ONGOING RESEARCH AND VALIDATION
PETER K. GREGERSEN, MD
Professor & Director - Robert S. Boas Center for Genomics & Human Genetics, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
Professor - Molecular Medicine, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
Dr. Gregersen’s team is attempting to define the genetic basis of several rare but related cognitive traits that include absolute pitch and synesthesia. These studies may lead to a better understanding of brain connectivity, with potential application to identifying factors that influence early childhood cognitive development, including autism.
IS IT JUST TALENT OR CAN IT BE TAUGHT?!
WHAT ARE SIGNS THAT MY CHILD CAN LEARN AP?
There are many families with children who have the genetic propensity for AP, but if the right musical education does not start before age 6, the skill becomes dormant in them. I have designed a list of 7 signs that will help us identify people with the ability to learn AP.
CAN ABSOLUTE PITCH BE TAUGHT?
I have AP. My father had it before me. I also started lessons before the age of 6. I understand the advantage that AP has given me in music over these years, and I want our students to enjoy that advantage. When they learn this skill, playing multiple instruments is easy. They read music well and progress through the method books quickly. Playing and performing with less stress, they sense where the music is going, and what to play next. They learn to play new instruments naturally. One of my students, Vivian Meyer (14), who has taken lessons from me for 10 years, now has AP. I asked her to tell me what it means to her. She said, “music is so easy for me. I am so thankful you taught me perfect pitch. No one can believe I have it until they see it for themselves.” Vivian plays piano, saxophone, oboe, trombone, and sings. She won the First Place Award for Music Composition in 5th and 6th grade for the State of California. She was the drum major for her junior high school. This is what whole-brain learning does for a child.
WHY DO I WANT MY CHILD TO LEARN IT?
A child with AP can move through the process of learning an instrument at twice the speed of one without it. Because they progress faster, they play more satisfying pieces and get more positive attention and gain confidence quickly. Learning additional instruments is easy for them and their peers notice their musical skill. When children with AP play in a band or orchestra, everyone knows who they are. They are first chosen for solos, and looked to for their expertise. When they hear a tune on a video game, TV, or a movie, they can figure it out. These things create self confidence and poise. But the best reason of all for your child to have AP is that they will hear in color for life.
FAMOUS PEOPLE WITH AP
Musical prodigies and greats of every musical era had Absolute Pitch. They include: J.S. Bach, Ludwig Beethoven, W.A. Mozart, Fredrik Chopin, J.S. Handel, and many more. More recent examples of AP include: Celine Dion, Elton John, Kelly Clarkson, Martha Agarich, Yo Yo Ma, and others at the top of the music industry. One thing they all have in common: Absolute Perfect Pitch. This allows them the ability to tell their band when they need a key change, and easily transition to the new key. AP allows them to compose beautiful music. It allows them to enjoy music with more variety, in full color. They experience full color sound that gets more and more beautiful throughout their lives as they continue on their musical journeys.
THE 7 SIGNS OF LEARNING WITH SENSAPITCH:
Uncontrolled laughter, giggles, and smiles in the room with the piano in it, during the lesson or at home.
An addiction to getting hands on the piano at all times of the day and night.
Playing new, really challenging songs because you have a compelling drive to learn and love the next one.
Progress at 10 times the speed of traditional methods
The new ability to hear the differences in sounds between the notes, and improvising with them continually
Singing with a smile while playing
The playing of beautiful, intricately expressed music coming from the instrument, not Alexa or Siri.
If you don’t see these things in yourself or your family members in music lessons, you need to know there’s a better way to learn.
Brain Science Helps Us Teach Music Better than Ever Before
MUSIC EDUCATION BASED ON SCIENCE
Our music education processes have been based on methods that encourage left brain thinking, or "sequential processing". This part of the brain does not learn to express the creative arts. This kind of processing is a complete mismatch for the learning of music. It focuses primarily on black notes printed on white paper, and using visual, printed information, as the primary source of the music to be played.
Think about this for a moment.
We are talking about learning music, yet the primary source of information about that music is visual? What about sound? Wouldn't it seem that if we could hear and identify the information accurately and easily, we could imitate it much more easily and accurately than trying to transfer the input from one sense to another?
How many music teachers spend all of their time with a student teaching them to read music instead of listen? Many actually discourage listening as a form of input for a new piece, telling students that playing the piece for them ahead of time is somehow "cheating". It is no wonder children quit lessons and are not inspired to "practice".
Just as science has advanced our understanding of sound, and the unique color vibration of each notes, our basic understand of how the human brain learns has also evolved. With these advancements, we also need to re-evaluate how we teach music.
Traditional music education is still based on fundamental ignorance of the most important points of learning music. Music is sound vibration. Every instrument creates it's own unique tone, but the fundamental vibratory color of every note on the scale is the same. Taking multiple notes and throwing them together in a song before one has learned the timbre of each one, individually, predisposes every new musician to never developing perfect pitch. If one is never exposed to the note, by itself, how can one learn it's unique sound qualities?
If, instead, one begins lessons with listening to each note first, it is so much easier to remember them when they are combined. It is so much easier to determine when one is out of sequence.
The best part is: most people are born with the propensity for perfect pitch. Although it is true that it is easiest to learn the colors at age 2, when the language parts of the brain are being developed, we have taught perfect pitch to many adults, some as old as 79. Whole-brain learning is the key.
Not only have we taught perfect pitch to hundreds of our students, but we have used our perfect pitch color system to work with students with significant disabilities, including: autism, traumatic brain injuries, visual and auditory impairments, ADD/HD, Turrets, etc. Our method enhances short and long term memory as it lights up the entire brain with activity.
It takes about ten (10) years, on average, to learn to hear all of the notes in all octaves of the piano, but 94.7% of our students have perfect pitch on at least 3 notes within 3 months of beginning their study with us. All students experience a dramatic improvement in their pitch perception, time in learning to play a piece, and their ability to learn to play new instruments.
We believe that by the year 2030 every person who studies music in the world will have the opportunity to begin their music lessons with our method, and that their music education experience will be one of the most satisfying and amazing experiences of their lives.
We invite you to develop perfect pitch with SensAPitch.