Ever since Recreational Music Making (aka RMM) has entered the piano scene I have been very fascinated with the whole idea. What started out as a more relaxed learning environment for adults have branched out to so many other possibilities! Today’s review is focusing on a wonderful RMM resource catered to adults. After Debra Perez and Will Bailey crossed passed in 2005 they joined forces and created some wonderful programs like Musical Moments. Musical Moments is a recreational music making program that includes a teachers manual of all the lesson plans already done for you.
Many times adult books pacing is way to fast. I have found that adults usually have less patience with themselves when they are learning something new. They expect that they will be able to catch on both mentally and physically quickly because, well they are an adult. But usually that is not the reality. Musical Moments has these adults in mind. The adults who always wanted to learn how to play or haven’t played in years and years and don’t remember anything. They want to take lessons for fun and because they can. They want this to be a recreational activity they can enjoy at home.
When I spoke with Debra on the phone she mentioned, “The foundation needs to be there so students can get playing while having fun, discovering music and have it be part of their life style.” Musical Moments teaches with the “Hear, Do, See, Label” format. Musical Moments sets a solid foundation with slowed down pacing.
Musical Moments includes 6 student books and includes a CD for each. Once the first book of Musical Moments is completed, the next book is Reflective Moments. Reflective Moments are exactly that, a reflection of the skills and concepts learned and experienced in Book 1. This allows the adult student to gain more confidence with what they have learned before moving on. Debra calls this the “joy of the journey” phase. Books 2 and 3 have the same concept with having the Reflective Moments book follow each leveled book before moving on.
Musical Moments Book 1 begins with student tips and musical wellness – which includes a shoulder exercise. It begins with a few off staff pieces and then the on staff learning begins. Open chords and basic full chords for the left hand are introduced in addition to basic lead sheet notation. In the beginning the name of the notes are included in the note heads but are gradually phased out.
Each book is built upon the 1st. When the reach Book 3 they are about a level 2 level in your “average” method book.
If you decide to use Musical Moments especially in a group setting (it can easily be used in a private setting), I would highly recommend purchasing the teachers manual. In the teachers manual it includes tips such as group piano setup, how to incorporate the HEAR, DO , SEE, LABEL format, successful planning, ideas for group teaching, technique ideas and so much more! And this is BEFORE the lesson plans! The great thing about the teachers manual is helping you feel comfortable teaching in an RMM environment. The lesson plans are totally done for you. It even includes questions to ask your students. Even if you decide not to use the Musical Moments student books, the teachers manual can serve as a teacher’s guide on how to implement group piano playing RMM lessons in general.
From the website: “Although 16 lesson plans are included in Teachers Manual One and Teachers Manual Two, the average class will not complete the books in 16 weeks. Be flexible as some classes will require 20-24 weeks. The order and sequence of the lesson plans are what help create a positive musical experience, not how fast you make it through the book. As facilitators of Musical Moments, it is important that we honor the pace that is comfortable for each class. Adult students will quit playing when the fun of learning is replaced with high expectations they cannot achieve.”
Musical Moments also has supplementary books such as Sacred Moments and Christmas Moments.
If you are not familiar with RMM or have heard the phrase but still don’t quite understand it, I would encourage you to take a look at the Musical Moments Philosophy here. I think it says it all!
Be sure to like Musical Moments on FB!
If you missed my post awhile back on teaching RMM to teenagers you can find it here.
Disclaimer: I received some review copies of Musical Moments in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own.