Friday, October 19, 2018

Shawn Cheek Piano Lesson Review

This is a testimonial by Melissa from Myerstown, PA.  She is a lifetime member of Shawn Cheek's, piano lesson website 
Hello Shawn, 

You know what? 
I’m turning 50 on Sunday and I’m buying myself a birthday gift. Make me a Lifetime Member. 

I have two sons. Now 21 and 20. Both self taught musicians. One drummer and one who can figure out pretty much any instrument with strings on it and it’s my fault they can play. I did what my high school music teacher advised me to do. She said 
“Don’t push them into playing an instrument  YOU want them to play. You must let them decide so they play for life.  Just set instruments around the house and wait...they’ll pick something up.” 
The youngest one, the guitar player can read music and he did opt to pick up the trumpet and take lessons when he was younger. He can read music, but he’s very proficient, advanced on the bass guitar. He doesn’t want to read the music. He’d much rather listen to the line or find it on YouTube and play with it. The oldest, the drummer...he couldn’t tell the difference between a 1/4 note or a 8th note and has no idea what the word syncopation means, as he sits behind his kid playing along to Neil Peart and Buddy Rich. 
Brats! And I love them so. 

Both boys are old souls. They listen to everything under the sun. I blame their parents. 
The youngest knows that I have a pretty good library of oldies and classics in my head. 

“Hey Ma, come here. Do you know the words to Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain?” Do I know the words...puh...of course I do. My grandmother used to sing it all the time. 

So it was the youngest son who lead me to you. 
This kid, a diesel mechanic by trade and a bassist and guitarist and classic country music lover at night and on the weekends, is also a big fan of...GET THIS...Barry Manilow. He studied Manilow in his music appreciation class in high school and has always been intrigued by Manilow and his key changes. The kid challenged me. 

“Mom, you have that awesome piano in the sun room and you hardly touch it. Learn Mandy and I’ll sing it with you.” 

The oldest chimes in...”She won’t. She’s too busy and too rusty to figure it out. $50 says she can’t do it.” 

Challenge accepted. I’m in. I’m gonna do it. 

I did take piano lessons and music theory class a long time ago. I never wanted to learn sonata’s and I had no dreams or desires of becoming a classical pianist or to accompany my high school concert choir. I only want to learn enough to play for myself, to accompany myself. 

I’m one of those types who learned enough to be  dangerous and confuse myself. I gave up out of frustration. I struggle with playing the way I was taught to play and reading what’s on the page and knowing there’s got to be a better, easier way to do this. I all but lost it when I found your video. 

Because THIS is how my brain operates. 
I know every key on the piano. I understand sharps and flats and key signatures, note value, rhythm...all the basic stuff. All that stuff on a page makes me nuts. It overwhelms me with frustration and I quit before I start. 
Not this time. I chose your Mandy video based upon how you translated the notes onto the white board because THAT’s what I see in my head. Music decoded. Written in a form that I can understand. Finally! 

I am a little rusty. It’s been a little while. In my head I know where my hands and fingers need to go but my hands and fingers are operating on a bit of a delay. That is frustrating but nothing a little daily practice can’t remedy. 

I’m going to learn Mandy and make the oldest kid cough up $50 too. 

I must say...I was a bit surprised to see that you have Mandy classified as “Advanced”.  It didn’t take me long at all to work through the intro (part 1). I’m working on fluency and tempo right now.  

When I saw that it was labeled Advanced, I felt a little defeated but...I told the voice in my head to SHUT UP AND DO IT ANYWAY. 

I’m going to take you up on your lifetime offer. I cross off “play the piano” from my bucket list. I’m sick of looking at it sitting there on my list and dusting a piano instead of playing it. 

I can do this. You just may be the guy who can take all the music education living inside my head and make it all make sense. I’m the type who gathers all the of information first, BEFORE I attempt to connect the dots and I always connect the dots, moving backwards, not forward. 
Patience is not a virtue I was born with, however someone or something has decided it’s a virtue, a lesson I must learn in this life time. 
Be patient and it will come. It’s here. I wish it would have come a little sooner. Ha! 

I’ll take the lifetime subscription. 
Send me the bill and I’ll pay it ASAP. 

Thank you! 



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