I began learning music theory and how to play the piano over 15 years ago. Like so many, I struggled. It took me a grueling three years to learn the fundamentals. I almost quit every other week.
I became highly motivated to figure out why learning music theory was so hard for most and why there was an unnecessarily high dropout rate. I felt that this issue is not only problematic for students but also has negative implications for music teachers and society as a whole.
So, 12 years ago, using my bachelor’s in education and the support of other musicians and teachers, I set off on a mission to create a better teaching methodology. My first five attempts failed, but four years ago, I had a breakthrough!
While working on a master’s degree in social theory, I was fortunate to be introduced to fractals; a tool used to study social systems as a way to predict and change behavior. The main thing to know about fractals is that the seemingly complex system is actually governed by one set of instructions. If you know the underlying set of instructions, then you can comprehend the whole. I began to wonder whether music was a fractal.
As it turns out, music is indeed a fractal. All music ever made, or ever will be made, is governed by one set of instructions, or what I call the one Unifying Concept.
All music theory, terms and topics, can be distilled down to this Unifying Concept: “Music is the Interplay of Consonance and Dissonance.” No matter what aspect of music we are discussing, it can be discussed in these terms.
Advantages of learning through this lens- (unifying concept):
Gives us a new practice paradigm:
This shift in practice will provide students with instant, continuous, gratification and joy-creating an upward and positive recursive loop.