About

Crescendo is the result of over 25 years of hard work, trial, and error. We are heartened that our carefully honed approach parallels a growing body of scientific research and the findings of N.Y. Times best-selling author, Daniel Coyle, in his landmark book, The Talent Code – that talent isn’t born; it is grown. Our name Crescendo also reflects this, meaning growing.

Crescendo is designed to work in spartan settings. Rather than being about fancy studios, Crescendo’s essence lies in its multi-stage system of fundamentals, its dynamic student-instructor relationship, and its focus on intense practice – promoting self-discipline and the rewards of musical discovery.

Core Tenets

  • Everyone can speak the language of music, and most people already are.
  • All the fundamentals of music can be taught and easily grasped.
  • Everyone has an important message for the world to hear, and music can be a powerful way to express it.
  • Working with more experienced musicians from the very beginning facilitates quick fluency in the language of music.  Victor Wooten calls it “jamming with the pros.”
  • Being able to connect with people, and especially with other musicians, through music is the main goal of Crescendo Music System, and all other disciplines such as technique, theory, rhythm, and intonation should serve that purpose.
  • The best and fastest learning takes place in a judgment-free environment that fosters play and fun.

Primary Goal

  • To teach the language and fundamentals of music so that students can enter into the larger conversation of music that is continually going on around us.

How It Works

There Are Twelve Levels of Study

Crescendo Music System is a 12-level curriculum that is designed to encourage people to gain skill across 10-12 areas of study in a methodical way.

Each Level Is Named with a Tempo and a Color

Each level is designated by a tempo name (e.g., Lento, Moderato, Allegro) along with a color that encourages students to gain their “black belt,” level twelve being called Prestissimo and designated with black. 

The Core Curriculum Teaches the Fundamentals

The Core Curriculum is an integrated method of learning music theory, rhythm, sight singing, melodic dictation, composition, and harmony right from the get go. By the end of level one, students will be fluent (reading, listening, singing, playing, and composing) in the basic concepts in all these areas.

The Tiny Books of Musical Rudiments Explain Basic Concepts

The backbone of the Core Curriculum are The Tiny Books of Musical Rudiments. Each level of study is introduced with a series of eight-page zines (2-3/4″ x 4-1/4″) combined with a Tiny Book To Do List. Upon reading the tiny books (which one student says “You could just take one into the bathroom with you and read it in its entirety.”) and working through the To Do List, students will be prepared to work through the Core Curriculum for that level.

Each Level Helps Develop New Skills in Technique

In addition to the Core Curriculum, voice students are taught a series of workout exercises and songs designed to improve strength, range, and technique. 

Piano students work through all scales, Hanon exercises, and chords appropriate for their level.

Repertoire Development Is Encouraged at Every Step

While students are learning the basics of musicianship and technique, we work toward helping each student find and develop repertoire that communicates a message that is consistent with their personality, community, and season of life. We start with creating wish lists of songs they’d like to sing or play and work toward developing a “Crash List,” which is repertoire that they have charts for and that they can perform from memory with any group of musicians with whom they happen to find themselves. Along with developing musical skills, we work toward developing performance skills that enable each musician to connect with their audiences in meaningful ways.