Piano Marvel 5-Day Challenge: Learn a Level 5 Song in 5 Days

Piano Marvel sent me an email with a Piano Marvel 5-Day Challenge: Learn The Last Rose (Level 5) in 5 days. My 8-year-old daughter (a beginner) decided to give it a try.

Take a look at this video of Aaron Garner (the CEO of Piano Marvel & composer) performing the song:

The song is a little tricky because it’s in F minor, with four flats. There’s also some finger crossover and a lot of changes in where your hands need to go, so it’s not a simple song. But minced slicing breaks it up into small, manageable bits.

Piano Marvel 5-Day Challenge
“The Last Rose” minced setting
“The Last Rose” measures 1-4, right hand only

Aaron also put together an instructional video to show you how to add the song to your library and get started. And there’s a video tutorial inside Piano Marvel with step-by-step instructions, so someone who doesn’t even know much about the piano could theoretically learn the song.

By using Prepare Mode, Minced or Chopped Slicing, and following the instructional video, anyone ages 8 and up is supposed to be able to learn The Last Rose in 5 days.

Prepare Mode allows you learn the notes and fingering without focusing on the correct rhythm. Once you know the correct notes with the correct fingers, you can move on to Assess Mode, where you will play with the metronome. Using Minced (small chunks) or Chopped Slicing (bigger chunks) allows your brain to learn the song so much more quickly than trying to play the entire song at once. It feels slow and tedious, but trust me, you will actually learn the song faster.

Wondering if anyone 8 and older can really learn The Last Rose in 5 days? I was skeptical too. Well, I put it to the test with my eight-year-old daughter. She’s a beginner, on Piano Marvel Level 3. It was definitely a challenge for her, and she did get frustrated at times.

But what I noticed is that this way of learning a piece is completely different than the way I thought you had to learn how to play a song. I came from the traditional background, where you had to have memorized the name of every single note of a song before you started to play it.

Well, if you’re learning a song that’s way above your sight reading level, like this one was for my daughter, you actually rely a lot on playing by ear. My daughter watched the tutorial videos and copied what they played. Then I sat down with her, played a small section, and had her copy me.

By the end of the 5 days, she had learned the first half fairly well but was still struggling to learn the harder, second half. There are two challenging lines that have moving parts in both hands and the left hand has to jump around and play several flats.

Piano Marvel 5 Day Challenge
The Last Rose, measures 17-24

Within two weeks she did learn the entire song, but she still needs to work on connecting the notes and eliminating the pauses between sections. She’s planning on performing it for the upcoming Piano Marvel YouTube Competition. I’m proud of her for sticking it out when it got tough and accomplishing something hard!

Here’s a video of her progression over 5 days:

Now my daughter loves to hop on the piano and play The Last Rose for fun (and from memory) and has been enjoying playing the piano more, thanks to the Piano Marvel 5-Day Challenge!

And I’ve gained a new perspective on piano learning. Learning to play by ear is a great skill to learn, and one that I will try to do a better job of teaching to my students. I’ll assign them an exciting, challenging song one or two levels above their current level and have them learn it by incorporating ear training skills, which are taught in the Piano Marvel Technique exercises.

If you can sight read music and play by ear, you will be way ahead of most piano players out there.

To sign up for a free Piano Marvel account, click here. You’ll have access to The Last Rose and can also print out the sheet music to try the Piano Marvel 5-Day Challenge! If you choose to get a monthly premium account, receive 20% off the $15.99 monthly fee with my Piano Marvel promo code KATE. I receive a small commission if you sign up using my promo code.

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