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Friday, October 13, 2017

Teacher says she can teach anyone to play live music | Shelton Herald

Photo: Aaron Berkowitz
"One Shelton resident said she can teach a person with little to no musical experience to play in a rock or jazz band after just one 20-minute lesson using a technique that was developed in Finland" notes Aaron Berkowitz, Editor.

Kim McCord gave a tour of her Shelton home, which doubles as the location for her jam sessions/teaching area.
Photo: Aaron Berkowitz

Kim McCord is a newly retired professor of music education from the University of Illinois who recently moved to Shelton with hopes of spreading her love for music.

With more than 20 years of teaching experience in the field of music, McCord said, a large portion of her joy comes from teaching people to play instruments. This was once a challenging task for someone who isn’t exactly musically inclined, McCord said, but with this style of teaching, called “Figurenotes,” anyone can do it.

Figurenotes was created at the Resonaari school in Finland by music educators Kaarlo Uusitalo and Markku Kaikkonen. Initially designed to enable those with learning disabilities to play music, it has since developed into a tool to help anybody get started.

“It’s a style of teaching that uses colors and shapes designed to help people with disabilities to read music,” McCord explained.

Colors indicate notes, shapes show the octave, and arrows show sharps and flats.

According to, the technique teaches students to read musical notes through the placement of a variety of color-coded stickers on an instrument of the student’s choice. The instruments that this technique is used to teach on range from but are not limited to the bass, drums, and the piano, according to McCord.

“Red is always C because that was researched that red you see the easiest and C is the most common key that we play in,” said McCord. “I think the hardest instrument to learn to play is the bass, but still, anyone can learn to play.”

McCord explained that in Finland, education is funded by the government and allows students to pursue doctoral degrees at no cost to them.

Source: Shelton Herald