Robbie with Lisa Marie Presley

Robbie with Nick Lachey

I want to teach you how to understand and play music. I want you to be able to not just learn other peoples music but have the ability to create your own, to improvise and develop your own voice. And I want to do it using absolutely no sheet music notation at all.

This is not a new method or reimagining of what music is. Rather, it is an examination of music without using notation. If you ever do choose to learn to read notation, you’ll learn it with an understanding that traditional music education does not provide. It’s been said that around 70% of adults wish they had been able to play music while only 20% of kids actually do. Think about that. The vast number of people who genuinely desired to make music had been denied the opportunity. And for what? To let only 20% through the door? I think 100% of those who want to play should be able to whether they want to read notation or not.

First, you must understand that notation is not music. Notation is a language developed during a time when no electronic recording was possible and which helped “record” and preserve the works of many classical composers. And while it was effective at it’s task, it is no longer necessary to record or learn music. Plus, it is not easy to learn and keep up ones skills at, hence the huge dropout rate. It’s the reason why you hear people say they get “rusty” when they don’t practice. Unlike reading notation, a solid understanding never gets rusty and every time you play, think about or listen to music, you apply your understanding and increase your abilities, just like you do with the alphabet when you speak, write and listen or with numbers when you count. At some point, you accepted the finite order of both the alphabet and number line and were able to build on them to communicate. Music is based on those two absolutes as well and by understanding that, you’re on stable footing to understand the entire basis for music as a language.

The biggest disconnect in learning is that the actual nuts and bolts of music are most often obscured by the focus on notation to the point that most students don’t even know they exist. Their subsequent failing at reading notation leads them to assume that they’re not suited to play, regardless of the burning desire inside to do so. This is not only unjust but completely unfair. Music is not and should not be elitist, nor should it be solely a pursuit of performing other people’s music. How do you know what YOU have to say if you haven’t truly learned to speak? Music is a language and is probably the most universal language on earth. No matter what language you speak, notes are notes and their properties are the same.

It is my genuine wish that you understand music so you can play and bring more music to the world. Let’s get started now!

"I was born with music inside me. Music was one of my parts. Like my ribs, my kidneys, my liver, my heart. Like my blood. It was a force already within me when I arrived on the scene. It was a necessity for me-like food or water."

Ray Charles