A Music Method for the Expert Beginner

shapes method map


About Shapes

     Playing With Songs
     Tactile Reading
     Chord & Key Levels
     Tonescapes & Tensions
     Reading Imagery

Level 1: A Shape
   Commentary: Why Music Videos?
Level 2: Different Shapes
   Commentary: What Is a Shape?
Level 3: A Group of Shapes
   Commentary: Is This the Circle of Fifths?
Level 4: Shape Fingerings
   Commentary: The Centered Keyboard
Level 5: The Anchor Note
   Commentary: What is the Anchor?
Level 6: Playing With the Anchor
   Commentary: Musical Structures
Level 7: Bass Notes
Level 8: Matching A Shape
Level 9: Notes In Time
Level 10: Changes
   Commentary: Chord and Key Levels
Level 11: Groups of Shapes
Level 12: Reading by Touch
Level 13: A Tonescape and Tensions
Level 14: Imagination as an Instrument
Level 15: Two Higher and Lower
   Commentary: What is a Tonescape?
Level 16: Reading by Ear
Level 17: Switch To Number Names
Level 18: Reading by Touch Part 2
Level 19: Moods
Level 20: Reading by Ear Part 2
Level 21: Light and Heavy Tensions
Level 22: Reading by Ear Part 3
Level 23: Reading by Touch Part 3
Level 24: Moods and Tensions Together
Level 25: Getting Inside of Moods
Level 26: Reading by Ear Part 4
   Commentary: Shape and Standard Notation
Level 27: Making Time Relative
Level 28: All Moods and Tensions
Level 29: Mood Notes
   Commentary: Chord-Modes
Level 30: Incidentals
Level 31: Independent Solfege
Level 32: Free Play

By Skill Series

Playing With Songs

Level 1 introduces a shape. Level 2 and 3 expand to a full group of shapes and give them names. Level 6 introduces the anchor note as a way to structure what you play. Level 8 shows you how to figure out the shape on your own. Level 9 introduces music notation. And Level 11 introduces three additional groups of shapes that will occasionally show up in songs.

Tactile Reading

Level 4 introduces a single fingering pattern that allows you to play hands together in any shape, starting on any note. Level 12 uses this pattern to begin reading a relative notation along with songs, in a way that feels like playing a rhythm game. Level 18 and 23 expand the range of shapes and add features to the notation. Level 27 replaces pulse dots with rhythmic note symbols. And Level 30 gives a way to notate outside the shape.

Chord & Key Levels

Level 5 introduces the anchor note as a way of structuring the other notes of the shape. Level 7 shows that changing bass notes along with any other notes of a shape create the recognizable framework for a song. And Level 10 introduces changing shapes, anchors, and bass notes.

Tonescapes & Tensions

Level 13 introduces a tonescape, and recognition of the anchor, one note higher, and one note lower within the tonescape. Level 15 expands to two notes higher and lower. Level 17 brings in octave equivalence and switches from higher/lower names to number names. Level 19 and 21 introduce different moods that result from the sum of tensions to the anchor. Level 24, 25, and 28 expand to recognition of all moods and all tensions. And Level 31 removes the tonescape.

Reading Imagery

Level 14 introduces imagery, Level 16 uses notation to draw two additional notes out of the tonescape. Level 20 expands to three moods. Level 22, 26, and 29 expand to hearing all tensions in all moods. And Level 32 is free play imagery in all moods.