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Understanding Level 1

Level 1 is going from a "Zero Dimensional" perspective through a "One Dimensional" perspective. What does that mean?

Check it out below.

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Imagine you're a dot on a blank canvass. You don't know where you are, you have no reference to anything else. You're not aware of where you are, or where you're going or how to get "there." You have no experience, no situational awareness. This is like a beginning musician. Piano players bang/plink on the keys, guitar players hold it upside down. All things are unfamiliar, everything is impossible, everything is magic around them that they can’t contribute to. Where, how, what - these are all unfamiliar.

How do we get that dot in motion? Any motion, really. Just moving somewhere. 

It's only through time and experience, relating to your interaction with your instrument and to others that you begin to gain ground. Still, in Level 1, the idea is that you're simply trying to become aware of yourself and your basic relationship with your instrument. 

This is absolutely the hardest and most frustrating part. 

When you're starting out, your developmental awareness is such that music is mostly something that "happens to me," not something I can "take part in" or can "contribute to." Music is "magic" in a One Dimensional awareness. Think of when you were little: Mom pushes the button in the car, boom, music. Magicians/musicians do a thing, boom, magic, they make music. Because you're not aware of how to make it yours, it's simply something that happens to you, and around you.

You know you like it, you know you want to be a part of it, but it's simply out of your grasp. It seems so foreign, you can't imagine ever being able to be a part of it - to get on the ride or the train, and you yourself be in motion WITH it. 

Music is one of those things that you can't just hear it once or experience once and have it. It's something that takes devotion, commitment, and time... lots and lots of time. It's through time and experience, through wrestling and fighting with it that we get to know it.


It can also be "play." Think of baby cubs or puppies as they wrestle with each other. They're learning to relate themselves to others - what works, what doesn't work, how do these muscles work, what's acceptable, what's not? It's these early developmental stages that begin to build ground for us to grow as a musician. 

Cognitively and developmentally, look at a 3-6 year old person. They're hardly aware of themselves. 

This stage of life resembles that of a person (of any age) beginning to play an instrument.

Thinking is usually within quarter notes - or simple down beats/strums. Quarter notes are THE MOST BASIC way to move music forward. Don’t over complicate rhythm at this level. 

This level can easily last 1-2 years. This much TIME IS REQUIRED in order to get the dot moving, and for enough cognitive memory and muscle memory to move into a more permanent, long term foundation to now build on. For piano and violin, this may mean the first 1-2 books, for guitar it should mean 7-10 chords and a few songs, for drums it should mean a couple basic beats established plus a couple fills, for voice this should mean consistency in finding pitch, and some new ground being established.

  Think of how a child aged 3-6 relates to the world, again, mom pushes a button in the car - magic - music. Mom moves around the kitchen for some time, magic - chicken nuggets. The world happens "to you." This represents Zero & One Dimensional. 


Ages 7-11, cognitively represents someone learning music at the One Dimensional phase.  In One Dimensional, you start to see how to relate to the world in a basic way. Most importantly in One Dimensional (Level 1), you become aware of yourself. In Music, One Dimensional, you become aware of yourself and your relationship with your instrument. You've built just enough experience with it that you're a little dangerous. You know what sounds good, what doesn't. You know it's difficult. You know what the basic functions are, how to to tune, how to play some chords, what rhythm is and that it's something you can take part in, just not easily.

Imagine how a caveman would relate to the world. He doesn't really know how to engage with it - weather conditions and season changes, and other factors happen to him, outside his control. There are very little to no systems in place that he can control and manipulate to help him engage more confidently.  (Imagine if he just had YouTube, or an iPhone to show him the way.) It's a great big world out there.  A Level 1 player sees the music world the way a caveman sees the natural world - his control of it is narrow, it's strange and bizzare, and he lacks the experience, tools, and awareness to be a part of it, unable to contribute maturely and effectively. 


Are you ready to put the time in? Lots and lots of time? Again, this level can easily last 1-3 years or more, depending on the person, age, and time commitment put into it. 

The videos in Level 1 are designed to help you get your first fundamental grounding. There's a checklist video at the end of the level, and also on the guidebook. Be you, do your thing, but also consider "mastering" the videos in Level 1 before you move on too far. 

Experience Level: 0-2+ years

200 hours put in

Want to read more about the philosphy? Check out Level 2.

Ready to get into the videos for Level 1? Click the link.

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