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Piano for Quitters, DVD
By: Mark Almond
Vendor: Piano For Life
Publication Date: 2000
|Weight: 4 ounces|
Stock No: WW235755
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Author: Mark Almond
Located in: Post Falls Idaho
Submitted: September 19, 2019
Tell us a little about yourself. I became a Christian in 1970, the summer before entering Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa Idaho. The greatest turning point in my life was when I began reading books by D.M. Lloyd-Jones in the summer of 1972. I knew absolutely nothing about this author for many years, other than the quality and impact of his writings. His now famous books "Spiritual Depression," "Studies In The Sermon on the Mount," and his expositions of Ephesians, made drastic changes to my spiritual life. Dr. Lloyd-Jones led me into an intensive life-long study of history, which became my foundation for teaching music. It became evident that very few of the great concert pianists were also great teachers. These teacher's insights and strategies substantially improved my performance and teaching abilities.
What was your motivation behind this project? History demonstrates that piano instruction changed radically in the decades after the 1870s. Students were no longer given a clear understanding of the underlying design of music. Since there are "core patterns" that are easy for everyone to understand, it became an ongoing tragedy for instructional methods to fail to give students a clear and practical knowledge of the foundations and structure of music.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? The fact that there are only two primary building blocks, for all of the sounds we recognize as music, allows us to create unlimited musical expressions that anyone and everyone can play immediately. The music created in this way is a skill builder superior to all others. Students who are immediately able to play advanced musical sounds, with strong and varied rhythm patterns, soon have an advantage in every area of piano study, including the skill of learning to read music notation - - which we cover concisely in the sequel Piano for Life, at the end of disc three. Music instruction based on the greatest pianists of history, who also could articulate how they achieved their skills, will of course produce unique and surprising results.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? Given the theological foundation of this type of instruction, it was surprising that Time-Life and other national companies, all with an international reach, promoted Piano for Quitters for many years. Another shock was having this approach selected by "On Demand," and aired, for over three years, through twenty three cable television companies in Canada, the USA, and Mexico. The greatest joy, however, was receiving divine direction toward helping the homeschool community, even though none of these HS companies, to this very day, understand the program they have put in their catalogs.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? D.M. Lloyd-Jones, by example, taught me how to teach analytically. The fantastic documentary "Logic on Fire" shows exactly how Lloyd-Jones became such a great teacher, preacher, theologian, and evangelist, largely based on his intensive world class medical training. Ironically, Franz Liszt, the greatest piano teacher in all of history, also taught analytically, emphasizing that all complex musical structures are based on "simple parts." This is the exact opposite of how music is taught today. Yet, piano teachers are mystified as to why they are losing 98% of their students over a period of only two years.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: Some may have noticed that this piano teacher, who graduated from a Nazarene College (in theology/philosophy by the way), is openly crediting his success to a famous theologian with Calvinistic leanings. It goes much deeper than that. Lloyd-Jones ultimately led me to study and respect all of the great biblical expositors of history, regardless of their theological persuasion, as long as they held to the central and core fundamentals of biblical faith. I study, to this day, as all Christians should, Alexander Maclaren, G. Campbell Morgan, A.W. Tozer, etc., on one side of the spectrum, and D.M. Lloyd-Jones, C.H. Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, etc., on the other side. There is no question, whatsoever, that both sides have been greatly used of God. Much of the theological warfare now raging is based on ignorance of history. It is absurd not to recognize the spirituality of both Wesley and Whitefield. Go to the source documents and see for yourself. Further confirmation is the surprising relationship between G. Campbell Morgan and the man he chose to follow him at Westminster Chapel, none other than Dr. D.M. Lloyd- Jones.
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