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I'm looking at subscribing to Piano Marvel https://www.pianomarvel.com/ to learn piano and music theory from scratch (I have very little knowledge at the moment). The main reason I want to learn is to eventually be able to compose/produce my own music...of course, I wouldn't mind being able to replicate other peoples music, but I don't want to start relying on this (which is what I did with drums, now I find it difficult to come up with stuff myself, since I relied on sheet music)

My question is, does anybody have any experience with Piano Marvel and can tell me if these lessons promote 'thinking for myself' rather than just being able to read/listen to and play existing pieces?


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closed as primarily opinion-based by Matthew Read Nov 20 '14 at 20:26

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Hi @Matt! Thanks for your contribution. I'm not sure that this is the best place for this question as SE tends to deal with objectively answerable questions. However, thinking for yourself as a musician doesn't really stem from the methods you use to learn. You can use whatever methods you like to acquire technique and skill, and rate them according to your own plan and experience, and that can be considered thinking for yourself! –  Grey Jul 2 '14 at 14:26
I think that this question can be objectively answered: the program may or may not have features geared towards helping develop improvisation or compositional skills. –  Dave Jul 2 '14 at 15:20
I have to say that I see two bad ideas in your message. Firstly, and I think should be able to realize this yourself at the drums, I have a hard time imagining someone who would be able to compose without having studied and played a lot of music first. If you learn theory but don't see how others have put it into practice, it's not going to sound good. Secondly, if you want to reach goals I highly recommend getting a real teacher. There are just too many ways a beginner can take bad habits and waste his time, especially at the piano which is not an easy instrument. –  user10960 Jul 2 '14 at 22:20
Thats true. I am happy to learn songs, but I guess what I want from the program is for it to teach me the 'why' of what I'm playing - for example why scales are used, not just what they are etc. That way I'd learn to produce stuff myself as well. Also, its an interactive program which I can plug my midi controller into, so the program will pick up most of my bad habits...all except 'external' stuff like hand position and posture –  MattBurrows Jul 3 '14 at 8:49
Unfortunately this also falls under our policy against "shopping advice". Reviews of resources and tools are outside our scope. –  Matthew Read Nov 20 '14 at 20:28

2 Answers 2

I dont know the website, but i will reply with something that for me makes perfect sense for every medium you decide to choose to learn anything...

It's not about the website, it's what you do outside the website... Obviously their exercises will give you the basic technique, the theory and help you build muscle memory, but really it is all about "getting your hands dirty" and start creating simple songs or just small phrases, and since you already play the drums and possibly other instruments, the best is just to combine and if you can and have the resources to, record yourself playing drums and play along in the piano...

I usually say there's nothing like playing in a band to develop your capacity to create your own stuff, but if you just "play with yourself" (no pun intended... :p) you can achieve this and develop your creational skills. It worked for me at least when learning to play drums when i already played the guitar...

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I'm going to put Piano Marvel in with all the other online sites I've tried and say, NO WAY! I'm not even breaking into whether they work or not since that's not your question. I've been playing the scales like a crazy mental lately and when I run across problem "crosswalks" with fingering, accuracy, speed, I'm forced to concentrate on just four or five notes of a four-five octave run. During those intense concentrations, I've heard Chopin, Liszt, Beethoven, Bach...THAT is where these dudes got ALL of their inspiration: The Scales! Composing, writing, all that, comes from within you, as your creativity. Therefore, no one can teach that to you. You can figure out how to become more creative by studying modern philosophy (Critical Thinking, it's called today). However, it's up to who you are and how much you care (passion) as to what comes of it. My greatest suggestion is to LISTEN to the music you love and then ask: "Why do I love it?", "What was on my mind when I was feeling xxx in that piece?", "How do I want my music to affect others?". You might choose to study "mood music", pieces written specifically for silent pictures. Name your very favorite composer and then, list all the reasons why their music is your favorite. I know, I write too much. Summary: 1. Learn the major and minor scales and fall finger-first in love with them! Hours and hours and hours of scales. 2. Figure out what floats your boat and how to float other's boats using it. 3. Read music everyday. I don't mean play it. I mean "read" it, like a magazine. 4. Study Critical Thinking.

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