – “increase”) may not seem apparent overnight. However, if you keep up with the appropriate nourishment (exposure of your mind to the right things), days will pass into weeks, weeks will pass into months, and sometimes months may even pass into years before it will become apparent.

    Surely, you’ve seen fitness advertisements featuring “before” and “after” photos on television.

    We appreciate the “after” and sometimes laugh at the “before,” never asking ourselves what really transpired in between both ends. This is because whatever happened to create that transformation is the “story”. We often see the glory but don’t truly understand the story.

    In his New Year post, our founder also talked about what has happened in between the first and fifteenth year of HearandPlay’s existence. I also wrote a direct letter to musicians here titled “Here and There, where I talked about what it takes to move from where you are to where you want to be.

    If possible, read these posts before you continue.

    Who Should Grow and Who Shouldn’t

    “I want to grow. I want to be better. You Grow. We all grow. We’re made to grow. You either evolve or you disappear.”
    ― Tupac Shakur

    In biology, one of the characteristics of living things is growth.

    One may not necessarily increase in height annually, but one can increase in weight or size annually. 12.5% of why you are called a living being is because you grow.

    Phones, tablets, PCs, etc., are non-living things, which shouldn’t grow by all standards.

    Notwithstanding, you get notifications of software updates once in a while and when you download and install the new version, you notice visible changes. For lack of a better word, isn’t that growth?

    Windows users can see a clear difference between windows 7 and 8 and appreciate it because of remarkable differences that point to one thing, growth. How will you feel if windows 7 and 8 are the same, no changes (I realize for folks that are not a fan of Windows, this point is debatable.)

    That’s exactly how your audience feels after hearing you do the same thing for a while without the introduction of new things. It is the introduction of these new things that highlight growth.

    So, growth is for everyone, especially me.

    Watch Your Diet and Exercise Properly

    Another year just begun, our year of leapfrog growth. But beyond saying it, it’s important that you make an effort towards it, and take a step (if not two) in the right direction.

    One of the ways of ensuring that you increase in 2016 is to watch your diet and exercise properly. Or else you may grow but maybe get out of shape.

    In an internet world with so much information, it’s not easy to find a balanced music diet. That’s the reason why we scrutinize every bit of information you are served on this site, breaking them into digestible proportions with everyday application.

    At the moment, we are on a free 16 week chord revival program that will nourish you harmonically by putting several chord classes within your grasp.

    Beyond the diet, we’re following it back to back with 126 exercises weekly. 126 exercises × 16 weeks = 2016 exercises. The impact of 2016 exercises in the year 2016 is not something you should underestimate.

    You also have the option of nourishing other aspects of your musicianship during or after this chord revival program so that while you’re growing in chords, other areas are not suffering.

    If you’re yet to join our free 16 week chord revival program, it’s not too late. Click here to check it out.

    We’ve prepared a diet for everyone who is desirous of serious growth. This diet is balanced because it contains six classes of intellectual food that will nourish you.

    Food Class #1 – Notes

    • Understand visual (color, shapes, layout, design, pattern, etc) and musical (direction, melodic and harmonic relationships) properties of the keyboard.
    • Delve into sound, frequency, and pitch. Explore pitch class sets (0-11) , Naming systems (Letter, Sol-fa and Interval), Octave, Melodic progression (semitone, whole tone, sesquitone, ditone, diatessaron, and tritone), Pitch modification, Enharmonic Equivalence and lots more.

    Food Class #2 – Scales

    • Learn various ways to classify scales according to Culture Area, Usage, Note-Aggregate and Tonality.
    • Discover the relationship between the circle of fifths and key signature (the number of sharps and flats a key has).
    • Understand the proper approach to playing ALL traditional scales (pure Major, Pure minor, Melodic minor and Harmonic minor) on all keys with both hands.
    • Explore all diatonic modes – Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian etc and how to construct them in any key.

    Food Class #3 – Intervals

    • Expose yourself to the harmonic and melodic implication of any two notes on the keyboard.
    • Discover the harmonic properties of these chords and their potentials in chord formation intervals by understanding what two notes relate to each other.
    • Learn how to describe intervals using note and scale knowledge.
    • Get started with the proper spelling of intervals.
    • Find out how to distinguish scale-step and non scale-step intervals.

    Food Class #4 – Chords

    • Get started with a proper introduction to chords by understanding scalar and intervallic relationship between chord tones.
    • Learn how to classify chords according to class of harmony, aggregate, stability quality etc.
    • Equip yourself with ALL scale degree chords (triads, seventh chords and extended chords [ninths, elevenths and thirteenths]).
    • Experience chord inversions (choral style and keyboard style) like never before.
    • Understand other advanced concepts (like Harmonic function, Chord Voicing, Chord Notation, etc) that will ground you in chords. Bonus chapter on triad and seventh chord arpeggios.

    Food Class #5 – Chord Progressions

    • Discover what it takes to combine chords into progressions.
    • Explore chord progressions like never before – cyclical, blues, etc.
    • Learn how to play major and minor 2-5-1 progressions in all keys.
    • Discover the difference between various types of progressions and when and where they’re used.
    • Get exposed to the secrets of borrowing chords, modal progressions, and more.

    Food Class #6 – Songs

    • Understand the structure and form of music.
    • Get properly introduced to cadences and modulations.
    • Take an adventure through various styles like blues, hymns, spirituals, rock, and others.
    • Learn how to end your songs using  fancy endings covered in this course.
    • Discover how to use all what you’ve learned in subsequent courses to play real-life songs.

    Can you possibly devour all these and have nothing to show for it?

    Take it from me, “You are what you eat.”

    Final Words

    The sweetest thing about growth is that it is an irreversible process. Getting there may not be easy, but once you get there, there’s no going back. Therefore, do your best now you can.

    One year is enough for notable changes to take place in your musicianship.

    The year 2016 has started and the first two weeks of January are gone and it’s past the time for resolution,  it’s rather a time for action!

    Invest in information (the balanced diet). Invest quality time in study and practice. In the long run, when you look at 2015 and 2016 side by side, you’ll see notable changes that point towards growth.

    Pause and ponder.

    Bye for now!

    The following two tabs change content below.
    Onyemachi "Onye" Chuku (aka - "Dr. Pokey") is a Nigerian musicologist, pianist, and author. Inspired by his role model (Jermaine Griggs) who has become his mentor, what he started off as teaching musicians in his Aba-Nigeria neighborhood in April 2005 eventually morphed into an international career that has helped hundreds of thousands of musicians all around the world. Onye lives in Dubai and is currently the Head of Education at HearandPlay Music Group and the music consultant of the Gospel Music Training Center, all in California, USA.

    Attention: To learn more about this, I recommend our 500+ page course: The "Official Guide To Piano Playing." Click here for more information.


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