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Using The Lessons
There are three ways to approach learning music:
Learn to play by ear.
Learn to play by reading music.
Learn to play by understanding music theory.
Schools Of Music
We will call these three approaches schools of music. Although each school  borrows
from the other two, they heavily favor one. Let's take a look at each schools strength and
weaknesses.
Playing  By Ear.
This is the way most of us learn to sing. We learn to sing songs just by listening to them.
Many successful professional performing musicians, who can't read music, have used
this method. People who do karaoke usually can't read music but can perform popular
songs that would look very complicated as written music. Having a good ear for music is
the most essential skill a musician can have.  For the many successful musicians who are
blind reading music is not even a option. But person who can't read or write music are
handicapped just as a person who never learns to  read or write is handicapped. They
won't have access to all the written music that's available. If someone that can't read or
write music wants to teach you, they are limited to showing you in person.  You will not be
able to write down the any that music you create. Of course you can get someone who is  
musically literate to write it down for you. But it is much better if you can do it yourself.
We will put off any music reading for a few more lessons as I get you to rely more on
theory and your ear.
Reading Music
Being able to read musical notation is a valuable skill. It was invented to so that a musical
work could be documented and passed on to others. Before that, the only way to learn a
piece of music was to hear someone else play it. With the age of recorded music there
was a new  way. Music has become very portable. We all can have our favorite music to
listen to over and over again. Learning to read music for simple songs is not that hard.
The problem is that the musical notation for the popular songs that we want to sing or
play is not simple.  That popular song that you learned to sing so easily by ear has
complex and difficult musical notation. If it's a multi-part arrangement in it will be even
more difficult. It can take years to develop the level of music reading skill to be able to
play it from the musical notation. The problem is you don't have the option of being a
slow reader. You may be able to read and write music good enough to figure it out or
write down your own songs. But to play music from musical notation at the speed that the
music is being played you have to be a speed reader. When you look at a music note on
a music staff, your are getting two kinds of information. It's position on the staff tells you
what note to play. It's style and location in the measure or bar tells you the rhythm or
when and how long to play it. In these first five free music lessons, you will be learning to
play without music. Starting with free music lesson 6, you will be learning to play with
music. You will be learning to use a compact form of music called the lead sheet. Once
you get to compare it with the playing without music method, you will see how music has
an advantage in giving you all the information you need in a compact form.
Music Theory
Music theory is the approach that teaches us how music works.  All music is based on a
few simple building blocks and rules. What seems to be hundreds of different songs
reduces down to a much smaller number of musical formulas. We are been applying
some of this in these first two lessons. By lesson five you will learn musics greatest secret
that really makes learning music easy. Learning about the building blocks of music and
the rules for using them simplifies music and makes it much easier to learn. When we
talked about reading music, we were not talking about reading full arrangements on the
grand staff. We were talking about using lead sheets. It's the combination of being able
to read lead sheets and understanding theory that give you the best approach to
learning music. That is what you will be learning in these free music lessons.
Standard Music Lessons
If music is so natural to us, why do most people who take music lessons fail to become
professional performing musicians. It's because of the way most music teachers teach.
Even teachers who are well rounded musicians, who have good ears and who know
music theory teach this way. They teach you how to read music for your instrument. You
aren't learning how to play music, you are learning how to read music. Learning to read
music for simple songs is not that hard but as you will see learning to read the complex
musical notation for the up to date songs you really want to play is much harder. You can
go through dozens of method books and years of lessons and still not be able to read
music at that level. Most folks quit. Many learn to play by ear which at least gets you
there.
Tony's School Of Music
I place a lot of emphasis on learning how music works in my teaching method. If you don't
understand how it works how can you work with. You can't be a musician with out having
an ear for music. I use audio extensively so that you can hear the music as well as
understand it. I do use musical notation but never let it get in the way of learning to play
the music. I will use and explain how all  types of music works. Classical, jazz, pop, soul,
folk, country, and rock all have something to teach us. The best musicians are able to
use elements from every kind of music to create their own unique form of expression.  
The two keyboards below show you which fingers play which keyboard keys to play our
song in musical keys F and G. In the key of F ti is the white key e below f and of course
we play the black key for fa just like we did in free music lesson 1. But in the key of G ti is
the black key below g. Notice ti is the very next keyboard key below do. For C and F that
is a white key but for G it is a black key. Playing that black key with your thumb is a little
awkward. There are alternate fingerings we could use but for now we'll just stretch out
the thumb. For now we'll just play the melodies but in a few lessons, I'll explain how all
this works.
©2008
Schools Of Music
People that come to these pages through search engines enter on different pages. I
would recommend that to get the full benefit of these free music lessons, you visit every
page at least once. This is a totally new approach to learning music. The focus is on
"
How Music Works". That page that you miss could be the one that contains the key
information, that you need. These pages are full of music tips and music info that you
probably won't find anywhere else.
Timing for Skip To My Lou
We have already looked at three different length notes in our song "Some Folks Do" from
our first free music lesson "
Music Is Easy". First to continue our time studies, let's get used
to tapping our foot and counting to the beat. We learned that this song has four beats to a
measure and that the quarter note gets one beat. Play the song again and count 1,2,3,4 for
each measure. The notes that are one to a count or tap are quarter notes. The notes that
get two counts or taps are half notes. The notes that get four counts or taps are whole
notes. Next we will look at a note that is less than one beat, the eight note. These we will
count by using a + sign after the number but as you count don't say "plus" say "and". So 1+,
2+ is said as One and, two and, the number as your foot goes down and the and as your
foot comes up.. The melody for the folk song "Skip To My Lou" has the timing that we have
studied so far plus eight notes. We are going to study that next.
Fingers of nthe left and right hand nunbered for keyboard playing
4/4 me, me, do, do; me, me me, so, -;

re, re, ti, ti; re, re re, fa, - )

me, me, do, do; me, me me, so, -;

re, me fa, me, re; do, -, do, -:
Singing And Counting  "Skip To MY Lou"
The sound sample below has the song in the key of C. You may have to click on the
player to activate it and then on the play arrow to play the song. Again, we are playing
the chords on the quarter  beat to help you keep track of the time,  We have the eight
bar verse with the melody and chords at the beginning and end. In the middle, we have
just the verse  twice,without the melody, so that you can sing the song karaoke style. At
the end of each eight bar verse there is one silent beat to help you hear where it ends.
Below the sound sample, we have the song with the words and below that with the major
scale tones. As I did in the free music lesson,
Music Is Easy, I use the semi-colon to mark
off the measures and commas to mark off the beats. Notice how the word partners has
the first syllable on one beat and the second syllable on the next. In music each syllable
gets it's own note. Notice that the words To and my do not have a comma between them.
That is because they are eight notes, one as you foot goes down and one as your foot
comes back on the same beat. I have put the timing for the song below the sound
sample. In this song the eight notes come in on the second beat so the count would be
one, two and, three, four. Tap your foot and count as the song plays. Then sing along,
singing the words. Then to increase your sollfeggio skill, sing the scale tones.
Playing "Skip To MY Lou"
Now we will play the melody for "Skip To MY Lou" on our key board in the key of C. Below
I have repeated the picture showing the finger numbering. To the left of that is a section
of keyboard showing which fingers of the right hand are used to play the notes. Notice
how fingers 1 to 5 play the notes do to so just like in "Some Folks Do". But we have the
note ti below do that we also play by stretching out number 1, our thumb. Below that I
have repeated the song with timing in the universal scale form. For playing the melody in
the key of C, just position the thumb of your right hand over c on your keyboard. Your
thumb, number 1, plays c, which is do or stretches out to play ti below it. Finger 2 is re,
finger 3 is me, finger 4 is fa and finger 5 is so.  I haven't written out a detailed finger
number guide for this song. You should learn to associate the finger number with the
note for this song. Except for the note ti below do it's the same as our first song in free
music lesson 1.
keyboard note locations for playing Skip To My Lou, key of F
keyboard note locations for playing Skip To My Lou, key of C
keyboard note locations for playing Skip To My Lou, key of G
Playing "Skip To MY Lou" in F and G
4/4 choose, your, part, ner; skip, to my, lou, - ;

choose, your, part, ner; skip,to my, lou, -;

choose, your, part, ner; skip, to my, lou, -;

skip, to my, lou, my; darl, -, ing, - :
4/4 me, me, do, do; me, me me, so, -;

re, re, ti, ti; re, re re, fa, - )

me, me, do, do; me, me me, so, -;

re, me fa, me, re; do, -, do, -:
4/4 me, me, do, do; me, me me, so, -;

re, re, ti, ti; re, re re, fa, - )

me, me, do, do; me, me me, so, -;

re, me fa, me, re; do, -, do, -:
How Music Works
The first five free music lessons in this series of free music lessons teaches you how
music works. This lesson, "Schools Of Music" is the second free music lessons in this
series. It along with "
Music Is Easy", "Natural Music tones", "Sharps and Flats" and
"
Musics Great Secret" should be studied as a group. These first five free music lessons
reveal musics great secret that is the key to understanding music. I use the piano
keyboard with many exercises that you can play to help you learn these vital music
principles. You will not need to know how to read music for these lessons. You will learn
scales and chords in different keys. You learn to play songs in different keys. Once you
understand how music works , you will find that playing a song in different keys is not
many things. It is basically one thing. Understanding music greatly simplifies music. Free
music lessons 6, 7, 8 and 9 starting with "
Reading Music Is Easy" introduce you to
reading music. These nine lessons are also your first free piano or keyboard lessons.
They should be studied before free piano lessons 1 through 4 starting with "
Easy Piano".
Free piano lessons 1 through 4 teach you how to use a shortcut type of music that
professional musicians use, the lead sheet. Each lessons has songs that increase your
piano or keyboard skills. All the links in this paragraph can also be found on the
navigation bar on the left. This navigation bar is repeated down the page to give you
easy access to all pages.
Skip To My Lou In Three Keys
As we go through these free music lessons, each song advances both your
knowledge of how music works and your keyboard skills. In free music lesson 1,
you learned how to play "Some Folks Do". It's a simple do, re, me fa, so song
with simple timing. "Skip To My Lou" uses these notes plus one more ti below
do. This lesson will show you different ways to play this note depending on the
musical key. The shortest note in "Some Folks Do" is a one beat quarter note.
"Skip To My Lou" in addition uses the half beat note or eight note. You are
hearing "Skip To My Lou" being played in the major keys of C, than F, than G
and finally C again. We hear that though the music sounds higher or lower in
different keys, though the letter notes are completely different, it's the same
melody. As you continue to learn how music works, you will understand this. We
will learn to play "Skip To My Lou in three keys C F and G in this lesson. As you
learned in the first lesson with "Some Folks Do", you simply move to a different
spot on the keyboard to play in a different key.  The song will play once. I've
given you the player below to use if you want to hear it again.
On the left we have midi sound samples of
the song "Skip To My Lou"  in three major
keys C, F and G. It is just the melody
without the chords. Notice how the melody
is the same for all keys but sounds higher
for F and G. That is because we play from
the F and G above C. If we played from the
F and G below C, the melody would sound
lower. You may have to click on the player
to activate it before you click on the play
arrow to play the sound sample.
Skip To My Lou  In C, F And G
Song Theory
In free music lesson 1, "Music Is Easy" you learned the song "Some Folks Do". In this free
music lesson you learned the song "Skip To My Lou". Both are easy two chord folk songs,
with the melody based on the beginning of the major scale. A two chord song starts and
ends with the chord based on first degree or note of the scale, the tonic major. This is
basically a three note chord. It starts on the first note of the scale and uses every other
note  For the key of C major, it is the C major chord with the notes c-e-g. Because the
tonic major is so common and basic, it is simply called by it's letter name. The C major
chord is simply called the C chord. When we see just the letter we know it's major. The
same is true when we talk about the key. When we say C scale, we know it's the C major
scale. The other chord, in a two chord song, is the dominant 7th chord. It starts on the
fifth degree or note of the scale and uses every other note. For the key of C major, it is
the G7 chord with the notes g-b-d-f. Below, we have our songs in the key of C. In our
standard text form, I have placed the letter names of the notes for the key of C. Below that
in, we have the chords to the songs. I use the semicolons to mark off measures but once I
name the chord I use the slash to show it repeating on every beat. You play it once on the
letter and once on every slash.  Notice that in both songs, when the chord is C, you have
notes that go with the C chord like e's, g's and c's. When the chord is G7, you have f's,
d's in both songs and a b in "Skip To My Lou". These notes belong to the chord. You can
us other notes in the scale,that don't belong to the chord as passing tones or some more
exotic form of the chord. The e is one of the more common notes used with the G7 chord.
It is actually related to the harmony as we will learn in more advanced studies. You see
how the use of the e in both songs in the next to last measure allows a nice run of notes.
Below the songs, I have the midi's with melody and chords so that you can hear how it
sounds. Finally, I have the left hand chord picture for you to play the chords and sing or
play the melodies. For a more in depth look at how to play chords go to free music lesson
5, "
Musics Great Secret".
4/4 e, e, e, e; g, -, -, -;

f, f, d, -; e, e, c, -;

e, e, e, e; g, -, -, -;

d, f, e, d; c, -, -, -:
4/4 e, e, c, c; e, e e, g, -;

d, d, b, b; d, d d, f, - )

e, e, c, c; e, e e, g, -;

d, e f, e, d; c, -, c, -:
Some Folks Do
Skip To My Lou
4/4 C / / /;/ / / /;
G7 / / /;C / / /;
C / / /;/ / / /;
G7 / / /;C / / -:
4/4 C / / /; / / / /;
G7 / / /;/ / / /;
C / / /;/ / / /;
G7/ / /;C / / -:
keyboard or piano inverted G7 chord
keyboard or piano C major chord root position
Switching from C to it's inverted
dominant 7th chord G7 is easy.
Leaving you thumb on g, play f with
your second finger, d with your fourth
finger and move your fifth finger to b.
Skip To My Lou In C, F, And G
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