Jon Schmidt was born to German Immigrant parents, and they gave him the gift of early education in music. Classical training fell on the fertile ground of Jon’s natural talents for music and hard work. Schmidt began composing as early as age 11, started teaching piano lessons when most people get a drivers license, and began a successful solo career in his early twenties.

Schmidt worried about a career in music. He worried that his family would think that sheet music does not taste good with ranch dressing, so in college he studied English with plans to get an MBA. People kept pestering him over and over to play piano for them, so he risked renting a large concert hall and presented himself to the public. His audience loved him. He has never turned back to English and Business plans. His wife Michelle and their five children have never had to eat sheet music—even as a side dish.

Schmidt’s 20 year solo career has included many albums, performances, and awards. The Piano Guys entrapped Schmidt with their lair of beautiful pianos. Shortly thereafter, they all ran away together to create spectacular piano cello video content. Their goal is very humble—to inspire the world.

Schmidt contributes not just the on-screen piano talent. He loves to throw out all of his ideas, and is not afraid to edit and revise until he has a refined and quality product.

Jon finds his fire for the journey seeing the joy of people who hear great music. He is thrilled to reach a wider audience through his work with The Piano Guys.

 

67 Fun Songs

The Revolutionary Jon Schmidt Note-Reading Method “How to Note-Read on a Two Year Level in Ten Weeks or Less”

Jon Schmidt's 67 Fun Songs Book

Jon and many teachers saw weaknesses with the traditional methods of teaching note-reading.With the help of over twenty years of teaching, Jon has developed an amazing technique for teaching notes that leaves “Every Good Boy Does Fine” in the dust and has them note-reading on a two year level in 10 weeks or less. It is called, “The Jon Schmidt Note-Reading Method”.

 “His music is fun, humorous, soothing & soul searching. He breaks all the rules in regards to past conventional teaching methods. I use & love his new Note-Reading Method. I would encourage all to try Jon’s method of teaching. You’ll not regret it and your students will love you for it…” 

Teresa D. (Age 47) Sandy, UT
Regarding this revolutionary note-reading method, Piano Pedagogy Master, Barbara Shelton emailed the following:

I have taught piano for many years. I have been frustrated for a long time with the way my students learned the notes. I heard you speak about your method and decided to try it. There was no comparison between those first few students I tried your method on and the students before I tried it… Their sense or understanding of the keyboard is completely different from the previous students. They don’t even have to look at the keys. They are set free to play anything, and they progress quickly. They enjoy playing piano. There is no frustration… I think that all of the frustrated teachers need to know this method… Thank you for the great note learning idea. It has helped my teaching immensely.  

Barbara Shelton - Master of Piano Pedagogy

My mom used to make me practice piano, but then I found Jon Schmidt. Now that there’s something to play I like to play, I practice everyday as soon as I get home from track to practice. It really is good music. 

R. Ashby (Age 13) Chattanooga, TN

To Parents:
Do it-yourself- books abound in print and on the internet. Where are the do- it-yourself piano lessons? Many parents would love to teach their children beginning piano in a tight economy. This book is finally the answer. Teaching beginning piano with this book requires NO musical experience! The information is clear, easy and accessible to all.

 

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Higher and lower on the piano……………………..….5
  • Black keys are grouped in twos and threes…………6
  • Higher and lower on the staff……………………..……6
  • Chapter 2: Meet the Anchor Notes
  • Right hand middle anchor note……………………..…8
  • Right hand bottom anchor note………………………10
  • Chapter 3: Stepping Down From Middle and Bottom Anchors
  • Stepping down from middle anchor…………………..14
  • Stepping down from bottom anchor…………………18
  • Chapter 4: Stepping Up From Middle and Bottom Anchors
  • Stepping up from middle anchor……………………..21
  • Stepping up from bottom anchor…………………….24
  • Chapter 5: Skipping
  • Skipping up from bottom anchor………………….…28
  • Skipping down from bottom anchor……………..…..32
  • Chapter 6: Left Hand Top Line Anchor Note
  • Left hand top anchor note…………………………….35
  • Step down from left hand top anchor…………..…….38
  • Step up from left hand top anchor……………………42
  • Skip up from left hand top anchor……………………45
  • Skip down from left hand top anchor………………..48
  • Chapter 7: Left Hand Middle Line Anchor Note
  • Left hand middle anchor note………………………..51
  • Step down from left hand middle anchor…………….53
  • Step up from left hand middle anchor……….……….55
  • Chapter 8: Left Hand Bottom Anchor Note
  • Left hand bottom anchor note…………………..……57
  • Step up from left hand bottom anchor………………..59
  • Skip up from left hand bottom anchor………….……61
  • Chapter 9: Right Hand Top Line Anchor Note
  • Right hand top anchor note………………………..…63
  • Step down from right hand top anchor…..…………..65
  • Skip down from right hand top anchor………………67
  • Chapter 10: Preparing for “Take Off”
  • Ledger Lines…………………………………………69
  • Sharps…………………………………………………70
  • Flats………..…………………………………………72
Teacher and Parent Testimonials

Absolutely amazing! His music is inspires me to be a better pianist and teacher. 

Genny R. (Age 55) Phoenix, AZ

Jon! You’re the bomb! My students love your music. I hold recitals twice a year, and so far 5 of my students are in The Waterfall Club….

Dave E. (Age 53) Agoura Hills, California

Having attended your teacher workshop on sightreading, I began that very day to use the ideas you presented with my students. We have all seen great results and my students are really happy about the growth they are making. … Every one of my students is participating regardless of level. Thanks for a great idea and giving the student something of great value in a short amount of time. Also, thank you for your wonderful music, it has become a favorite …

Carla W. (Age 29) Orem, Utah

I thoroughly enjoy listening and playing your music! It has saved some of my piano students because the songs are so enjoyable and different. Thank You and keep it up!

Lisa R. (Age 45) Spanish Fork, UT

Playing Jon’s music renewed my son’s interest in playing the piano. He’d begun getting bored with his lessons and now loves going in and playing since we got Jon’s music. His teacher has been wonderful, encouraging him to play what he enjoys. Thanks Jon!

Andrea V. (Age 49) Sandy, Utah

I have never before felt so inspired by a modern composer. This man has an amazing talent, which ought to be shared with every piano student taught today.

Mary W. (Age 49) Orem, Utah

I attended your P. teacher’s workshop last Saturday and was blown away – it’s exactly what I was looking for. I talked to you a little about it afterwards. Thanks again so very much!!!! Your music touches my heart and reaches down deep into my soul. I could listen to you all day. Thank you for blessing and enriching the world through your music!

Laura W. (Age 16) Kearns, UT

I just barely began teaching piano lessons a few months ago. Your note-reading method has helped me tremendously! It’s a lot better than what I’ve seen other books offer. Thanks!

Heather P. (Age 47) Murray, UT

Jon is a wonderful performer. His music is fun, humorous, soothing & soul searching. He breaks all the rules in regards to past conventional teaching methods. I use & love his new Note-Reading Method. I would encourage all to try Jon’s method of teaching. You’ll not regret it and your students will love you for it. Thank you Jon for your time, talent and showing the world of music good-clean fun with a little humor on the side.

Teresa D. (Age 47) Sandy, UT

I have a student who is crazy about your music (so am I!) He attended your concert at Thanksgiving Point in September…. When he saw your 67 Fun Songs version of ‘Waterfall he learned it AND memorized it in one week – without being assigned. The next week he played THE WHOLE SONG for me with his eyes closed (and still does at every weekly lesson). A few after that he treated me with his cross-over hands version…. Thank you for all you do to better our world.

(Age 29) Kearns, UT

I attended one of your piano teacher workshops in the summer of 2003 before I started teaching piano. It was fabulous! I’ve started all my students with your method and everyone is so impressed with how well they are doing.

Carrie S. (Age 15) West Jordan, UT

I want to say how glad I am that Jon’s music is in my life. I have taken piano for years and his books taught me how to love music. I have now begun teaching piano and I use his books to start to teach MY students the many joys of music. His music influences so many people and opens so many doors. It must be wonderful to make a living making beautiful music and touching so many lives in the process.

Lynne G. (Age 37) Riverton, UT

Thank you for opening the eyes of my male students… They have grown leaps and bounds using your books. They especially like your humor!! Best wishes.

Michelle S. (Piano teacher 15 (Age 42) Tremonton, UT

Thank you for your gift of music and your ability and willingness to share it with others. Your music has greatly inspired my 14 year old daughter and has motivated her to practice and greatly improve her piano playing…

Michelle S. (Norman G. (Age 46) Fort Collins, CO

I absolutely love your music and your concerts! I went to one of your seminars on teaching note-reading and have incorporated those methods in teaching my students a number of years now. I am so impressed with the results!

Susie W. (Age ) Hyde Park, UT

Met you at your Jorgensen’s clinic. Had great success with your new fun songs and method with a student that has been through EVERY other method. Thank you…

Carole T. (Age 47) St. George, UT

I’ve only discovered Jon’s music this week, while looking for some added way to help both my 11-yr. old daughter and myself improve on our note reading skills (separate from what we are learning from our piano instructor). We’re both new piano students (as of January). 67 Fun Songs caught my eye at our local church bookstore. I checked out the website…started practicing his note reading method… and listening. Not only do I feel his music is exhilarating, but it’s also very moving & motivating. At 47, I now have a favorite new age classical pianist. THANK YOU!!!

Terri M. (Age 47) Rancho Cordova, CA

As a former struggling piano teacher, I have something to say about the way you write music. Thank you.

B Harrison (Age 49) Fruitland, ID

My teenage students are very enthusiastic about your music. Many of them are very busy, but your music draws them to the piano to practice. I enjoy listening to piano music that reflects the musicality of the instrument itself. I also like your comic side notes in your music books…

Janet A. Sterling, Virginia

My 16 year old son is a piano student who is FANATICAL about your music. He first disovered All of Me and downloaded the sheet music from your web site. It was way beyond his ability to play but he wouldnt give up. For weeks and weeks it was all we heard around our house. I was sure he would get sick of it. But after two or three months, he would come into the kitchen after working on it and say, Mom that is the COOLEST song on earth! if I heard it once, I heard it 100 times). He has mastered it now and is working on both Dumb Song and Waterfall. He got one of your CD’s and Book 3 for Christmas. The other day he said, Mom we have GOT to get all of his music in all of it’s forms! I never have to bug him about practicing your music his piano teacher lets him pick one of your songs to work on). But I’m continually hearing your music when he should be practicing other stuff!

(Age 44)

You have been a life saver for my teen-age boy students….aside from the fact that your music is musical, lovely and exciting…it’s just a plain blast to play! Your music is my dessert after all the have to classical drills. It’s pleasure to have an artist of your calibre that I can enthusiastically refer my teen-age students to….someone with morals and especially with a sense of humor about not being the perfect pianist! Thank you for the breath of fresh air! (Piano Instructor for the last 30 some odd years!)

Lori A. (Age 47) LaVerkin, UT

I love the new new book 67 Fun Songs. This is an answer to prayer for my 13 year old son who was not wanting to learn piano, and now is mastering it through your great concept. My 79 year old father is also learning the notes through this method. Thanks for your hard work and creativity to bring this about!

M. Allsop (Age 40) Fort Collins, CO

I have recently begun teaching note-reading using Jon’s method, and I teach two of my husbands siblings. My father-in-law has never read music in his life, but sings in his ward choir. I have spent hours playing his part over and over so he can learn it. A couple of days ago, he decided to figure out his own music, so I took maybe two minutes and taught him the anchor lines for the bass clef, and he caught right on and having no prior experience, learned to play his own choir part. There is no other method that I could have used to teach him that effectively and quickly how to read music. I was amazed and highly recommend Jon’s note reading method.

T. Jenkins (Age 21) Nampa, ID

 

Ten Week Note-Reading Method

The Jon Schmidt Note-Reading Method found in the book “67 Fun Songs arranged by Jon Schmidt” is so clearly laid out that an adult can use it to teach themselves how to read music. This 10 week program takes all of the mystery out of note-reading and makes it seem amazingly simple. Download (for best results, right-click on this link to save this 3.9 MB file).

 

The music that supplements each week of this ten week program, may be purchased one week at a time if you wish (see online store) at $2.99/section or the entire book for $15.95

 

At that point, the following features and ideas can help you apply your new note-reading ability in further developing your piano skills:

 

  • Hear any arrangement as recorded by Jon Schmidt.

    Note: Unlike the professional acoustic piano recordings found on Jon Schmidt’s albums, these are “demo” midi keyboard recordings of a lesser professional quality.

    • Download songs for free in MP3 format. These may be burned to a portable unit that you can listen to while at the pianos, aiding you to check accuracy early on and helping you to perfect any given song.
      • The next step in learning to play the piano will be to master song after song — starting with the easier ones. Each time you master a song, you become a better piano player…it’s that simple. Use the suggestions for rhythm in perfecting songs found in the book. Working with an instructor may be very helpful at this point as well. Or, if you prefer, you could see how far you can go just by working with the book and recordings.
      •  

        Download “67 Fun Songs arranged by Jon Schmidt”, including, “The Jon Schmidt Note-reading Method” for $0.99/section.

         

        NOTE: The self-taught approach is recommended for ages 14+ with above average musical aptitude.

         

        How to Stop Your Child from Quitting Piano Lessons

        If you are a piano teacher or a parent of a child, especially teenagers, who has told you, “I want to quit piano lessons”, you’re not alone.

        Although there are many different approaches (e.g. blatant bribery) to accomplish this lofty goal, Jon Schmidt has discovered in his 20+ years of piano teaching experience a very simple solution — make it fun! In particular, find music that they not only like, but LOVE to play.

         “My mother made me take piano lessons, and I never liked it. But after hearing my oldest brother play All of Me, I realized that piano has something magical to it. I immediately began playing All of Me, which was indeed a daunting task, but after two months, I finally mastered it. Now I spread the magic around to anyone who will listen.”  

        Pete P. (Age 16) Douglas, GA
        Thousands of piano teachers, students and parents know from first hand experience that having kids and teenagers play Jon Schmidt’s music has stopped the idea of quitting piano lessons dead in its tracks. Not only did they continue with their lessons, but they accelerated their rate of improvement. If they love the music they play, regardless of how difficult it is, they will relentlessly pursue it until they have mastered it. Just watch, they may actually highly anticipate their next piano recital, let alone performing for their friends.

         

        Teenage Testimonials

        I love Jon’s music! I have been taking piano lessons for 7 years, and I never liked practicing until my teacher told me about his music. Now he is my favorite artist, and I play his music every day.

        Laura K. (Age 14) Glendora, CA

        I have been playing the piano ever since I was five. I was really struggling with piano a while ago. I didn’t enjoy it and it got to the point where I would dread my practicing. When my teacher bought me Jon’s first book I immediatly loved it. For the first time practicing was easy and fun. I really appreciate Jon’s music and it will forever be in my heart.

        Nicole S. (Age 13) Salt Lake City, UT

        It not only gave me the desire, but the inspiration to learn to play.

        J. Drake (Age 18) Mountain Home, Arkansas

        Jon’s music is incredible. Without being overly difficult, it has a life to it that is matched by very few artists today. His music actually kept me in piano when i was about to quit. Thanks Jon!

        BJ Homer (Age 15) Riverton, UT

        I took piano lessons from 1st grade until 8th grade. Boy, did I hate them. I never had music that I enjoyed. Then about a year ago I came across some song titled Waterfall. It was all downhill from there. I love to play the piano now. Jon’s music resparked my interest in the piano. I’m going to be restarting lessons again soon.

        (Age 17) Richland, WA

        I would like to start by saying how much I love your music. I was at a time in my life when I hated playing classical music, thereby hating piano. My teacher gave me some of your pieces to play and I instantely fell in love with it. Since then I have loved to play your music as well as others. Thank you for the inspiration to become better.

        E. Alley (Age 17) Salt Lake City, Utah

        ‘All of Me’ has to be the greatest solo piano I have ever heard. The power and emotion put into it is outstanding, I’ve never heard piano like that before. The best part of it is, I can play it! It’s not as hard as it sounds, and even for someone that quit piano lessons in grade 2, after some work, I can play it! Not as well as you though, I’m still working on it, but I love the new found power and control I have over this instrument, and I have you to thank…

        Tyler S. (Age 15) Bocaygeon, Ontario, Canada

        Lets just first say that you are my hero. I played the piano for 8 years and then quit for the past 5 years until I heard All Of Me. I forgot how to read notes, but stayed long hours at my piano bench figuring it out…

        Christian E. (Age 18) Ogden, UT

        My mother made me take piano lessons, and I never liked it. But after hearing my oldest brother play All of Me, I realized that piano has something magical to it. I immediately began playing All of Me, which was indeed a daunting task, but after two months, I finally mastered it. Now I spread the magic around to anyone who will listen.

        Pete P. (Age 16) Douglas, GA

        u are the best piano player i have ever seen. u have inspired me. I am so motivated when ever i hear you play. i have been playing the piano for six years and am twelve years. i have learned waterfall, saw three ships, were you there?, and am in the process of learning christmas morning and christmas medley. i love your songs. i am going to learn all of me soon. thanks for all u do in inspiring me.

        Taylor D. (Age 12) Sandy, UT

        I love playing his music. I have to practice an hour and a half everyday, and my Mom has to hide his books from me so I will play the things for my lesson first.

        Alexis P. (Age 13) Rigby ID

        I am totally adicted to your music. i am bugging my piano teacher to let me play more of your songs or at least help me play them 24 – 7! I am currently working on Waterfall and i hope i can one day be as good as you. After i am able to PERFORM Waterfall, i will start on All of Me. One of the songs i am really looking forward to to come out on music is Care Free. I absolutely going to your concert on Sept. 7. THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH FOR YOUR MUSIC!

        Cory M. (Age 13) American fork, Utah

        His music is the best I’ve heard in a very long time! I quit piano lessons when I was ten and then I heard Waterfall and All of Me and that got me playing again and not only was I playing again, I was practicing all the time!!

        Rachel P. (Age 13) Riverton, Utah

        Jon’s music is outstanding!! He should be an inspriation to all piano students.

        (Age 13) Gilbert, AZ

        Jon Schmidt writes the most awesome music. I played Waterfall at a piano recital, and my teacher tells me that tons of her students now want to play his music. I was also lucky enough to be at a concert he gave at the Tacoma 2 EFY, which was incredible.

        Tasha R. (Age 15) Portland, Oregon

        Thank you so much for the inspiration your music has given me….everytime I get down or feel like quitting music, your music keeps me on the path to success….

        B.J. Tillman (Age 15) Madison, Alabama

        I love your music!! Honestly, if it wasnt for it, I would have quit piano a long time ago. It keeps me going!! Thanks!

        Jennifer B. (Age 16) Salt Lake City , Utah

        I love Jons music. I’ve been taking piano lessons for quite awhile now, but I never wanted to practice, but after hearing my brother play All of Me (which we now refer to as The Forearm Song) I wanted to get good enough to play it too. Now I practice everyday.

        Remington M. (Age 17) Springdale , Arkansas

        Relaxing and inspiring both at once. I felt like I wanted to quit playing the piano for the last time, just about that time I heard some of Jon’s music, it inspired me to keep playing, and I couldn’t thank him more!!!

        Joseph S. (Age 17) Longmont, Colorado

        Jon schmidt’s music got me addicted to the piano. I can’t stop playing his music. it’s awsome.

        Chase B. (Age 17) Salt Lake City, UT

        After 4 yrs of hardley accomplishing anything I quit playing the piano except for just messing around and making my own music every once in a while but when I heard one of my best freinds play waterfall it inspired me to actually practice enough to where I could play it and sense then I’ve not only found myself fall in love with your songs but playing the piano as well. Thanks!

        Derek L. (Age 17) Brigham City, UT

        After not enjoying piano for years, my teacher introduced me to Jon Schmidts music, and that’s all I ever wanted to play after! He’s a very entertaining composer, and his concerts were entertaining as well. I was also impressed that he was willing to sign autographs after his show, so I was able to get books signed. I’m just waiting for the songs on his cd’s to come out in piano books! =)

        Krystal W. (Age 18) Cedar City, Utah

        I started playing the piano when I was 7 years old. Sometimes I wanted to smash my piano and throw away all my scores. Now Im grateful I never did, because then I wouldn’t have been able to play your songs like All of Me and Winter Wind. Your music is just fantastic. So, keep writing music while looking through the window on a snowy afternoon and don’t let the kind of feeling you had while composing All of Me go. And most of all : never, ever stop!

        M. Claessens (Age 18)

        The music you have composed is by no comparison my absolute favorite to play. Infact, hearing your music is what got me to start taking piano lessons again. That was about three years ago, and I have been playing consistently every since. Thank you for your amazing talent and hard work in your music. You are my inspiration…

        Ryan O. (Age 18) Rigby, ID

        Simply put, he is the best, once I heard winter wind, I couldnt stop playing it!

        Parker M. (Age 13) Sandy, Utah

        I’ve taken piano lessons off and on since I was about 8 years old. I hated them, because they sucked the life out of the songs that I played. When I heard Jon Schmidt playing on the overhead at work, I thought, There’s someone that enjoys playing the piano. I wish I could do that. I purchased the Piano Solos Vol. 1, and from the moment I opened it up and first played Waterfall, I could tell why he loved doing what he did. I’ve never had so much fun playing the piano in my life! Because of Jon Schmidt, there’s a passion behind my playing now. Thank you!!!

        Krystal P. (Age 19) Alpine, UT

        I stopped playing the piano at the age of 16 because i was bored with it. One day i went to a friends wedding and they handed out cd’s. As i was listening to the cd a piano solo came on and i loved it, but i did not know the name of the song or the artist. I looked and looked until i finally through a friend figured out that it was All of Me. I had to learn that song. Hearing it got me back to playing the piano. I recently went to your concert at BYU and it was beyond words. Thank you so much for playing such incredible music.

        Brandon H. (Age 19) Provo, Utah

        I was discouraged with piano lessons until I heard Jon Schmidt play. At that point I decided I wanted to play like that. ( I dont, but I did continue to take lessons and 5 years later, I still love to play). Playing Jon Schmidt music is what I often do when I am overstressed with studying and homework. THANKS !!!!

        Danielson (Age 20) Idaho Falls, ID

        He’s the best thing since Beethoven! Back when I was taking piano lessons, I played in a competition and won second place. My teacher told me about the boy who won first place, and showed me what he had played. It was Waterfall by Jon Schmidt. The second I tried out a bit of the song, I was itching to learn it. I rushed out and bought the book before I knew anything else about Jon and his music. I just knew it would be awesome–and it is!

        Rebecca L. (Age 21) Logan, UT