The Sudnow Philosophy

Core Elements of the Sudnow Method

1. This is a course on how to play ''songs''

A song is a short musical form, easy to learn and remember, especially good for solo piano, and very accessible for adult students. We teach great "standards", pop tunes, country or gospel or rock pieces. If it's a song - the basic "folk" form of western society - you'll get to play it well.


2. This is a seminar, not a series of lessons

Extensive research shows that students who need regular weekly lessons to stay involved in musical learning will usually not stick with it. Regular piano lessons are among the most failed-at forms of education we know of. Adults who want to learn can self-instruct themselves to play songs.

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3. You don't need to read music

You'll use the age-old chord chart, where the names of chords are written out along the top of the melody line. You don't need, or even want to read a usual two-staved notation, where all the notes are written out for both hands, you must memorize lots of notes, and can then play the song in just one particular way. The chord chart is the common preferred notation for song playing, for centuries!


4. This course is based on extensive research on learning

Unlike any other music program, The Sudnow Method is based on three decades of study of thousands of adults learning to play. Trained as a social psychologist, Sudnow's research, and then his live seminars and clinics with over 10,000 students, yielded...

a) many powerful insights about effective ways to quickly gain keyboard skills, and

b) a novel yet highly effective learning method, starting on a full blown song from the very beginning.

In these ways, The Sudnow Method isn't just another piano course. It's a very carefully researched program based on large scale studies of adult piano learning.

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5. Anyone has the ability to learn to play songs and to play "by ear"

It might be that some are "born" with a potential for music making. We don't have solid conclusions about that. But in 25 years of piano teaching we've yet to encounter an adult who wanted to play well and couldn't. Even if it's possible that some musical talent is partially "inborn", we prefer to assume it isn't. Too many people think of themselves as "unmusical", which sadly inhibits their interest in trying to learn. We know motivation is the true key to learning, and our program motivates you with the kinds of sounds you'll make right away. You do yourself an injustice if you allow a negative attitude about your "natural talents" to keep you from undertaking a new kind of creative avocation.