Frequently Asked Questions

How can you do a Year’s Worth of Piano Lessons in One Weekend?

Quite carefully, actually.  We have to be aware of how the brain is working, what the brains needs to work and how each student is processing the material.

But the general things that are needed are

  • Very clear picture, whether they be auditory, visual or kinesthetic.
  • A very paced speaking voice so that the brain has time to see the pictures.
  • Music at 60 beats per minute.
  • Color and more.

Whenever something new is created, there are usually 3 stages that are gone through.  At first people ridicule it, then they start examining it and then it is accepted as if it has always been.

At Cercone, we have quietly been doing this workshop for 40 years, continually testing to see if things work and have continual success.

Why do you use so much color?

Color is the electricity of the brain.  Most people can see things much more clearly when color is used.  When color is used in the school system, students also learn much easier.  By color analyzing the music, we get to see how the composer thinks, how chords work in music and it begins to open the doorway to long term memory and improvisation.

Color just makes everything easier.  Different students need to use color in their own way.  But it truly opens the door to far easier learning.  Color also connects the 12 Intelligences that we have.

Why do you say we have 12 Intelligences?

Thanks to psychologist Howard Gardner, educators have begun exploring the  existence of distinct learning styles and how these different abilities impact learning.

Yet, after delving further, I realized that there are 12 distinct brain areas (coinciding with 12 cranial nerves) present in the brain of every learner.  If we begin accessing and synthesizing all of these abilities, we can maximize our learning and access the genius mind.

Has this method ever failed? Is there anything frustrating about the Cercone Method?

When the Cercone Method is used completely, it has always worked.  The frustrating part is that people often are not aware of the importance of the tools that the brain needs to facilitate easy learning.  They then arbitrarily drop the tools they do not feel like using.

At that point, the method cannot work as well, just as a car or any machine cannot work as it was intended when aspects are missing.  Therefore the learning has to be slower.  At that point students often think they have no talent or that the music is hard, rather than looking at what tools  they  neglected to use in order to assist the learning process.

We realize that almost everything we do in life needs some kind of tools, whether a hammer, fork, dish, car, etc.  But we have not been trained that the brain also needs tools.  Most try to force the brain to work in a way they choose without ever trying to find out what the brain needs.

The brain tools are part of the ongoing learning process at Cercone.  There is continual mention of them and more research so that we can find better ways of explaining them plus showing the students how and why they work.

It is a most fascinating journey.  As we do this, students realize the beauty of the brain tools, use them and as a result their success flourishes.

What if my child does not feel like practicing. I do not want him to dislike music. What do I do?

Music is critical for a good education and excellent brain development.  No one “wants” to practice every time.

Just as children do not always want to go to school, do their homework or other responsibilities that they have at home, we still train them to do these because we know the value of doing homework and having responsibility.   We are not concerned whether the children “like” doing these tasks, we provide the training for a healthier life style.

Education and music education are a privilege and a necessity for a richer and a more fulfilling life.

So as parents set the boundaries and hold them, the student can complete their education.

One parent stated to her junior high daughter:  “Quitting music is not an option.  You cannot quit school and music is school.  You will take lessons until you are done with high school.”

Naturally the daughter pouted and told her mother: “You don’t like me.” It took about 3 months, the daughter was over the “hump” and was most grateful that her mother did not let her quit.   All through high school her friends were envious of her playing ability.   And she gave an hour and a half senior concert that her parents sponsored at a hotel for her friends and relatives.  It was a crowning achievement – one to be remembered for a lifetime.

She is most grateful that her mother held firm to the boundaries.

What about someone who is color blind?

Students who are colorblind can benefit greatly from using the Cercone Method.  I have worked with two people that came to my studio “colorblind.” Neither were colorblind by the time they left.

While I do not claim that this method cures colorblindness, the benefits of the Cercone Method exceed traditional learning systems in many unexpected ways.

Why do you work with adults who hardly have any time to practice?

So many adults want to learn music, but with their schedule, finding a regular time to practice is not always feasible.  With the Cercone Method whether group lesson or private, there is always something to teach or a song to “block.”  So the learning can go on at a pace that works with the life style of the adult and their present obligations.

Otherwise when will they ever accomplish their goal of playing music?

Note:  This approach does not work with children or anyone who wants to become professional musician.   Why do you teach in groups?

Learning is accelerated in group lessons.  We learn and review theory together at the beginning of each lesson.  Later on in the class, individual attention is given to the particulars of each student while they are working on their own keyboard.  Learning occurs at a rapid pace.

However, some students do not work as well in groups, so we do also offer private lessons

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