Musical U
Enjoying Massive Breakthroughs In Just The First Few Weeks...
... And Now Finally Feeling Like "I Am A Musician"!

Case Study: Almut S.

   My name is Almut and I live in Hamburg in Germany. I had played the guitar when I was young, like a teenager, and then I stopped for about 20 years and had started about four years before joining the Next Level, had restarted learning the guitar. And I'm also a singer. I used to sing in many choirs.

The main reason why I wanted to join the Next Level program was that I felt like I was learning a lot on my musical journey but that I couldn't progress as fast as I thought I could and everything just seemed like a jungle, really. 

And I never felt like I was getting anywhere. And all the different topics didn't really connect in my music learning and it was more like learning isolated skills and not being able to link them together.

My dream of music looked like being able to play by ear and I really wanted to be able to improvise. But I never actually thought of myself as a musician at the point when I joined the Next Level.

And I never actually thought of performing and I never actually thought of making music with others. That was just an abstract idea and I wasn't sure if I would be good enough to be able to do that. 

One of the things I really wanted to do when I started with the program was I wanted to play by ear. And this was really one of the first things my coach and I took up as an, as a goal for the Next Level coaching program. 

And I started off with really simple songs with two or three chords and just looking at the songs and listening to the songs and working with solfa. 

It all came together so quickly. 

So like about two or three weeks after the start of the program, I could play by ear. And we actually expanded that to different chord progressions. And from where I started, this looked like an impossible thing.

And now it's so natural to listen to a song and to know what key it is in, to know the meter to know the structure of the song, for example. And it's just so natural to, to just hear that and know about it without thinking. So that's quite amazing.

And it only took a couple of weeks. So that was a great surprise.

And the other one was that I couldn't sight-read on the guitar and I thought it would be so difficult because in the past when I was a child I was taught to play the recorder and I had a teacher and she was really strict and she always told me you can't sight-read and you don't know which notes you're playing and she was just very negative. 

And I had never actually tried to sight-read on the guitar and that was another goal of mine to be able to sight-read on the guitar. And again it only took a couple of weeks to understand how to sight-read on the guitar, at least in the first position. 

Another thing that looked really difficult to start with and with a bit of help was I was able to manage. 

I think there are two highlights, two musical highlights from the past year. 

One is that I went to a workshop, to a guitar workshop in England with a very popular guitarist and there was a masterclass and I was supposed to play a piece for this guitarist and discuss the piece with him.

And I actually managed to choose a piece. I managed to prepare the piece well. I managed to play it in the masterclass. I was a bit nervous, but I could actually do it. 

And it was such a good feeling to be able to learn from this guitarist and to be in this masterclass and to be with the other guitarists.

And I couldn't have done that about a year ago because I was so nervous playing. I couldn't even play for my guitar teacher and I could never have played in a masterclass. 

The other thing is that I suddenly had the feeling I wanted to share my music and I wanted to make music with others. So I started a music group and we're playing traditional Irish folk music. We're about five with all different instruments and I play the guitar and I sing in the group, which is a lot of fun. 

And I also started my first group and we're doing improvisational singing. And I'm facilitating that group as well. Lots of things I wouldn't have thought possible.

The funny thing about learning really and being on a learning journey is that you don't realize what you're learning. And you can see successes. And then, all of a sudden, what you've learned and your success is getting normal. And you don't realize all the skills you've learned anymore. 

So now, all these new musical skills I have, they feel like they are just a part of me, and I feel so comfortable with them. 

Like when I was in this group and leading the women in improvisational singing, it just felt so natural to be singing with them. And I didn't really think about the skills I had acquired in the past year. It just felt like "I'm doing what I like doing".

I think the special thing about the Next Level coaching program is that it is focused on learning music, that it's not focused on learning individual skills, single skills, but it's very holistic and it focuses on everything to do with music.

I had a good time. It was a hard time as well. There were so many changes during this year, and so much learning, and so many emotionally difficult times.

But I've never had so much fun before, so it was a very special time.

I think if it would be possible to tell myself something about what I learned in the program and if I would tell it to myself before the program, I would say:

There are so many skills I learned, like I can play by ear, I'm a lot better at improvising, I've learned so much about learning, I've learned so much about music, I learned so much about feeling music.

But I think the biggest change is that I feel so much at home with music now. 

And that I actually feel that I'm a musician now. And I would have never said that before. 

It feels good.

I think if someone asked me if they should join the program and if they weren't sure yet, I would say it's one of the best decisions you could make and I would say that the year you could have in the Next Level program would be one of the best years of your life. 

And it would really change your musical life to be part of that.
The team here are so proud of Almut for her accomplishments and excited for how her musical journey will continue from here!
EPILOGUE: Six months after the video above was recorded, Almut actually joined us on the Musical U team and is now training up to become a Next Level coach herself - how cool is that?!

Interested to experience Next Level coaching for yourself?

We'd love to hear from you.
© 2023 Easy Ear Training Ltd. / Musical U. Musical U is not a university and does not issue credentials.