Though she had already been working with young music students, Carol found that it was often difficult to transition them from early childhood classes to learning to read and play instruments. That’s when she came across the idea of using color as learning scaffolding and The Musicolor Method Masterclass.
Carol has since adapted the Musicolor Method to work with her youngest preschool students, as well as some of the elementary school kids. She loves how they take to color and can learn to play faster and with more fun.
First instrument: Piano
Age I started playing music: 8
Other instruments: Voice
Number of years teaching: 35+
Number of current students: 15
Interviewer: Christy Goldfeder
All kinds of music: pop, Broadway, classical.
Many times, I was also involved in choral groups. I have always been involved in music in some capacity. For a long time, I might have just one music student while I was working outside the home.
I got really interested in History Preservation, and I got a degree in it, but it didn’t really help me get into the workforce. I kind of fell back into music again and started focusing on it more.
I know one of Andrew’s philosophies is to focus your attention on one set of students.
For a while, I has a school like that. I had been focusing mostly on the 8-12 year olds.
When I started as a private contractor with Take Lessons, it opened the door to any age from as young as 5 to 60. That kind of changes with teaching also. In some ways, it makes it more challenging and a little harder to keep track of who is where and when.
I wanted to focus more on younger students.
I started searching for something to make it easier for me to teach younger students, because they were so challenging. I hadn’t really taught that age before. So, that is what led me to The Musicolor Method Masterclass.
I spent a lot of time looking at and reading some of his articles about his philosophy and his approach.
I was searching for something that would help me, and I think it was during those articles I began thinking this may be something I am interested in.
I just knew it. It was a gut feeling that this was something that I thought I could work with, I liked the overall approach, the structuring of the program. I think it was, you know, I think I just thought this is pretty neat. So I am going to jump out of my box and try it.
I started using it with 8 year olds and even one of my 12 year old students. I adapted The Musicolor Method to different ages. Most everyone of them really took to the color really quickly. It was like “Oh, that’s easy. I can identify that the red is C and I can look at it and match colors.”
It was so easy for the kids, and I kind of thought they would take to it easily.
Prior to finding The Musicolor Method, a lot of what I had seen with the color was connected to rhythm—like with Boomwhacker sticks. They’re long tubes, and what you can do is use them for counting and for music.
That is another reason why I decided to take The Musicolor Method training program. I realized that Andrew had actually put color into a piano format and he had evolved it so that we could use both hands.
I am an analytical person. I think reading some of his thoughts, how he wanted to approach and structure the program and the philosophy behind it was beneficial. It helped me organize and look at my teaching in a different way.
I noticed right away that the program was very organized. Very thoughtful in the way in which he put together his program. I did like the approach overall.
I know he has added things since I took the training, for example, when to buy your first piano and a few other things. All of this is helpful.
He created the whole package. He is always making changes too, and he is always presenting information differently. I couldn’t quite believe how much information and work he had put into his program. It’s been worth the investment.
Overall, I am a big fan.
Another thing that I liked that I haven’t done, is I like that he included some of the other string instruments in the program. It’s something that’s just a little different for younger students to be exposed to. I like that the information is available if I do want to use it.
I know this is a complicated process, but I am very pleased with everything he has done and continues to do. I am glad I did it.
I never realized when I was taking piano that it was that hard to teach. There have been a few times that I have looked at students and said, “Hmm. How did I learn this?” I think it is harder to teach than one would think.
I think Andrew’s approach has made it easier. You don’t have to use so many words, you rely more on the visuals.
There are a lot of layers to the Musicolor Method. Andrew has put a lot of thinking into, how and when you want to bring a certain idea into the lessons.
I think putting all this together into this format has been really good. I don’t think I could have done it.