TO MARGARET BRANDMAN'S
'PLAYING MADE EASY' FOR BEGINNERS
you've never played an instrument before, getting started with
the Brandman "Playing Made Easy' system, is one of the best
and quickest ways to learn.
system can be applied to any keyboard instrument ( piano, electronic
keyboard or organ) and most woodwind instruments including recorder,
clarinet and saxophone.
are materials available for these instruments, to follow up
the information given here. (see below)
simplest way to see the method demonstrated is to view the VIDEO/DVD
(see the video/DVD page on this site)
this teaching approach, by limiting the amount of information
needed to the essentials and developing a sense of the flow
of music from the beginning much of the difficulty experienced
in traditional music education is avoided.
system is based on hand positions, but quickly moves on to explore
ways of moving around the keyboard. For technical information
on how to produce a note on the instrument, please refer to
the written materials.
are some of the basics.......
you know that music only uses SEVEN alphabet letter names,
A, B, C, D, E, F, AND G.? These repeat in several different
pitches from Low to High. So if you can find any C and F on
the keyboard the others will not be far away.
The written notes on the staff lines (sets of five lines
on which music is written), represent sounds from low to
high. There are five Cs which appear on or near the staff
lines for piano. These Cs are very useful as location points.
If you learn these, you will always begin in the correct
area of the keyboard. In my books and DVD you will find
easy ways to remember them.
When the notes are written on lines or between spaces and
are presented in ascending order on a staff (Line Note,
Space Note, Line Note, Space Note etc) the resulting look
is that of a ladder. Our word "SCALE" comes from the Italian
word 'La Scala', the ladder.
It therefore follows that if the notes are moving along
this ladder frame they are moving in a stepwise fashion.
This movement is known as the distance or INTERVAL of a
STEP. If there is a position skipped out, ie Line Note to
the next Line Note, or Space Note to the next Space Note,
the resulting distance or INTERVAL is known as a SKIP.
the Brandman beginner books, you will find the first five
distances or intervals. These are extremely easy to identify
on the page, feel with your fingers and begin to recognise
by sound. The only note name you will need to learn is C.
The rest is like looking at a picture, does it go up or down
or remain the same? Is it nearby or somewhat further away,
Students find this comes together in a few minutes. Adults
will find they can Sightread a line of music, without looking
at their fingers, within a half hour session. What you will
be using is a combination of your aural, visual and tactile
faculties, for rapid progress.
As the system is the same for both hands and therefore can
be read the same way in any clef and anywhere on the keyboard,
two handed playing can be achieved in about two weeks. (Some
people can even do this on their first lesson!) For those
readers that understand a little musical language, the method
also provides the ability to transpose onto any white note
pattern, and later on to any key or mode.
Rhythm. Music for beginners uses very simple note values
based on the divisions of whole, half, quarter and eighth.
Each value note is given a different shape. The whole note
is an egg shaped note, the half note is an open circle with
a stem (like a flower stem), the quarter note is similar
to the half note but its centre filled in and the eighth
note is written like a quarter note with an added tail.
(The British system has other names for these notes, which
are explained in the books)
topic of rhythm, can be understood very simply by boxes representing
the values of the notes, being placed under the notes. The
method (which has been used successfully for over 30 years
) uses colour (recently hailed as a tool for accelerated learning)
to represent the values of the notes. If you would like to
see an example, refer to the Course Map on this site.
hope these few points will provide you with some basic information
on the method, and that you will discover more easy ways to
learn as you explore the Brandman 'Playing Made Easy' system.
Here is a
list of the materials available for beginners.......
ONE - KEYBOARDS
the Junior beginnner on PIANO/KEYBOARD OR ORGAN ( 6 to 11 age
older children and adult beginners of PIANO or KEYBOARD:
BOOKS FOR LEVEL ONE KEYBOARDS
TWO - WOODWIND INSTRUMENTS
of any age on RECORDER, flute, saxophone
'Playing Made Easy for Recorder' (Australian edition)
'How to Play Recorder' (USA edition). This book presents
the easy reading system of the piano method, adapted for recorder
which is the gateway to the fingerings on the other woodwind
instruments. This book is a far more thorough and interactive
teaching method than others on the market. Student will really
be reading the flow of the music and understanding the feel
of the notes,and simultaneously developing their ear and ability
to improvise. (A small amount of written work is incorporated
for easy interval recognition and reinforcement of the topics)
THREE - THEORY AND EAR-TRAINING
Brandman has also written theory and ear-training materials
to complement and support the basic tutor books. These suit
students of any instrument or voice. The specific books for
the novice musician:
those with a little previous music experience: