Summer blowout special on my ebook!

I should also call it a Winter blowout special for those blog readers in the southern hemisphere, but anyway here’s the exciting news. I’ve decided to make an irresistible offer for those of you who are still hedging about learning to play the piano—my ebook Learn to Play the Piano in 12 Lessons is now priced at a very affordable $9.99 USD. This will be valid only until August 31, 2009, so why not learn to play this wonderful instrument now?

To view more information, just click on the cover of my ebook in the sidebar, or if you’ve already made up your mind to purchase, click on the Buy Now button. If you need more information or have any questions, please use the Contact Me form and I’ll get back to you soonest possible.

Have a good Summer! Or Winter for those of you down under!

Computers Life

A Comedy of Errors

The past week or two presented some challenges in my life. Here are the highlights:

First off, I noticed that for no apparent reason, the text color turned black whenever I switched to a dark theme in WordPress. It’s the same like trying to find a dark object in a dark room. I tried uploading WP’s original php files to my site, I tried deleting and installing those affected themes, I tried disabling all my plug-ins, I even had the audacity to mess with the themes’ CSS files (well just a little, I know next to nothing about CSS)—nothing worked. Did a successful automatic upgrade to WP 2.7.1, still no luck. So I racked my brains trying to recall what was it that I did in the past? Ah yes, I did do a widget for my ebook and inserted it in my blog sidebar. Could that be the cause? Only one way to find out. I took that widget out and presto! I could see the text in my dark themes again! Damn satisfying, if you know what I mean. I would also like to thank my friend in the UK, Lisa Crunkhorn, for tidying up the HTML mess in the widget. I’ve now inserted it back into my sidebar with Lisa’s edits and it works correctly without messing up the text color.

Next, I’m having my usual quiet dinner in the hotel on a Friday night. Enjoying a morsel of garlic bread and the next minute, crack! This occurred inside my mouth, and I knew what it was—one of my back molars had cracked. Ugh, this would mean another trip to the dentist. After that root canal treatment in the not-so-distant past, the last thing I wanted was this. But I knew that I couldn’t afford to ignore this mishap—it would certainly make things worse for my tooth. So off I go to see my dentist, Dr. Lim. Now this man’s a genius. He took one look inside and told me that yes, one of my back lower molars had succumbed to my hard biting. He figured that he could do some bonding work on it, give it a new filling, and would I be more careful in the future? Sure thing, doc. After a 30-minute treatment (quite painless) my tooth was restored—yay! Unfortunately I was $16 USD poorer, but the important thing was that my tooth was saved.

What happens next? I’m getting into my car to send back my boss’ computer after servicing it. I start the car, and nadda. Dead battery, dude. Fortunately, this happened at my apartment, so all I had to do was call up my mechanic and a new battery was sent in a couple of minutes. If this had happened elsewhere, it would have been more inconvenient. And oh—I am now $42 USD poorer.

And finally, the straw to break the camel’s back (yeah, a lot of stuff got broken here)—sluggish Internet, due to damaged undersea cables—again!! UGH!

Well look on the bright side. Mr. Ameer from California bought my ebook Learn to Play the Piano in 12 Lessons—thank you for that bright spark in my week, sir. I hope you enjoy reading my ebook and learning to play the piano!

Till my next post, this is Philip, signing off.


Learn to Play the Piano in 12 Lessons

If you’re still hedging about whether to purchase my ebook or not, here are two testimonials:

Mr. Yeoh’s book is delightful! I found the information straight forward and understandable. 12 easy lessons is just what it means!! Included are also bits of music Trivia and a dash of humor. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in beginning their journey to learn the piano. Looking forward to the next book!

LEARN TO PLAY THE PIANO IN 12 LESSONS is a must have ebook in any adult beginning musician’s library. If you don’t have it and are trying to learn to play the piano this is an excellent resource, I highly recommend it. I have my copy and I LOVE it.

Leisa Seals
Tucson, AZ

Yay! This book is wonderful! I’ve played piano since I was a kid, (not much at all in the last 20 years tho) but just seeing this and looking through the lessons, you’ve really captured the heart and soul of the instrument. This is a great primer, and will certainly give you a jump-start on formal lessons. It will also let you know if the piano is or isn’t the right instrument for you.

As for me… it’s inspired me to get back to the keyboard and brush up on my skills; but more importantly has reminded me of that instrument that I get so much joy from by playing.

Heather Cone
Dayton, OH

If you look at my sidebar, you’ll see that my ebook is now only $16.99—a very affordable price. So don’t hesitate—order your copy now!


Now listen up

Eagle-eyed readers of my blog would have noticed the shameless promo of my ebook in the sidebar (You don’t see it? Take another look—now) That’s the advantage of having a blog, isn’t it; I can do whatever I want. Anyway, back to the topic…

We’ve all been affected by the global economic crisis (aka recession) in one way or another (unless you’re Bill Gates, or Donald Trump, or…I digress). Of course we can look at it with a dismal attitude, but what I’ve noticed in the adverts in the newspapers especially, is that there have been lots of bargains galore springing up all over the place—a good by-product of these uncertain times, yes? Likewise with my ebook. I’m making it even more affordable to own a copy of Learn to Play the Piano in 12 Lessons, by slashing the price to a ridiculous $16.99. That’s more than 30% off the normal price of $24.99! So now my ebook is only €13, or £12, or $26 Australian Dollars, or RM63, etc.

If you’re thinking you don’t have what it takes to learn the piano by yourself, download my free ebook, 10 Myths about learning the Piano.

And here are the FAQ’s from my website, reproduced here for your reading convenience:

What prompted you to write this eBook?

The one thing that triggered this was that my perception of the world had changed. There are so many things you can learn on your own nowadays. For instance, you can learn how to cook Italian food, how to troubleshoot and repair a computer, learn a language—the list goes on and on. So why not add learning to play the piano to this list? Of course, there are still some things that you can’t and shouldn’t learn on your own. I hope no one’s going to come up with a book called "Learn how to fly a plane (by yourself) in 12 lessons."

Who are you aiming this eBook for?

Anyone from 15 to 92. I wrote this eBook for the complete novice, and for people who lead busy lives but still wanted to learn the piano on their own. This eBook is also for people who have a piano stashed somewhere in their home, with nobody playing on it. Why not be the first one to do so?

Do I actually need to have a piano before starting your eBook?

Not really (don’t be surprised). If you have access to a piano, fine. If not, consider acquiring a portable keyboard. Nowadays, many manufacturers make pretty reliable portables with a good piano sound. You won’t go wrong with companies like Yamaha, Roland, Kawai, Korg, etc. An added advantage of portables is that they always stay in tune!

Can I really learn the piano without a teacher?

Yes, you can! But as I’ve stated in my eBook, don’t presume that you’ll turn into a modern-day Mozart after going through my eBook. You won’t. My eBook is a primer, if you will, to whet your interest and to get you started on the road to becoming a good pianist. This takes time, practice, and patience.

Wouldn’t I benefit from a teacher?

Yes, you would. But remember, there are many people who lead busy and hectic lives. Sometimes school, work and/or family have to take priority and sadly, piano lessons don’t seem to be high-priority anymore. That’s why I came up with the idea for this eBook.

What benefits would I gain after going through your eBook?

Several. One: you’ll see how easy and enjoyable it is to learn the piano, even on your own. Two: your family and friends will be amazed when they hear you playing out simple and popular tunes after a while, not only from my eBook, but from the thousands of books available. Last but not least: being able to play the piano is one of the best GIFTS that you can give yourself. Nevertheless, you should spend some time each day nurturing this gift; if you do that, this will be a very enjoyable hobby for you and it will bring pleasure to you and your loved ones for many years to come.

Where do I go after completing your eBook?

I’m planning a second eBook, which will continue where the first one left off. Of course, it takes time to plan, write, test, etc. So the second eBook will probably be out sometime in 2009. If you’d like to be notified, please fill in the Contact Me form and subscribe to my newsletter.

Can I offer suggestions for your eBook?

Of course! I welcome suggestions and criticisms. Just go to the Contact Me link, or email me if you prefer. I will try my best to answer your queries as soon as I can.

Life Music

Learn to play the piano on my own??

Whenever I tell my friends that I’ve started my own website to promote my first ebook, Learn to Play the Piano in 12 Lessons, I’m often greeted with bewildered looks. Since most of them know that I’m a piano teacher, one of the first questions to pop out from their mouths is something like “Why are you doing this? Why aren’t you promoting your teaching services instead?” I’m actually doing what is known as a paradigm shift. It’s just another way of reaching the goal of learning to play the piano.

“Do-It-Yourself” has been prevalent as far back as I can remember. In a lot of countries, DIY has become a necessity, due to the fact that if you called someone to come to your home to fix something, you’d almost certainly have to incur a hefty charge. In this sense, I suppose Malaysians are spoilt, because more often than not, service charges are not that exorbitant. Still, if I can fix something myself, I will. Anyway, back to the topic.

Think of the things you’ve learnt on your own while growing up (OK, sometimes with a little help from others). You learned to brush your teeth, tie your shoe laces, toast the bread, etc. Later on, you went to more challenging stuff—how to operate your VCR/DVD player, your mobile phone, your computer, etc. Of course, the lazy (or busy?) ones among us would almost always try to get someone else to do it for us—reading the product manual was akin to mental torture. Still, plenty of us managed to learn stuff on our own—look at the success of the For Dummies series of books, for example. You can find practically any subject from A to Z in that series.

Now let’s return to the piano. Watching a competent pianist playing can be intimidating to a complete novice or beginner. “Man, how do they know which keys to press at the correct time? All those black and white thingies just look the same to me.” The solution is best described by the King in Alice in Wonderland: “Begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” So what do most of us do when we want to learn the piano? Why we go to a piano teacher, of course. But, and this is a big but—what about those of us who are too busy, too shy, can’t afford lessons, too scared in the presence of teachers, __________ (you fill in the blank), etc? Does this mean that a sizeable amount of people won’t know the sheer joy of learning the piano?

This is where the DIY approach comes in. And before anyone objects, let me state that this approach will never be better or compete for the piano lesson approach. It’s just an alternative, like taking another route to get to your destination. Naturally there are pitfalls, but let’s focus on the bright side, shall we? And that’s where my ebook Learn to Play the Piano in 12 Lessons comes in. It’s on a special offer until the end of December 2008, so there’s no better time to get started.

This ebook is targeted primarily at the complete beginner. If you’re between 15 to 92 years of age, have never had piano lessons or played a piano before, you automatically qualify. I’ve tried hard to make the book as easy to understand for anyone who doesn’t know one bit about learning the piano at all. And once you purchase my ebook, even though you are learning the piano on your own, you can always get in touch with me through my website for questions or advice.

One last thing I’d like to emphasize (I do that in my ebook and my website as well) is that this ebook will NOT turn you into a budding genius of a pianist, unless you’re born a child prodigy (in which case, you wouldn’t need my ebook, would you?) To play the piano well takes time, in fact, years of practice, coupled with lots of patience, love, and enthusiasm for the piano. My ebook is just a starting point, hopefully it will encourage you to continue the journey where you’ll discover new possibilities and potentials in yourself, just like Alice did in Wonderland.

I do hope you’ll be encouraged to take the first step. Best wishes.


“I’d like to learn the piano, but…”

“I don’t have a piano.” This is one of the most common reasons I’ve heard. My immediate response? Get one if you really want to learn the piano.


Broke? Strapped for cash? Have more pressing priorities? Don’t worry. Let’s pause and ponder over the possible options, starting with the one that’s cheapest and work our way up. I’ll get you to Pianoland yet.

1. Beg, borrow or steal (no, trash that last one). Know of a family member or friend who has a piano or keyboard sitting around, gathering dust? Persuade them to let you have it—you might have to do some chores, babysit, give them a six-pack, etc. Whatever. Furthermore, announce to them with much pomp and splendor that you’re going to learn the piano on your own, using my ebook as a guide. They might relent and let you have it for free, and also you now have a commitment—you’re going to show them that you’re truly into this and you’re going to learn to play the piano on your own.

2. If you can’t get anybody to loan you a piano, buy a digital keyboard. They’re cheap nowadays and most of the music manufacturers have a vast number of models tailored to your budget and needs—Yamaha, Roland, Kawai, Casio, Korg and the rest have a huge variety of keyboards for the aspiring beginner. To take an example, Yamaha has the YPT-210 (click on the pictures to go to the links): a basic keyboard with 61 keys (counting both black and white) selling for just over $100 USD on Amazon (go to my webstore to see this) Or pick something like the Yamaha P85, an 88-key digital piano with an authentic piano sound, going for $599 USD on Amazon, and still reasonably affordable. Why pick a digital instead of a normal acoustic piano? Simple—digitals don’t need tuning and maintenance; overall they’re cheaper than their acoustic counterparts. By the way, 88 keys is the standard range of the piano. So if you buy a keyboard like the P85, you’re essentially set to play anything in the piano repertoire, from beginner to advanced.

Yamaha YPT-210

Yamaha P85

3. Moving on to higher ground, consider the Yamaha Clavinovas. Beautiful in styling and almost looking like a small acoustic piano, there’s one to suit every budget. There are two varieties:

· The CLP series is geared for those who simply want a no-nonsense, great sounding piano. Of course, other nice features are included, like a built-in metronome, recorder, other instrument sounds, and USB connectivity.

Yamaha Clavinova CLP-330

Yamaha Clavinova CVP-405

· The CVP series, on the other hand, is the crème de la crème of digital pianos. Featuring great sounds, auto accompaniment, USB (and even LAN connectivity), the CVP series have practically everything including the kitchen sink. You can get all the fine details at Yamaha’s Clavinova website.

4. To sum it up, here are the reasons why you should go digital:

· Digital keyboards are relatively cheaper than their acoustic counterparts.

· Digital keyboards require very little maintenance and always remain in tune.

· Digital keyboards are relatively portable (don’t try lifting a Clavinova on your own though—you need to rope in a friend if you don’t want to end up with a broken back).

· Digital keyboards have a host of other additional features and benefits absent on acoustic pianos.

Since the holiday and festive season is fast approaching, it works to your advantage as music stores are usually extra-generous at this time of the year and offer substantial discounts. So don’t tarry any longer; go get a keyboard, and don’t forget to get my ebook too. Your family and friends will be impressed!

Computers Life Music is officially launched!

Dear readers, it gives me great pleasure to make this announcement: (drum roll, please) my website, is now launched! And ahead of schedule too. I’d originally planned to do this in early August, but since I’ve managed to iron out most of the kinks (and swat those persistent gremlins) I thought I’d go for an early start.

Basically I’m using this website to sell and promote my first ebook, titled Learn to Play the Piano in 12 Lessons. If you’re 15 years and older, have a hankering for learning the piano (but never got around to it), now’s your chance! With my ebook as your guide, you can be up and running in as little as 12 lessons. And since you’re doing it on your own, you can take as much time as you want on each lesson. You’re the boss!

More info can be obtained at my new website. I’ve purposely kept the site simple, because since this is targeted towards the whole globe, I realize that some of you might still be on dial-up, and it ain’t fun waiting ages for a site to load, is it?

Anyway, please go to my site and click around. Feel free to sign the guestbook, add a comment, and more importantly, buy my ebook if you wish (and I wish you would!)

See you there! Wave