On this episode, we are joined by Melody Payne, a.k.a. “The Plucky Pianista”. Melody has been writing online since 2012, sharing innovative and forward-thinking ideas for teaching music more effectively.

In this conversation, we talk a lot about getting “off book” – meaning being able to play even without the note-by-note sheet music in front of you.

Melody shares an impactful early experience with a performance that went wrong and how she eventually learned to handle musical mistakes with grace.

She found a great way to get started playing by ear and improvising with a friend, and that led on to wanting to equip her students with the tools needed to feel that freedom.

Melody teaches two particular skills and uses a special app to help her young students quickly start playing the songs they love in their own way without needing to learn them note-by-note.

One thing a lot of musicians struggle with is how to make their performances actually sound good – not just hitting the right notes at the right time, but actually moving the listener. Melody shares insights on her “Three Rules for a Magical, Musical, Moving, Performance”.

If you’ve ever felt limited to playing just the notes that are put in front of you, you’re going to love this episode. Melody shares so openly and has real insights on getting “off book”.

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In this podcast, plucky pianista Melody Payne shares the secret of breaking free of sheet music and adding your own spin to the songs you love.