Musical U

Case Studies

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Case Study: Doug H.

After retiring from a career as a physician, Doug suddenly had a great deal of time to explore his potential musicality. While trained and proficient in classical music, he wanted to be able to play without needing the sheet music. A major factor in this was wanting to be able to play simple folk songs for his grandchildren and learn to improvise. 

After trying several apps that promised ear training, Doug joined Musical U and says he was immediately surprised by the comprehensive approach that the site employed to teach. Starting off with very simple exercises gave him the confidence and foundation to continue learning more complex skills. The logical flow from one module to the next, along with his progress journal, gave him a clear plan and direction.

Doug can now sit at the piano and confidently play a simple folk tune or Beatles song without needing to rush off to find the sheet music. Being able to play songs and sing with his family is now a source of joy in his musical life. His improvisational skills have greatly improved and he has a firm structure for how he approaches improvisation. Doug says his experiences at Musical U have opened up his eyes to some new ways of thinking about music and performing. 

Case Study: Paris S.

Paris is a budding producer and multi-instrumentalist who had become mystified by the attitude many people seemed to have for music, that “you either had it in you or you didn’t”. He would watch musicians performing and wonder how they were able to just get on stage and play with such confidence and presence in the moment. Wanting to explore his own creative side, he sought an answer, a step-by-step method to unlocking his desire to play music. 

Upon his initial sign-in to the site, Paris says he was delighted to be greeted by the team and dove straight into his music learning. He was able to set goals and see the course work laid out in a sequential manner. Having real human interaction within the membership was a big deal for him, and helped to inspire years of learning and developing his musicality. 

Paris calls Musical U the “center of the musicality universe, a virtual encyclopedia of knowledge”. He says he’s now able to speak in a musical language and communicate freely with other musicians and his instrument teachers. This holistic approach to his music learning has given him the confidence to play with others, continue to learn new styles of music, and to find true happiness as a musician. 

Case Study: Shirley S.

Shirley describes herself as a lifelong caretaker, raising many children and caring for foster children. Her house was always a musical house and she was delighted to see the children grow and develop musicality as part of their upbringing. But she was so busy caring for the family that she never had the opportunity to explore her own musical side. Retirement opened up a new chapter and she was able to join a local choir and began to thirst for more knowledge about her newfound passion for creating music. 

She said she was drawn to Musical U because of the passion for music that Christopher had. It matched her own! While she initially found the site overwhelming, the Musical U team was able to guide her in the direction that she wanted to take and give her the support that she needed. The clear breakdown of the modules allowed her to review skills that she had already gained while setting a foundation for more difficult and complex music learning as she continued her journey.

Since joining Musical U, she’s made steady progress toward her goals and still revisits previous training to refresh her skills. She’s become more confident in her singing and reflects on her thoughts about playing music with the community. She says that perhaps the most surprising aspect of Musical U was how kind the community is - she’s never heard a single negative word from anyone on the site. 

Case Study: Hugh M.

Hugh began learning music at an early age, but became frustrated with the slow progress on the piano and eventually stopped playing. After being exposed to Arabic music and the Oud, he was enthralled with the tonality of the instrument and began his music learning journey again. The microtones and strange timbre of this new music made him realize that he needed to further develop his own musicality.

After joining Musical U, Hugh was surprised to see how integrated the community is to the overall learning process. He found he was able to take bite-size lessons and see real progress quickly, which gave him the confidence to continue going through the various roadmaps and modules. Having a plan and roadmap encouraged him to continue to develop and enjoy the process of learning in a way that he says no other website had given him previously. 

Hugh continues to be very active with the community and enjoys talking with his fellow members. He enjoys that there’s no “one-upmanship” among the members and that there’s a complete lack of intimidation. Listening to the Musicality Now show is a regular part of his learning and he’s taken on the mindset of a lifelong music learner. In addition to his own musical growth, he found Musical U’s Resident Pro for Piano Ruth Power to be so delightful that he has enrolled his son in her online piano program.

Case Study: Tony R.

Tony developed a passion for recording and allowed other musicians to record in his home studio for years. Along the way, he decided that he’d like to try his hand at playing music and began studying the guitar through a website online. While his technical skills improved on the guitar, he felt that something was missing and began to explore ear training and developing a better instinct for playing music. 

Tony first found Musical U through the show Musicality Now and was immediately attracted to the collaborative nature of the team. He said that he could tell that the team genuinely wanted him to learn these skills, and wasn’t just after a financial transaction. The material complemented his guitar lessons and he was able to began applying his new training to real music quickly.

Tony describes himself as not only a Musical U student, but a Musical U fan. He’s continued to develop as a musician and urges others throughout the community. He calls his membership a patronage to the idea that people have the right to learn these skills and become confident and capable musicians. He says the site has given him a lot, and he’s happy to pass along the skills he’s learned to other musicians. 

Case Study: Sharilynn H.

Sharilynn is a classically trained musician that moved away from music for a career and to raise her family. While she wasn’t able to play as much as she would have liked during those years, she kept music in her household and knew that one day she would return. The opportunity finally came and she was able to begin playing in a big band as the children got older.

Finding herself playing completely new style of music, Sharilynn knew that she had to develop her listening skills. She first joined Musical U through the course The Musician’s Ear and says she was amazed at the depth of the material and how much it related to her goals. The wide variety of different songs and styles helped her develop active listening quickly and it’s now a skill that she uses on a frequent basis. Eventually, she moved onto the membership site and continued to learn more skills and encourage other musicians throughout the community. 

The biggest breakthrough for Sharilynn has been the discovery that she does have a musical ear. While she had previously struggled through ear training at university, she was now able to develop her skills in a step-by-step manner and experience real progress. This gave her the confidence to continue learning and apply the training to her musical life. Being able to pick and choose her learning in a flexible manner with the support of the Musical U team allows her to have never-ending fun and progress with the training. 

Case Study: Min F.

Min grew up and lives in China, where she attended primary school and received a basic music education. But she never had the opportunity to play the piano and had a passion for exploring the instrument in her future. After beginning her professional career in the legal industry, she took a leap of faith and purchased her first piano and began looking for a teacher. To her surprise, most of the teachers in her area scoffed at the idea of someone her age just beginning their music education. She was told she was “too old” to learn music and should stop immediately. But she persisted. 

After making a new years resolution that 2019 was the year she was going to learn music, she stumbled upon Musical U. She loved the structure that Musical U provided to her music education. She’s now able to improvise and play songs by ear, which has greatly increased her repertoire and ability to play songs for her friends.

The biggest breakthrough for Min was the idea that solfa can be used throughout her musical life. In China, solfa is primarily reserved only for primary school music, and isn’t practiced much outside of school. Solfa has been instrumental in providing Min with a musical foundation that can be used in nearly any musical situation she finds herself in. Min is also immersed within the Musical U community and loves to converse with like-minded adult musicians. She says that Musical U is the “best thing that has happened to her this year”.

Case Study: Cathy L.

Cathy has been playing instruments and singing in local community orchestras for several years with her husband. She’s been taking vocal lessons and recently switched from soprano to alto his local choir. When a new director came to their choir, she realized that she had to expand her musical knowledge to be able to learn the new repertoire more quickly. 

Cathy remembers joining Musical U as “my husband was out of town one weekend and that’s a dangerous thing”! She had been receiving the free content from Musical U for some time, but decided to see how much more she could gain with the membership. For her, it wasn’t just the material that was helpful, but seeing how things work together in music which has been enriching. 

She says that being a member of Musical U has greatly helped her develop into her new role as an alto. Singing in harmony has never been one of her strong points, but she’s now able to do it with more confidence and can hear how her vocal line fits into the harmony of the song. The positive encouragement from the community, in addition to having a sense of ownership over her own music learning continues to push her to developing her musicality. 

"It's rich pickings out there at Musical U. There's a lot of fruit on the tree."

Case Study: Glenn U.

Music had been a part of Glenn’s life since childhood, teaching himself chords and putting various music groups together. While he enjoyed playing, he felt that he was limited to strumming some chords or basic finger picking. The basic theoretical knowledge that he needed to play by ear or work out his own melodies wasn’t there yet. As he entered retirement, he saw the opportunity to take up another instrument and purchased a ukulele. Playing a new instrument was exciting and he began to explore more learning opportunities. While he was doing new things, he still felt that something was missing. 

Musical U appealed to Glenn because he has always felt that he needed to have a good baseline knowledge in whatever he was learning. Having that firm base would then allow him to continue learning more advanced skills. He says he’s found the material quite easy to learn and surprisingly transferable to everything that he was studying in his instrument lessons. 

What Glenn likes the most is that he’s able to go through a lesson in a short period of time and then immediately begin applying what he’s learned on his instrument. He likes the self-paced and flexible learning environment, which he uses to go through the roadmaps and explore topics on his own. He says the interaction between members and the Musical U team is an enjoyable part of his learning and he looks forward to each time he comes to the site. 

"Every bit of feedback I've ever gotten from any of the instructors has been nothing but encouragement, and everything from the other students as well. It's a really positive atmosphere to learn."

Case Study: Sandra S.

Sandra had always wanted to play the bass guitar, but was discouraged from ever really pursuing the instrument because it wasn’t “a girl’s instrument”. After being diagnosed with cancer, her husband bought her a bass guitar and she’s been eagerly learning the instrument while going in and out of treatment. 

Playing the bass wasn’t always easy for Sandra and she found that she needed to become a better music listener. She couldn’t always tell what the bass line was doing, or how it fit into the broader context of the music. Since she was largely playing from lead sheets, she realized that she needed to develop this skill so she could better perform the bass parts and respect the efforts of her fellow musicians. 

Sandra says that being a Musical U member has made a huge difference in her musical life. She’s able to better communicate with her fellow musicians about the context of the song and understand the direction that they are trying to take. She’s learned a lot, and continues to go through the materials. Sandra looks forward to continuing to grow and develop as a musician into the future.

"I actually feel like a musician. I can say that now."

Case Study: Scott K.

Scott has been a musician for most of his life, but music was always just a hobby as he balanced his professional and personal life. His interests have expanded past just playing music, but into recording and writing his own compositions. He came to Musical U to increase his understanding of music and become more confident in his writing. 

When coming into Musical U, Scott says he was impressed with having a team of experts ready to help him. He enjoys being able to develop his own plan for music learning which fits what he’s pursuing musically. The informal, un-graded lessons make the experience a welcome break from his career as a professor and more enjoyable.

In addition to growing as a musician, Scott appreciates the friendships that he’s made throughout the website. While before he felt like he was someone that just “tinkered” with music, he now confidently states that he is a musician. He says it’s been a wonderful experience and he looks forward to continuing to become the musician that he wants to be. 

"The difference is not "the app" but the stuff around it. If you're just using an app, you're more or less on your own."

Case Study: Oli F.

Oli came into music after he started swing dancing and he wanted a better understanding of the music that he was dancing to. After discovering the Musicality Now podcast, he found that the idea of learning to play by ear was something that just made sense to him. After trying a couple of apps that were designed to teach playing by ear, he decided to join Musical U. 

After jumping into Musical U training, Oli appreciated the support and interactive nature of the site. Having other musicians to talk to and a staff to get advice from made a big difference in his ability to express himself musically. 

Oli is encouraged by the quick progress that he’s been able to make. He’s expressing himself musically and is able to learn entire songs by ear in quick fashion. Musical U will be part of Oli’s music learning for a long time into the future. He recognizes that he’s on a long journey and is enjoying every step along the way. 

"An eye-opening journey so far..."

Case Study: R.J.

R.J. had experimented with music in his youth, playing the clarinet and guitar. His family was very supportive of his interest in music, but his music education was derailed by his father’s overseas assignment. Instead of pursuing music further, R.J. became an engineer and raised his family. 

R.J. encouraged his children to learn music, and in turn they urged their father to resume his music studies. After buying a guitar one holiday, he realized that there were things his children understood about music that seemed foreign to him. They were quick to point him in the right direction and he discovered that there was a whole world of music that he hadn’t been exposed to yet.

Since joining Musical U, R.J. says he has found that the "dots are connecting" and he’s gained a greater understanding of the world of music. He’s not content to just play music - his training as an engineer requires that he understands what’s going on with the music. R.J. says this has been an incredibly rewarding experience and he looks forward to studying music for as long as he can. He looks forward to a continued exploration into music and expressing his musicality on the guitar and other instruments.  

Musical U Is No Longer Accepting New Members

We recommend starting with one of our courses or joining the Living Music program.

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Foundations of a Musical Mind
Case Studies

Case Study: Charlie A.

Charlie is a lifelong musician who plays the trumpet and sings. While not formally trained in music theory, he has been an active performer for many years. He’s been a member of Musical U for some time, having joined because he wanted to become a better performer. After 8 months he says he’s glad he joined because it’s helped him understand music more, especially through ear training.

He found that he didn’t really have a full understanding of what he was trying to learn, like there was something that was missing. Then “along came the Foundations course”. He liked that the promotional videos teased that this course was something that would impact all of the things that he was trying to learn as a Musical U member. As he puts it: “This is a way of getting back to the roots of music where you can fill in the gaps of your hearing, fill in the gaps of your melodic understanding, and bring yourself up to a better set of fundamentals in your musical life.”

This course has helped him see the “mind’s ear” in a different way. He says he now realizes that there are different pieces to his music knowledge and its the pieces that make up the whole of a musician. This has enabled him to realize that the pieces of music he plays all have a tremendous meaning and it’s up to him as the musician to interpret that meaning in his performance. The course also opened up new meaning to the word “improvisation” that has greatly expanded his understanding of how (and why!) to improvise.

Case Study: Christine P.

Christine is a flautist, pianist, and singer. She shares that she had always thought of the way you learn to sing was by hearing the tune played to you, and the way you learned to play music on an instrument was by reading the music.

The thought of just being able to look at the notes, and know how the music was supposed to sound was completely foreign to her.

It wasn’t until she was in her forties that she realized that were all these other musicians that could “audiate” from the page, that this was something that people could just do. She says “The idea of ‘fundamentals’ of music, of being able to understand how music is put together at a very basic level and how to know, either by listening to music or by reading it on the page, to understand what that means really at a deep musical level, really appealed to me.”

For Christine, the course was about learning to hear music. Learning to recognize patterns in the sounds and relations between notes in a way that lets me work things out by ear much easier than just “This note, this note. Nope, that’s wrong. This note, this note. Nope, that’s wrong.” She says that the community aspect – learning that you’re not alone in this, and that other musicians were going through the same thing that you’re struggling with – was “so freeing”.

"Now I have this vastly increased understanding... Big smile!"

Case Study: David W.

David was never “a musician” even though he has always appreciated music as a listener. From a young age, he was told that he couldn’t sing, which has resulted in him forever avoiding singing in front of people. Before the course, he was careful to never sing or express his inner musicality in front of other people.

He was interested in Foundations because he had heard of Kodály before starting the training. He thought it seemed interesting, and a way to finally break through the many barriers that had been placed in front of his musical development in the past.

“I’m self employed and heading toward 60. I’m starting to think about how to wind down slightly. I do think maybe I’ll have a bit more time, maybe I would like to do a bit more than just listen to the music and increase my understanding of things. I’m a lifelong learner.”

He is continuously interested in pursuing this, even though it has eluded him up until now. He appreciates that this method has allowed him to “see the melodic contour of music”. And, best of all, the singing material included has resulted in him starting to sing for the first time ever. Overall he says that he has made tremendous improvements in his musicality and looks forward to continuing.

Case Study: Zac B.

Zac has been playing music his whole life, including multiple different instruments before discovering his love for DJing and production. What he likes the most about his musical journey is that he’s been able to use a variety of instruments and didn’t have to focus on just one. In the same way he likes to explore various genres of music and takes a holistic approach to listening to and learning music.

He says that enrolling in the Foundations course was a gut reaction for him. He had been a member of Musical U prior to enrolling and said he has really came to love this approach to learning music. So when he heard about Foundations he was immediately excited and says didn’t need to give the decision much thought.

Since going through the material, he’s discovered that this has created a new way for him to fully internalize music and the music is able to flow more naturally from him. Music theory became fun, and learning all the various techniques and exercises was “fun, easy, and amazing”.

One of the biggest breakthroughs was that musical ideas began to make more sense and connect. He was able to take musical activities that seemed to be separate before, and incorporate them all into his musicality.

Zac notes that other courses tend to separate composing, improvising, rhythm, singing, etc… but this course combined them in a way that he had never experienced before.

Going forward he’s learning ways that he can be more productive in his music practice. While it may seem counterintuitive to do more steps when learning music, or slow it down, he says these extra steps to learning music get a musician to their end point much faster than the way he had been learning.

Full Disclosure: We were so impressed with Zac’s contributions through the discussions in the course that we’re pleased to say we have since invited him to become a member of the Musical U team and help provide support to future members and course students. Zac purchased the Foundations course as a regular customer and provided this feedback and case study video before any employment was discussed.

Case Study: Steve L.

Steve has a long and varied musical background. He had a negative experience in primary school that made him decide that maybe music wasn’t something for him, even though he enjoyed it. As an adult learner, he’s found learning to be intimidating and disjointed. In his life generally he’s already a very technical person, but he ran into problems when he was trying to connect these various skills he learned about to his actual instrument.

Nothing was able to fill the gap between learning musicality skills and actually creating music.

Steve saidthat the Foundations course seemed to say all the things that he had been searching for. A way to internalize music and just be able to know it. “Forget all the theory and the technical chops, to actually be musical”.

As he started the course, he was at first surprised by the simplicity of the songs. But as the course developed he was amazed at just how musical these very simple songs were. And by stripping away the complexity of the music he was able to discover more about phrases, melodies, and rhythms in a way that had never been possible before.

Moving forward, Steve says he’s learned that you can take this method and techniques to get information from any music, and that this process of learning and experimenting with music is something that’s going to stay with him.

One of the major benefits that he discovered was learning music by actually playing with it, rather than staying within technical definitions. Everything in music had seemed circular for him, as everything was defined in terms of itself or another technical concept. He’s now discovered that music theory is just a way to describe the music, and is still important – but not the starting point for him any more. Learning all of the concepts and songs was more of an experience, and he’s finally been able to experience the music in a way that he never had before.

Full Disclosure: Somewhat hilariously, we've since ended up hiring Steve too! As with Zac, he purchased the Foundations course as a regular customer and provided this feedback and case study video long before any employment was discussed.

Case Study: Ian H.

Ian is a retired music school teacher who had been playing music his entire life. He’s a great believer that everything in music can be taught, and that musicianship is something that is accessible to all learners. He came to Musical U and the Foundations course because he had always wanted to follow up on his musicianship training.

Since joining MU, Ian has been impressed by the systematic way that musical learning is approached. The Foundations course appealed to him because it was built around the methods of Kodály, which he was already familiar with.

He saw the course as a way to refresh his existing knowledge and kick himself back into action. Ideally, to be able to teach aural skills to his students. After years of teaching and having the answers right in front of him at all times, he saw this as an opportunity to challenge himself, improve his skills, and go further.

Ian shares that one of the most enjoyable aspects of the course was that he was encouraged to listen to music in a progressive way, building upon the musical ideas without becomign overwhelmed. 

“This is a structured method that is not only useful while learning in the course, but can be applied to everyday music and practice sessions. It makes more music accessible, even if it’s not something that they thought they could handle. It’s a very empowering method that will enable the learner to become better than the teacher at some point.” 

As a music teacher, this was always his goal and he finds great joy in his students progressing to the point where they no longer need his instruction.

Ian says “Whatever the skill it is that you want to pick up, you need to develop listening skills, you need to develop musicianship skills. And Musical U and Foundations of a Musical Mind are very good at giving you the foundations and the confidence to go ahead and do that.”

Case Study: Nancy K.

Nancy had spent her entire life caring for her husband and children, but always felt that music was a part of her and something that she wanted to explore. As the children grew up and left the house, she was inspired to begin her music education when she hear the melodic tones of the dulcimer. She is now deeply involved in the dulcimer community and has helped to provide 60 instruments to local schools so that children can also learn and appreciate the instrument and style of music. 

She first joined Musical U because she wanted to strengthen her ability to play songs by ear. Prior to this, Nancy relied on tablature to learn and play songs, which was limiting when playing with groups of musicians at the dulcimer rendezvous she loved to attend. She said Foundations of a Musical Mind was appealing to her because it was a set schedule of music learning, which would give her the structure and direction that she needed to gain a deeper understanding of music. 

Nancy said she now feels more confident in her playing and is able to learn songs more quickly on her instrument. It’s allowed her to play more naturally, where before she always felt a bit robotic in her playing. Exploring and using her voice has been a wonderful breakthrough, and wasn’t something that she felt she would be able to do prior to the course. And even though she hasn’t met any other dulcimer players on the course, the commonality of music learning and foundations have allowed her to become more musical on the instrument and play with confidence. 

Case Study: Marc G.

Marc is a blues harmonica player who has been studying the instrument privately and online for several years. He regularly plays in jam nights and explores a wide variety of styles and other instruments during jam sessions. What he likes the most about the harmonica is how portable the instrument is and the culture of blues musicians. 

He’s a lifelong learner and public school teacher, so when the opportunity to join the Foundations course came about he took a leap of faith. He thought that all of his colleagues where learning the same material from the same teachers, and he wanted something that would give him a different perspective to allow him to stand out more during jam nights. Having a broader music education would also increase his ability to play in a wider variety of genres and musical styles. 

Marc credits the Foundations course with creating a paradigm shift in the way that he looks at music. Having a deeper understanding of music theory has greatly increased his appreciation for the blues and strengthened his musical ear. It allowed him to be more confident when getting out of his comfort zone, which has paid off when playing and collaborating with other musicians. He's now keen to pursue more opportunities to sub for other musicians in a wider variety of genres and styles. 

"This isn't like a test or exam, that I need to translate this sheet music... 

It's stress-free... Freedom and joy."

Case Study: Min F.

Min grew up and lives in China, where she attended primary school and received a very basic music education. But she never had the opportunity to play the piano and had a passion for exploring the instrument in her future. After beginning her professional career in the legal industry, she took a leap of faith and purchased her first piano and began looking for a teacher. To her surprise, most of the teachers in her area scoffed at the idea of someone her age just beginning their music education. She was “too old” to learn music and should stop immediately. But she persisted in pursuing this dream...

After making a new year's resolution that this was the year she was going to learn music, she stumbled upon Musical U. She said she loved the structure that the Foundations course provided to her music education. She’s now able to improvise and play songs by ear, which has greatly increased her repertoire and ability to play songs for her friends.

The biggest breakthrough for Min was the idea that solfa can be used throughout her musical life. In China, solfa is primarily reserved only for primary school music, and isn’t practiced much outside of school. This has been instrumental in providing Min with a musical foundation that can be used in nearly any musical situation she finds herself in. Min is also immersed within the Musical U community and loves to converse with like-minded adult musicians. She says that finding Musical U was the “best thing that has happened to her this year”.

   

Case Study: Kerry B.

Kerry has been playing piano most of her life and earns a living a piano and music teacher in Australia. All throughout her professional education, she felt like she was never quite up to par with the other students in the class. Like there was something that they were able to instinctively do that wasn’t quite available to her yet. She continued learning and playing, building her career along the way. 

She became interested in the Foundations course to learn new ways that she could present music topics like ear training and theory to her students. She had heard of the Kodály method before, but had never formally practiced or studied with any Kodály instructors. While she joined to learn more for her teaching, Kerry was pleasantly surprised to discover new skills that she could also add to her own repertoire. 

What struck Kerry as the most important thing was the structure and pacing of the course. It wasn’t overwhelming and never made a student feel like they didn’t have what it takes. The materials and the Musical U Team where inclusive and supportive of the students, which Kerry says has been hard to find in online music classes. She looks forward to implementing some of the new skills she’s acquired into her own teaching and continuing to study more about this method of teaching in the future.

    

Case Study: Thuy B.

Thuy had studied music from an early age, singing and playing the piano as a young girl in Vietnam. She studied vocal music while at university in Ho Chi Minh, but eventually left school to pursue a career. While she left music behind formally, she felt like something was missing from her life and wanted to return whenever possible. 

After life circumstances resulted in her having some spare time on her hand, she found Musical U through the podcast Musicality Now. She enrolled in Foundations of a Musical Mind after discovering that there was a different way of learning music than anything she had ever done before. 

The Foundations course quickly refreshed the music education that Thuy had been first exposed to in primary school. In her mind, it was as those she had never taken a break from learning. She was soon exploring new music and concepts that she had never been exposed to before with confidence and joy. Music is now a daily part of Thuy’s life and she’s found that it makes her happier in everything else that she does. Thuy looks forward to continuing to study with Musical U and expanding her musical repertoire. 

    

Case Study: Stanley A.

Stanley has found a great calling in his retirement, exploring the possibilities on his guitar and playing for worship services. He and his wife perform together on a regular basis and love the impact that music has on their lives nearly every day. While he doesn’t have a teacher, he’s found online learning to be a great way to supplement his self-study and continue moving forward. 

Prior to the course, he felt like there was some missing pieces in his musicality that he wanted to explore. Like many, he had the impression that music was something that some just had “within them” and that this root understanding of music wasn’t something that could just be developed. 

Stanley really enjoyed the discussions within the course and interacting with the other people in the course. Having expert support from the Musical U team made a big difference in his understanding of the material. He enjoys the philosophy of Musical U and feels empowered to continue his musical journey. 

    

Case Study: Laura D.

Laura played clarinet as a young girl, but left music behind entirely as she graduated primary school and had a career. Now in retirement, she’s had the interest to start singing in choral groups and was able to find a local community choir which brought a lot of joy to her life. 

As she moved up into more advanced ensembles, she noticed that there were many skills and musical instincts that she hadn’t developed yet. When rehearsals were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she discovered Musical U and enrolled in the Foundations of a Musical Mind course. 

Laura enjoyed the intuitive nature of the instruction and found that she was able to get through the exercises with ease. After a couple of weeks, she noticed that connections were becoming really solid and she could hear and sight sing better than at any point in her life. The experience in the course was joyful and she found herself thinking back to her early days of first learning music. Laura looks forward to using her new musical skills once the choir is able to rehearse again and continue to grow as a musician.

    

Case Study: Iddo O.

Iddo has been playing the flute for most of his life. After secondary school, he attended university and even studied music with a professional flautist. As he grew in his profession and raised a family, Iddo continued to play music in a very different way. He improvised and weaved his own musical landscapes on a regular basis and enjoyed the role that music played in his life.

While he was accomplished and satisfied with his playing, he wanted to continue to grow and learn more in his musical studies. After discovering the podcast, he came to Musical U and enrolled in the Foundations of a Musical Mind course.

Iddo and was impressed with the playful and joyful nature of the course. It fit in well with the way that he was approaching music practice and found that it gave him a better understanding of the relationships between different pitches and harmonies. Improving on his instrument has transformed from a repetitive slog to periods of intense focus with concrete results. Iddo looks forward to continuing the journey and enjoying the role that music plays in his life.


Case Study: Linda G.

Linda grew up playing the violin and clarinet. While attending university she wanted to continue to play in the marching band, but quickly found out that American College marching bands are highly strict and it wasn’t appealing to her. She took some time away from music to focus on her studies and start her career as a math teacher. 

She came back to music when, on whim, she bought her first bass guitar. She began performing in small groups playing her favorite classic metal tunes and also playing in church groups. But still there was something missing. The other musicians that she would play with had no formal training and could quickly pick up new tunes on the fly, entirely by ear. This gap in her understanding and abilities brought her to Musical U.

Linda dove into the Foundations course with an eagerness to learn. While she was skeptical about the process, she was able to get through the modules and begin to apply this knowledge to her music. Linda is thrilled with the progress that she’s made in only a couple of weeks and looks forward to continuing her music learning well into the future. 

   

Case Study: Yelena S.

Yelena grew up in Ukraine and was exposed to the rigid structures of the former Soviet Union educational institutions at a young age. This led to her feel like she was missing something and was never capable of musical expression, especially with her voice. After immigrating to the United States and pursuing a professional career, she finally returned to music after taking a class on sight-singing while in graduate school. 

Eventually she would find a vocal teacher that truly connected with her passion for music and was able to pull the music from her. She never felt so excited about her musical progress! But still she felt like something was missing and found the Foundations course. She was surprised to learn that her vocal teacher taught many of the same things to youth learners, but had assumed she had already been through this type of training. 

Yelena has really enjoyed taking a beginner's mind and revisiting many of the concepts that she missed during her initial music education. She feels a new sense of purpose and is no longer shy about singing around others. The connection between the written notes and sound of the songs has never been clearer in her mind. Yelena looks forward to continuing her studies with a new foundation to build upon. 

    

Case Study: Lisa L.

Lisa began playing the piano at an early age and even started studying music at university. Eventually life got in the way and she put aside music for several years to start her career and raise a family. Seeing the children start their own music lessons reignited her passion for music and she eagerly began her studies once again. 

She joined Musical U when she realized that many of the musical skills like improvising and playing by ear were learnable. After diving into the material, she felt like something was missing, a foundation of her own musical understanding. After learning about the Foundations course, she eagerly dived into the training and was thrilled to uncover so many hidden aspects of music that she hadn’t realized before. 

Lisa really enjoyed the experience inside the Foundations course. Anne’s instruction were a breath of fresh air and the step-by-step process had a familiarity to it that was unlike anything she had ever experienced. Breaking down the music through the course has given Lisa a new ownership and appreciation for music learning. She feels like music is now a part of her and she’s able to confidently express herself on multiple instruments. Now that she’s completed the course, she has begun writing and recording her own songs. It’s been a very satisfying experience for Lisa and she looks forward to continuing to learn and improve her musical abilities. 

    

Case Study: Charlotte W.

Charlotte had just began to play music before coming to Musical U. She had always wanted to play a musical instrument, but realized that she really didn’t know anything about music. It seemed like a natural choice to begin studying with Musical U because she wanted to think more like a musician. When practicing, she often felt like she was just piecing things together rather than having a system for learning music. 

Since she was starting her music learning, Charlotte felt like she was in the exact right place in the Foundations course. She said the material was easy to grasp and gave her an underpinning for her musical knowledge. The interactive nature of the course was very enjoyable and allowed her to really get involved in the course. She said that it felt like she was more connected to the music and able to experience it in a deeper, more meaningful way. 

After just six weeks, Charlotte feels like she’s made so much progress. Her understanding of music has fundamentally changed and she’s delighted to think that learning music can be full of joy and not just “hard work”. She doesn’t feel stuck in her music learning anymore. Charlotte now sees just how much there is out there that she can’t wait to discover, and she that the journey will be filled with fun and joy. For the first time, she can confidently saw that she’s “a musician”. Music learning is a journey, not a destination and she’ll be enjoying every step of the way. 
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Ear Training For Beginners
Case Studies

Case Study: Mark B.

Mark studied oboe and clarinet early in his life, even performing in symphony orchestras while studying at Yale. He had a deep connection to classical music that continued into his adulthood even though he stopped studying and performing on his instrument. As he began a professional career, he felt as though he wouldn’t be satisfied with performing as an amateur. 

After retiring from his profession, Mark suddenly had more time on his hand and began slowly picking up music again to pass the time. He quickly became enamored with the progress that he was making and thoroughly enjoyed what he was able to do with his music. But still he felt like there was some formal structure missing from his musicality. He first joined the Ear Training for Beginners course to start learning more about this skill. 

What Mark found was that the structure of the course was perfect for his goals and he was inspired to continue learning on a deeper level. The course unearthed a sense of curiosity and exploration that he didn’t have before. The biggest improvement that Mark noticed was that he no longer has to think so intently on what he’s playing, as everything seems to come intuitively and naturally while performing. 

Case Study: Thuy B.

Thuy had studied music from an early age, singing and playing the piano as a young girl in Vietnam. She studied vocal music while at university in Ho Chi Minh, but eventually left school to pursue a career. While she left music behind formally, she felt like something was missing from her life and wanted to return whenever possible. 

After life circumstances resulted in her having some spare time on her hand, she found Musical U through the podcast Musicality Now. She enrolled in Ear Training for Beginners after her joy and curiosity about music was rejuvenated through other opportunities that Musical U had created. 

Thuy had never studied ear training formally before, but quickly found that she was able to make a connection between the intervals and solfa to the music that she was learning. She became more curious about exploring all the aspects of music learning and has now made music a daily part of her life. Thuy looks forward to continuing to study with Musical U and being part of the community of musicians that makes up the platform. 

Case Study: Peter B.

Peter had a negative musical experience early in life which left him a bit jaded. He picked back up in his 40’s by playing guitar and playing some of his favorite songs. While he did show some progress, there were parts of his music that he still felt uncomfortable with and wasn’t improving on. He began to doubt that music was ever going to be an enduring part of his life. 

After discovering Musical U he was interested in overcoming his plateaus and making greater progress. The Musical Superlearning course was a great experience for him and he was eager to continue his studies in Ear Training for Beginners. He’s already made some positive steps forward in his musical learning and dove into the next course. 

Peter found that he’s now able to better hear and understand what the music is doing when he’s learning a new song. He sees music as a jigsaw puzzle and he’s starting to be able to piece things together on his own. Having feedback within the lessons was very valuable for him and he felt encouraged to share his experiences during the course. While he was challenged in the course, he felt that it was manageable and was able to keep his focus throughout the training. Peter looks forward to implementing everything that he’s learned into his music practice and continuing down the path he’s on. 

Case Study: Johannes S.

Johannes began playing guitar at an early age, picking up popular tunes from the 70’s rock and folk scene. However, in his formal music education he was labeled as a child who “lacked talent” so he never saw himself formally as a musician. As his children grew, he would play music with them and continued to explore new genres of music. Playing almost entirely by ear, he became skilled at transcribing the tunes he would play. 

After being put on lockdown due to COVID-19, Johannes began exploring the various masterclasses put on by Musical U and found that he wasn’t alone in how he thought about music. Much of the baggage that he had been carrying since primary school was suddenly lifted as he heard highly skilled musicians talk about overcoming their adversities. He joined Musical U shortly after to continue developing his musicality. 

In Ear Training for Beginners, Johannes found that he was able to hear music in a different way. Solfa transformed the way he experienced music, he was able to understand how intervals functioned in the music that he was learning and see the patterns. By the end of the course, he was revisiting music that he learned decades ago and seeing new colors. As he says: “It was like seeing a picture in color for the first time that I had only seen black and white before.”
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The Musician's Ear
Case Studies

Case Study: Andrea N.

Andrea grew up playing the piano at a very young age and was almost immediately attracted to the instrument. She studied with several teachers at the local conservatory, but ended up going her own way at the age of 12. Not long after, she was amazed at how much her previous competitors had advanced and felt dismayed that she had not continued to seriously study music. 

Several years later, Andrea continued to study music on her own but still felt like something was missing from her musical life. Listening to Christopher on an episode of Musicality Now gave her the confidence that it wasn’t too late and she could resume studying seriously again. It wasn’t that she didn’t have the skills necessary to perform at the level she desired, she just hadn’t developed them year. 

Andrea dove straight into The Musician’s Ear and was really amazed at the diversity of the repertoire. She was learning music that she had never been exposed to before and this opened up doors that she never anticipated being possible. It was just the thing that she needed to jump start her study and reinvigorate a passion for developing her musicality. Most of all, she’s really enjoyed the interactions that she’s had with the Musical U team and several other students in the course. “You don't know when you join something where you're going to find yourself, but I have just been so blessed by the interactions with both team members, and co-members, and other people taking these courses. Just... it's been just really rewarding”

Case Study: Sandra S.

Sandra had always wanted to play the bass guitar, but was discouraged from ever really pursuing the instrument because it wasn’t “a girl’s instrument”. After being diagnosed with cancer, her husband bought her a bass guitar and she’s been eagerly learning the instrument while going in and out of treatment. 

Playing the bass wasn’t always easy for Sandra and she found that she needed to become a better music listener. She couldn’t always tell what the bass line was doing, or how it fit into the broader context of the music. Since she was largely playing from lead sheets, Sandra realized that she needed to develop this skill so she could better perform the bass parts and respect the efforts of her fellow musicians. 

Learning to actively listen to the many different styles of music in The Musician’s Ear has made a huge difference in Sandra’s musical life. She’s able to better communicate with her fellow musicians about the context of the song and understand the direction that they are trying to take. She’s learned a lot, and continues to go through the course, but it’s fair to say the her musician’s ears are helping her to experience music at a different level than she was able to before taking the course. 

Case Study: Sharilynn H.

Sharilynn is a lifelong musician that studied flute performance at university and was on track for a career as a professional flautist. A growing interest in engineering steered her towards a different career and the time that she was able to spend on the instrument became less and less frequent. But she never lost her love for music. 

After a successful career and raising a family, Sharilynn found herself called back to playing music in the most unlikely of genres; jazz. Her previous experiences playing and studying classical music had not prepared her for improvisation, listening across the ensemble or playing from a lead sheet. But she was determined to continue to grow as a musician and expand her repertoire. 

Since taking The Musician’s Ear, Sharilynn has found her knowledge of this and other forms of music to be more complete. She now loves to play in the jazz band and has even found a greater connection to her son’s music. The doors have been swung open and she’s enjoying being a musician more than she ever was in the past. Sharilynn is now performing on a regular basis, teaching music lessons, and loving every minute of her newfound musicality. 
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The Circle Mastery Experience
Case Studies

Case Study: Harry P.

Case Study: Hugh M.

Case Study: RJ S.

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Improv Immersion
Case Studies

Case Study: Chuck L.

Case Study: Nicolas A.

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Musical Superlearning

Case Study: Gerry W.

Gerry had never been interested in music through his entire life. He was an athlete playing multiple sports, serving in the military and working in private security. After he turned 60, he had the sudden desire to learn the piano and never turned back. 

Now retired, Gerry has the time to practice as many hours in the day that he’d like, but finds that it can be frustrating to work on a single thing for multiple hours at time. He’s highly disciplined and regimented in his personal practice and thought that if he just practiced more and practiced harder things would just get better. He’s found that’s not actually the case and is now working on multiple tunes simultaneously.

Going through Musical Superlearning has given Gerry a positive growth mindset that realizes he’s capable of achieving any goal he sets for himself. Having a toolbox that he can reference for whatever problem he’s encountering has made practice a joy and his improvement fast. He looks forward to continuing to enjoy the journey and learn as much as possible in this new passion.

Case Study: HappyRon

HappyRon first discovered music through the Beatles at age 10. But he wasn’t in a musical household and faced some difficulties getting started in music until the age of 30. As someone of the Autistic spectrum and suffering from not having a left hip socket, he persevered and was one of San Diego’s most frequent open mic performers throughout his 40s. 

After finally getting a hip replacement at the age of 48, he found that he was able to create music much easier and became passionate about teaching others. HappyRon states that he most enjoys teaching people that “don’t believe they have what it takes to be musical” and showing them that music is a skill that anyone can develop. He took the course Musical Superlearning from Musical U to learn more about the science of learning for himself and his students. 

After completing the course, HappyRon has learned new tricks and techniques that he can use to make learning new music faster and more productive. He looks forward to continuing to perform in his hometown and teaching the next generation of musicians that music is for everyone and they can accomplish amazing things as well. HappyRon is the definition of a musician with a growth mindset and continues to push his own boundaries!

Case Study: Tina R.

Tina started playing the violin at a young age in a Suzuki-style program at a local university, though she had her eyes on the cello early on. As she went to college, she was finally able to get a cello on loan from a friend and began to take some lessons with students at the college she attended. After moving cross-country following college, the cello found its way into the closet where it would sit for the next 18 years. 

Tina decided that she would either start playing her instrument or give it a good home, so she dove straight into private lessons with a couple of teachers. Musical U training helped to fill in some of the gaps and make her lessons more productive, but there was still something missing. After encountering the methods taught in Musical Superlearning, she was eager to see how this could be applied to her own music learning. 

Since going through the course, she’s more confident in her own playing abilities and able to appreciate the value of her mistakes. Having a structure to practice and learn her music is something that she’d been working on, but it’s more clear than ever. Tina has recommended the course to all her music learning friends, and especially musicians preparing for college music because of the structure and discipline that she’s been able to encode into her own practice. 

Case Study: Kate S.

After a dreadful experience with a hyper-critical piano teacher early in her youth, Kate completely gave up on learning music. It wasn’t until she met her husband, an accomplished bass player, that she had the confidence and desire to give music a second chance in her life. Since then, she’s expanded her musical repertoire to include all the instruments in the saxophone family, the trombone, and euphonium. Kate plays in a community wind band in addition to several smaller ensembles.

Prior to Musical Superlearning, Kate wasn’t sure how to actually run her practice sessions. With such a variety of literature and instruments, she found it difficult to structure her practice in the most productive way. Rhythm was something that she continuously struggled to internalize and had trouble staying locked into the groove.

Since taking the course, Kate feels a new sense of optimism and focus when practicing music. She’s able to figure out difficult passages more easily on her own and enjoys reflecting on her practice and planning the next session. Having an open mind and jumping into the training has been a great benefit and she looks forward to her next lesson with a renewed sense of focus.

Case Study: Ray B.

Ray had started playing guitar at an early age in a variety of different genres. After settling into a professional career, he continued to play part-time but was eager to return to his first passion. Retirement gave Ray the opportunity to pursue a full-time career as a musician and quickly found steady work gigging around Portugal. As a lifelong learner, he was continuously pursuing new techniques that would help him perform better.

Ray first discovered Gregg Goodhart through Musical U and was intrigued by the ideas that he heard. He hoped that this level of training would help him be more productive and accomplish more in his practice sessions. While he had the time to practice 3-4 hours a day, he was confident that modest improvements to his practice routine would have a big impact.

Since completing the course, Ray has found these methods to be profound. He feels like a single hour session using this system is more productive than an entire week of his normal practice routine. Tunes that he thought he knew inside and out have seen dramatic improvement and he’s enjoying the learning process more than ever before. He’s nearly at the edge of his seat thinking about his next focused music practice. 
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"I was working myself into a frenzy over not practicing enough - but I wasn't fixing anything! "Play and pray", that was me."

"In 2-3 weeks my whole practice has changed, my outlook has changed - I can't stress enough how much of a change that has made for me. [...] This is the best thing I've ever done."

Case Study: Andrea N.

Andrea began playing the piano at a young age, but didn’t stick to it through her primary years. After relocating following marriage, she suddenly found herself in demand as a piano teacher for the interested youths in her small town. While she was comfortable playing her level of music, she felt like she was coming short when trying to teach her students. 

Now an adult, she restarted her formal music education and began discovering the gaps in her own understanding of music and technical abilities. Andrea continued to push through the ABRSM examinations, learning to become a more confident and capable musician. The difficulty of the levels proved to be a roadblock as she lost confidence with mistakes. 

After just a few weeks, Andrea is feeling a level of confidence that she’s never had with her own playing. She’s able to work through the mistakes and see them as a positive opportunity for growth rather than something that must be corrected. While still several months from taking her next round of examinations, she has a new outlook and frame of mind about her own playing. She says the skills that she’s incorporated into her practice will continue to benefit her playing for years to come. 
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"I used to think that I didn't have enough time to practice. But by doing the things Gregg suggested, I got loads and loads more practice time - and made far more progress than I would have thought."

Case Study: Mike M.

Mike is a lifelong guitar player who performed professionally for a number of years before starting his career as a music teacher. While he struggled at times during his early music education, he was able to develop enough skills to make a living playing music. Music has been a lifelong passion and continues to define his life. 

Interested in continuing to pick up new skills, Mike expanded his repertoire into several other instruments. He became increasingly interested in neuroscience and how the brain actually learns new skills. This search led him to studying with Gregg and beginning to adopt these methods into his own playing and teaching. 

Since learning these skills, Mike has noticed incredible improvement in his playing. Passages that had been unplayable for years are now coming with ease. Even though he can’t practice every day, he says his practice time has become more efficient, he’s able to learn new songs with less practice and within just a few weeks he was able to apply what he learned and finally accomplish some of his long-standing goals. Getting the practice “right” has made all the difference and he’s thrilled by his progress in such a short time. 
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"[Now my] practice is deliberate practice. I'm no longer just running through pieces. I'm actually having more fun because I'm taking a piece I'm working on and I am acting like a kid again, actually!"

Case Study: Bob G.

Bob discovered classical guitar as an adult while walking through a public park in San Francisco, California and was immediately drawn to the instrument. After playing for a couple of years, he left his business career to study classical guitar at the local conservatory, but was taken aback by the lack of support in the studio as well as the cost to studying music. Guitar continued to be his passion, but he left school to return to work. 

Once the children began to leave the home, Bob was able to make music a bigger part of his life and pursued multiple online learning opportunities. He performed on occasion in his small town, continuing to refine his playing and growing as a musician. While he was happy with his progress, he felt that there was more he could accomplish. 

Bob used to just play through his pieces, but deliberate practice has really helped him to focus his practice and get more from each session. He’s having more fun and says that he “feels like a kid again” learning complex pieces of music. The added focus has made his practice more efficient and he’s able to accomplish more without feeling the overwhelm many experience when woodshedding a complex piece of music. He looks forward to years of continuing to grow. 
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"I couldn't find anybody who could help me break through those plateaus."

"It surprised me how quickly it took effect."

"I actually cut back on my practice time [...] because it became so clear where I was just repeating, and not in a productive way."

Case Study: Nat H.

Nat is a professional musician who performs throughout the United States and Europe as part of his musical group in addition to teaching. He’s very accomplished in a variety of styles and continues to learn from some of the world’s top musicians. 

Like many musicians, Nat found that he was hitting plateaus and was unable to find a way to progress to the next level. He continued to study, trying new techniques and learning from master musicians, but nothing seemed to be helping him break through the limitations that he was feeling in his musical performances. 

Since studying with Gregg, Nat says he is better equipped to enter into the practice room with a greater focus on what he needs to do to accomplish his goals. The techniques that he’s learned have allowed him to get past the technical requirements of pieces of music and focus more on performing. He’s thrilled that everything he’s learned can be applied throughout his music for the rest of his life. After searching for years, Nat says he has finally found exactly what he needed. 
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"I was like, "I want to learn this fast." I did not want to waste any time with this."

"With these techniques, the practice time, kind of isn't an issue. I'm not shooting to practice for an hour or two hours (even though I often do because I'm having a good time). Now it's, "I want to accomplish this. And this is how I do it." And the amount of time that it actually takes to do this is a lot less."

Case Study: Lynne G.

Lynne was always interested in playing music, but several experiences during her formative years caused her to stop playing. Teachers during those times weren’t as supportive as she needed them to be and there was some baggage that she carried with her for years, causing her to doubt her ability to play music. 

After getting back into music later in life, Lynne realized just how much she loved to play and wanted to make it a more permanent part of her life. She not only wanted to learn… she wanted to learn fast!

Since learning from Gregg, Lynne says her perception of practice has completely changed. She used to just play songs over and over again, hoping that she would make it through without mistakes. She now uses practice techniques that better train her brain to retrieve the skills she needs from long-term memory. Her repertoire has expanded greatly and she’s even begun performing with confidence to her group of friends. She says that her long-held dreams of playing the instrument have been realized. 

Case Study: Chris W.

Chris had been struggling to learn the piano for nearly 20 years. He’d accumulated a vast library of music, practiced for hours on end, and been frustrated throughout his musical journey. Nothing seemed to put all the pieces together for him. After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he contemplated giving up music entirely. But something inside him said to keep going. 

He found Musical Superlearning and decided that he was going to give it one final effort. Chris was highly skeptical during the initial week of the course and nearly gave up. It felt like just more academic material than actual practice techniques. He persisted and continued to go through the training even though frustrated with the process.

Since completing the course, he’s found a new relationship with his piano that didn’t exist before. He wakes up early every morning excited to begin his daily practice, confident that he now has a system that works for him. Pieces that he struggled with for years are now possible. And he feels confident playing in front of other people. Chris stated that this method has given him a new lease on life and his love for music has been rejuvenated.

Case Study: Tricia E.

Tricia came into music later in life when she realized that the poetry she was writing was actually a song. She found that the ukulele was the instrument that spoke to her and began to explore his musicality. While she wasn’t able to take private lessons, she gathered resources and began learning techniques and theory to help in her songwriting. 

She came to Musical Superlearning when she heard about the concepts on the Musicality Now podcast. She believed in the science behind learning and was eager to see how these scientific concepts would be applied to music learning. 

What Tricia enjoyed most about the course was communicating with other musicians and finding out how they were practicing. She has found that she’s able to approach learning with a different mindset now that she knows exactly how to overcome difficulties in something that she’s learning. It’s taken away the fear of learning something new and given her a new confidence moving forward. 

Case Study: Diane M.

Diane began playing piano at an early age, but always felt like she wasn’t “talented enough” to pursue music studies. She reluctantly stopped taking private lessons when she felt like she wasn’t getting ahead although was still a passionate music lover. She made sure that music was a part of her children’s lives and eagerly followed their musical progress. After retirement from a career teaching foreign language, she decided that she would pursue music learning no matter what. 

She was eager to start Musical Superlearning because she always felt that she had difficulties practicing correctly. In her mind, this was part of the reason that she stopped taking piano lessons during her childhood. This was an opportunity to solve something that had been troubling her for some time. 

Since taking the course, she’s found that she’s able to better plan and focus throughout all her music practice. She’s better able to memorize music and retrieve music from previous practice sessions. Having the community and other like-minded musicians around her during the course enhanced her understanding of the concepts. Diane looks to a bright future where she has the tools to learn and perform as a confident musician. 

Case Study: Carolyn M.

Carolyn first started playing music after a career as a university educator. In her local community she plays in several ukulele groups and enjoys the experience of playing with other musicians. It’s made for a colorful life in her retirement that she’s been enjoying. 

She came to Musical Superlearning because she always felt like she didn’t really know what to practice. While she had teachers, it was a struggle to decide what to work on in between her lessons that would keep her moving forward. She would question what she was doing and felt like learning should be easier for her. 

While Carolyn was well versed in the theory behind learning, this course was the first time she saw it put into concrete steps that she could apply to see results quickly. Being able to apply these principles into action has been valuable on many levels and she looks forward to a lifetime of learning and exploring her musicality. 

Case Study: Iddo O.

Iddo has been playing the flute for most of his life. After secondary school, he attended university and even studied music with a professional flautist. As he grew in his profession and raised a family, Iddo continued to play music in a very different way. He improvised and weaved his own musical landscapes on a regular basis and enjoyed the role that music played in his life.

He first came to Musical U through the course Foundations of a Musical Mind and was impressed with the playful and joyful nature of the course. It fit in well with the way that he was approaching music practice and found that it gave him a better understanding of the relationships between different pitches and harmonies. As Musical Superlearning became available for enrollment, he was intrigued to explore the science of music learning in greater detail. 

Since finishing the course, Iddo has added prepared classical pieces back into his repertoire and began studying privately again. He’s looking at his music practice in a different way and enjoys having short bursts of deliberate practice to improve his technical skills. Improving on his instrument has transformed from a repetitive slog to periods of intense focus with concrete results. Iddo looks forward to continuing the journey and enjoying the role that music plays in his life.

Case Study: Dave W.

Dave had early experiences with music that left him feeling like this wasn’t going to be for him. He was asked to leave the school wind orchestra and struggled with a barely functioning guitar during his early lessons. The love and appreciation of music remained, albeit the guitar simply sat alone and unused in the corner of his home study. 

As his only son was getting ready to leave the home, Dave heard him practicing “Blackbird” and was suddenly inspired to spend the last days with his son playing music. This joyful time encouraged Dave to learn the song note-perfect, which he was proud to share with his son some months later. Dave would go on to studying with private teachers and taking Foundations of a Musical Mind from Musical U. 

Nearing retirement, he was inspired to take Musical Superlearning based on the results that he’d seen Gregg get from other students during a live Practiclasses. Dave now has a fresh outlook on his true musical potential and a renewed focus in his practice. Having a step-by-step approach to applying deliberate practice has made practicing more enjoyable and fruitful. More than anything, Dave has embraced a growth mindset that extends far beyond his music practice but into the rest of his life as well. 

Case Study: Klaudia H.

Klaudia grew up in Hungary learning the Kodály method of music education and her house was always very musical. Yet she always felt like her teachers and instructors weren’t supportive in their instruction. The music system was very judgemental and looking for errors, which would demoralize her and cause her to not want to practice. Eventually, she stopped trying to learn the classical guitar until later in her adult years. 

Watching younger performers on YouTube inspired Klaudia to finally take up her goals of learning to play guitar. With the help of her guitar teacher and Musical U, she was able to put together some of the pieces that she was missing. As the lessons got progressively harder, she knew that she needed to become more focused and productive in her music practice. Musical Superlearning appealed to her because of the focus on what’s in the mind rather than just the fingers. 

Klaudia has really enjoyed learning these new methods of practice and finds that it makes practice more enjoyable and she’s seeing real improvement. Interacting with other students during the course gave her confidence because she can see that other musicians are experiencing the same difficulties. Having other musicians to gain inspiration from has been a big benefit to her music learning. Klaudia looks forward to continuing to build on what she’s gained and has a greater clarity of her musical goals after taking the course. 

Case Study: Robert R.

Robert has been playing piano his entire life, but was able to pursue with far greater passion and dedication after retirement. He was fortunate enough to get into a big band and was continuously inspired and motivated by the high caliber of the musicians that he was surrounded with. Being with musicians that were at a higher skill level than himself encouraged him to begin exploring the techniques that they talked about, which led him to Musical U. 

He was first exposed to some of the methods taught in Musical Superlearning through a jazz workshop that taught about memorizing charts. After seeing the results that this approach had on his performances, he was confident that the course would have a big impact on his playing. 

Since starting the course, Robert enjoys having a step-by-step process that he can work through when practicing. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of his time and encourages him to continue moving forward. He likens the techniques to having a toolkit that can be used at will to whatever difficulties he’s facing so he can get through them and finish learning his next chart. Robert looks forward to continuing to learn and becoming a more instrumental part of his big band in the future. 

Case Study: Stanley A.

Stanley has found a great calling in his retirement, exploring the possibilities on his guitar and playing for worship services. He and his wife perform together on a regular basis and love the impact that music has on their lives nearly every day. While he doesn’t have a teacher, he’s found online learning to be a great way to supplement his self-study and continue moving forward. 

Stanley had first seen the impact of Gregg’s methods through a Practiclass at Musical U. So when a new course came out with these methods, he knew that it was something he needed to be a part of. He dove into the lessons with gusto and began applying the various tools to his music. 

Since starting the course, he’s done his best to adopt the beginner’s mindset and be open to new experiences. He’s felt like he’s jumped a couple of levels in his musicality in just a few short weeks and is playing pieces that he’s been working on for years. Stanley looks forward to continuing to build upon this foundation and revisiting these tools well into the future. 

Case Study: Chris M.

Chris started playing the piano at age 12, but was never able to stay consistent with her music practice. It seemed that the world would put barriers in her way no matter what she did to overcome them. In 2018, she finally decided that the time was right to really devote herself to music and began practicing in earnest. 

Before joining Musical U, Chris was stuck in the idea of “no pain, no gain” in her music practice. She wasn’t comfortable with public performances and felt like she was stuck in her practice routine. It was difficult to move to the next step. Musical Superlearning appealed to her because it would help put the rest of the pieces together and allow her to finally move forward. 

She enjoyed the methodical nature of the course and found that she was able to quickly apply the tools to her pieces and technical practice. Chris was most amazed at how much progress she was able to make in just 5 minutes of concentrated deliberate practice. What she enjoys the most is just going through her songbooks and being able to recall the piece with ease. She can’t wait to see what she experiences next.

Case Study: Peter B.

Peter had a negative musical experience early in life which left him a bit jaded. He picked back up in his 40’s by playing guitar and playing some of his favorite songs. While he did show some progress, there were parts of his music that he still felt uncomfortable with and wasn’t improving on. He began to doubt that music was ever going to be an enduring part of his life. 

After discovering Musical U he was interested in overcoming his plateaus and making greater progress. He enjoyed practicing and playing various instruments, but not making any solid progress was beginning to make him doubt whether he would ever be able to play the songs of his youth. 

Since joining the course, Peter has enjoyed the consistent methodology that’s applied to music learning. Learning a new song has become more enjoyable because he knows exactly what tools to apply to get it under his fingers. What he enjoys the most is the sense of accomplishment he’s able to feel on a regular basis, which gives him the confidence and motivation to keep moving forward. 

Case Study: Carol S.

Carol had always loved music, but her parents weren’t supportive of her getting an instrument and lessons. She saved up money from her early working life and bought her first guitar which ignited a lifelong passion for music. Now in her retirement, she’s taken to playing the fiddle in many of the musical groups in her town. 

Carol came to the course to try to learn the vast repertoire of music required for gigs more quickly. Most of the literature is learned through rote memorization and requires the musicians to be able to recall songs quickly as the band leader calls out the next tune. 

What she’s found during the course is that she’s able to recall tunes easier and with more confidence. The tools that she’s learned have been a game changer and made every aspect of her practice more enjoyable. Having everything laid out in a clear step-by-step manner makes sense to her and it becomes achievable. She’s looking forward to her new musical future with these skills in hand.
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Case Studies

Case Study: Bruce W.

Bruce has always wanted to play the piano as a child, but was never allowed to until he purchased his own keyboard following high school. For years, he played on and off, focusing more on his career and traveling for his job. After retiring, he dedicated himself to finally putting the time needed into his instrument to play jazz music. 

He started taking lessons and playing with other musicians in his community, but could feel that there were some missing pieces to his musicality. After reading an article about the importance of developing musicality, he joined Musical U and began his training. Impressed by the amount of progress he made in a short amount of time, he eagerly signed up for Living Music. 

Bruce is rapidly expanding his repertoire and experiencing music in an entirely new way. The skills that he’s gained in Living Music have allowed him to play better, transpose in real time, and create his own arrangements. He looks forward to combining his instrument study with Living Music and continuing to move forward with his development as a jazz piano player. 

Case Study: Thulane A.

Thulane has been a professional saxophonist for the last 20 years. He’s performed in a wide variety of different ensembles and taught students all around the world. During his career he’s studied with many teachers and taken courses to help him get to the next level in his playing. 

He first came to Musical U because of a gap that he saw in his own playing and teaching. While he had studied for years, he says he never felt like a true natural when playing in jam sessions. He saw his colleagues take gigs and perform in high pressure situations at a whim. Having that feel for music was something that had been unattainable for him. 

Since joining Living Music, Thulane says he feels a new appreciation and understanding of music that had eluded him all his life. He feels a new level of satisfaction with his musical expression and feels the support of all those in the community. After a lifetime of searching, he says Living Music is the one program that has given him this opportunity. 

Case Study: Leslie M.

Leslie grew up in a very musical family, but was never able to confidently express herself on any instrument that she tried. She raised her children with music lessons and dabbled around on various instruments, but was never able to devote much time to her art until later in life. 

She joined the Living Music program and immediately resonated with the message and pace of the materials. It’s given her a framework and vocabulary where she can put the pieces together and express herself. She’s enjoyed interacting with the staff and her fellow students on the discussion boards and live calls. 

After only 8 weeks in Living Music, Leslie has realized that her Big Picture Vision was thinking far too small as she’s already able to play by ear. She’s says she's been waiting for this knowledge her entire life and considers this year to be life changing for her. Leslie is eager to continue exploring and growing as a musician for the rest of her life. 

Case Study: Lloyd N.

Lloyd is a self-taught bass guitar player who had been dabbling with the instrument and occasionally taking lessons for years. He came to Musical U wanting to learn to play music by ear and feel more connected with the music that he was playing. There was a significant sense of imposter syndrome when approaching more formal music learning due to the lack of professional education he had to this point. 

Since joining Living Music, Lloyd says he feels like a veil has been lifted and he’s finally able to see what’s behind the curtain. The roadblocks that were preventing him from truly enjoying playing music had been removed and he is free to explore with confidence. 

With his new found confidence, Lloyd has been thrilled to see this have real-world results in the jazz clubs he frequents. He’s able to improvise and jam with more seasoned musicians with joy and has loved to receive compliments on the stunning improvement to his own playing. Lloyd looks forward to continuing his musical journey and hopes to inspire others that this is possible.

Case Study: Brian M.

Brian has been playing guitar for much of his life but hadn’t pursued any formal training and was never satisfied with the level of musical expression he had achieved. The music he heard in his head was never achievable on the guitar and he didn’t have any idea how to get past these gaps in his music understanding. 

He came to Musical U to fill these gaps and have a better relationship with his music. However, he was surprised at just how much the Living Music program was able to use multiple different resources to help him quickly expand his musical understanding and start seeing results immediately. He’s had a number of significant breakthroughs in just 12 weeks of his first season. 

What surprised Brian the most was that musicians of all levels were able to benefit from the instruction in different ways. While other programs gave the information, what was lacking for him was the support and explanations he received from the Musical U Team. He’s excited to continue his studies and continue to hear his guitar play the sounds he’s only been able to imagine for decades. 

Case Study: Ted B.

Ted has been playing the violin since he was six years old but has never felt comfortable as a musician. His study was on and off without any consistency or connection with other musicians. He came to Musical U to expand his musicality and help form that deeper connection to his musical expression. 

What has surprised him about Living Music is that it’s been both developing his musicality from the ground up while simultaneously helping him develop the identity, confidence and imagination as a music maker. He feels more creative and able to make music on the fly no matter the circumstance. His connection to the community and other music learners has really helped to cement this new understanding. 

Ted looks forward to continuing to open up the music inside of him and says he can’t even imagine where he’ll be next year. He’s eager to discover more “hidden gems” inside Musical U and learn from the staff and other students in the program.

Case Study: Steph I.

Steph began learning music when she was a teenager, but was frustrated by the mechanical nature of her music lessons. She never felt like she was truly learning music; just being taught how to manually push the buttons. All the other aspects to truly understanding music were completely skipped over 

When she found Living Music, she was immediately impressed with the linear and logical path of the curriculum. The structure enabled her to easily move through the day by day lessons and she got a sense of accomplishment when completing the lessons. It was accessible and made her feel welcome, even when she had questions about things that she didn’t yet understand. 

Steph looks forward to continuing to grow in her musicality with Living Music. The live interaction with the Musical U team and community has been very uplifting and inspiring. Being around a variety of different people has increased the joy she feels when learning the materials and she’ll continue pursuing her big picture goals with Musical U. 

Case Study: Jennie L.

Jennie played many instruments throughout her life and was actively writing songs since early on. She learned to play by ear from the beginning and never found that she was able to learn music the traditional way, and never found the ability to read notation. 

She came to Musical U to rebuild her musical foundation and experience music in a new and deeper way. After taking the Foundations course, she jumped into Living Music with a new sense of eagerness that this was possible for her and she could continue to grow in her musical abilities. 

Jennie now feels like she’s finally discovering the musician that she always could be and appreciates music in a profoundly more powerful way. She’s hearing entire songs in her head before picking up an instrument, singing harmonies with ease, and making better use of chord progressions and different sounds in her writing. Jennie is very eager to help pass the word of what’s being created at Musical U and can’t wait to continue with Living Music. 

Case Study: Christina L.

Christina has been trying to learn various instruments for years. She knew that music was part of her and something that wanted to express on an instrument, but she could never sustain weekly lessons or keep interest in an instrument. She never felt like she had the support she needed. 

After coming to Musical U, Christina was immediately amazed at how different things were inside the program. Despite trying several online courses before, the support and community of Musical U Members was something she found would sustain her and keep her moving forward with her goals. 

Christina says the Living Music program has put all the pieces together for her. She enjoys the daily bite-sized pieces and has quickly added the ability to harmonize to her repertoire through collaborations with other members. She looks forward to the next steps in the program and continuing to become more musical.  

Case Study: Felipe B.

Felipe has been trying to learn piano his entire life and had struggled with all aspects of his music education. He was passionate about the piano and loved the sound of the instrument so he continued to explore as many different options as possible. But he was never able to really grasp music theory until he came to Musical U. 

First joining the course Foundations of a Musical Mind, Felipe was impressed to find many musicians that were very similar to him in life experiences and interests. He took an immediate liking to the community and became very involved in all that was happening at Musical U. 

Since joining the Living Music program, Felipe enjoys that there are different activities every day within the course. It’s helped him create a new music habit that’s impacting every aspect of his musical life. He enjoys the complete approach to learning music, not just learning an instrument, and can feel the impact every time he sits at the piano. 

Case Study: Martha D.

Martha started playing as a young girl, but was forced to stop after relocating overseas for her job without her piano. As she grew in her profession, she was able to return to music on occasion before discovering the harp later in life. She instantly fell in love with the instrument and started pursuing lessons. 

While she loved the sound of the harp, learning to play it was far more difficult and she struggled to apply the lessons from her teachers. After exploring many different options, she discovered Living Music and eagerly dove into the training. 

Martha has been thrilled to discover that training her musical mind has made a noticeable difference in her playing. Her teacher has commented about how quickly she’s improving and she’s enjoying the learning process more than ever before. Martha looks forward to continuing to learn and collaborate with the musicians that she’s met through Musical U. 

Case Study: Skip A.

Skip began playing early in life, but says it was always very mechanical and he never felt that he was connected to the music. After retiring from his career, he had the new opportunity to explore his musicality and take a new approach to learning. After becoming frustrated watching endless YouTube videos that never connected, he joined Musical U. 

One thing that really made the difference was the passion and energy that Musical U puts into all the products and support on the site. He said it was like receiving university-level instruction, but from someone that genuinely cared about his progress. He began listening to music with a new ear and gained a new appreciation and language for deceiving and experiencing music. 

Skip looks forward to continuing with Living Music and learning new ways to express his musicality. He’s a very active member in the community and starts many conversations, exploring his favorite music with his fellow members. Skip is keen to begin performing live for friends around a campfire as soon as time allows.

Case Study: Nicolas A.

Nicolas began playing flute as a young adult while studying science at university, but lost touch with music after school. As he got older, he wanted to revisit music and make it a bigger part of his life and became connected with some other musicians in a combo. But he felt like there was something missing from his experience. 

After discovering Musical U through Foundations of a Musical Mind, Nicolas began the Living Music Program. He was immediately impressed on how quickly he was able to start hearing music in a different and deeper way. Singing became a key part of his musical expression and he found that playing and collaborating with other musicians was more natural and joyful.

Nicolas is incredibly happy that he’s found Musical U and looks forward to continuing to discover what he’s truly capable of accomplishing in his music. It’s been the best music learning experience that he’s had so far and it’s made a major impact on his flute playing. He looks forward to continuing to develop his musicality and being part of the Musical U community. 

Case Study: Melissa B.

Melissa plays the Irish flute and has been studying from online videos for around 10 years. She came to Musical U wanting to broaden her understanding of music and gain a more concrete foundation of musicality. 

She appreciates coming in the Living Music program with a beginner’s mind and not having any more baggage which had been building over the years. Learning the building blocks for music has been fun and she’s enjoyed coming up with her own compositions and improvisations during the course of the season. 

Melissa look forward to the positive atmosphere inside Living Music and has been thrilled to learn from the community. She can see how this will not only help her own musical development, but is eager to give back to other musicians as she develops her own musical network. 

Case Study: Mary Grace M.

Mary Grace picked up the ukulele shortly after retiring and has been enjoying having music in her retirement. After a couple of years, she felt like she hit a dead end and wasn’t making any further progress in her musical journey when she found Musical U. 

The most surprising thing for Mary Grace is how she’s able to incorporate theory into her music playing in a very natural way. Living Music has brought the music that was always inside her out into the open and she’s having fun practicing and implementing what she’s learning every day. 

She looks forward to continuing to play and enjoy playing with other musicians in a way she hadn’t had the confidence to do before. Mary Grace is eager to not only play, but introduce other musicians to the ukulele and teach them what she’s been able to learn, to help other people enjoy music as much as she now does. 

Case Study: Barnaby R.

Barnaby began playing the guitar as something fun and musical to do with his sons. He tried to teach himself with YouTube videos and, while he was able to learn some songs and get started, he just felt like he was mimicking another musician. That he didn’t really understand what he was playing. 

He joined the Living Music program and has been able to gain a much deeper appreciation for the music he was hearing and how to connect the various parts of his playing together. Chords, rhythms, and melodies playfully interacted in his ear and he was able to connect with it in a much deeper way. For the first time, he was able to improvise with confidence and perform with others. 

Barnaby looks forward to continuing his musical studies and being a part of the Musical U community. Interacting with other musicians and hearing new ideas has been a great joy and he’s been very active in sharing his own musical expressions. He’s focused on the joy of music and how good playing has made him feel. 

Living Music is currently available exclusively by invitation to Musical U course graduates.

© 2020 Easy Ear Training Ltd. / Musical U. Musical U is not a university and does not issue credentials.