A Cascade Method Student's Progress, Meet Jonah

A Look Into A Cascade Method Student’s Progress: Meet Jonah!

Today, I wanted to share the story and progress of this amazing Cascade Method student named Jonah. It is hard to believe that Jonah started with me as a five-year-old boy who played a C major scale at his first piano recital, (I wasn’t kidding when I said that Cascade Method makes learning theory FUN)! And now, he’s only two years away from leaving me for college, composes his OWN music, and plays advanced pieces with complete effortlessness and ease. 😭👏🏻😍🎶 Seriously, this kid is amazing! 

Can you believe that Jonah has gone from this…
His very first recital video:

To this!
His 2019 Performance (and he’s grown even more since! Literally speaking too… lol!) 

Unintentionally, all my students have helped me create what is the Cascade Method! 

Jonah and I have always had a special bond. We just get each other. He was one of my very first students after coming back to the bay from college all while completing an internship. I had about 15 students at this time and I guess you could say they all were Cascade Method guinea pigs! 😂 I was so lucky to have the group of students I did at this time in my life. I was working like crazy and teaching piano was really the thing I looked forward to the most! 

Jonah was the ideal student because he just took to the piano so easily and he’s always had such a genuine love for the instrument. He makes piano teaching easy. 

Maybe that’s why we have such a great connection… we’ve been learning and growing together throughout the years – me as a teacher and him as a student. 

A cascade method student with lead teacher, Tara Boykin

He always leans more towards the traditional, “notes” pieces and has never been too big on playing pop songs. He blew us all away at our 2019 February Teacher Concert when he played Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. (I’m not kidding when I say this kid is meant to play the piano).

A Cascade Method Student

If you’re familiar with Cascade Method, then you may have heard about NoteMatch, the teaching tool that we use to help students learn to read sheet music. Jonah was actually my first student to ever use NoteMatch!!! Because HE was the reason the idea was born in the first place!!! 😱🤩😭

During one lesson, when I was helping him figure out one of the notes on some sheet music, I got creative and decided to use tape to identify the notes on the piano, with notes on the sheet music, and then, that’s when the idea of the NoteMatch just hit me! When I realized how much this helped bridge the gap with Jonah, and how much faster he was taking to the sheet music, I KNEW I had to share it with other students to see if it worked for them too! Lo and behold, IT DID!!! When I saw big progress with all of my students, I knew I had to bring it to the market. 

What is Notematch

It’s not too surprising that Jonah is as talented as he is at the piano, seeing as how his mother plays the violin and he has a couple of incredible pianists and musicians in his family. Jonah has always been interested in classical music, and that may be another reason we get along so well. Most younger kids are more interested in pop songs but Jonah and I both share a mutual love for classical music and it just makes my heart so happy to see kids of today embracing classical music. It just proves that piano is NOT dead! 👏🏻😍

It just feels like we’ve always had this great connection. I mean, he’s basically like a little brother to me at this point! We are always goofing off together and I seriously look forward to our lessons together. Funny fact about this kid: He ALWAYS wears two different color socks. I literally have never ONCE seen him with a matching pair 😂👏🏻) To say we have fun is clearly an understatement lol. Teaching Jonah doesn’t feel like work, because we always just have so much fun during our lessons. I will honestly SOB when he leaves for college, I’m having a hard time even thinking about it! 😭

Here is a video of Jonah playing one of the songs that I played to audition for college, just to give an idea of how ahead of the game he truly is. It’s really amazing the way his fingers just flow. He is the definition of a natural.

Needless to say, this kid seriously amazes me. When I think back on that first recital when he was only 5 years old and now, to see the talented, well-rounded piano player that he has grown into, I feel SO proud. Although I think Jonah would thrive with or without the Cascade Method, I am so PROUD to have him as a testament to our method. 

The Cascade Method has helped guide his journey and I’m honored to witness his evolution… He’s 100% more talented than I was at his age and I want NOTHING more than my students to outgrow me. That’s the entire reason why I teach the way I do! I want them to accelerate faster than I ever did…

Here is Jonah playing one of his very own compositions.😭👏🏻😍

Jonah’s Take on The Cascade Method

I couldn’t help but ask Jonah about his experience as a Cascade Method student. As I said, we’re buddies so here’s his perspective on his piano journey. 🥰

Young Jonah playing at a recital

“I would describe my experience with Cascade Method as a fun enjoyable time that makes you look forward to your next lesson. I’m always excited to learn a new piece and to improve.

When I was young, we had a small electronic piano and I remember messing around with it and dancing to the automatic songs it would play. So, I’ve always had an interest in the instrument.  

I continue to play because I love improving and learning harder pieces. Tara has made the experience so much better since she’s such a great instructor, always has made learning fun, and she’s an incredibly talented pianist herself. I’m not sure that I would be where I am today, if I had a different piano teacher.

Jonah and Tara

I remember my first ever piano recital, playing the easiest and most simple thing ever, the C major scale. Currently I’m playing the most difficult thing I’ve learned and I’m motivated more than ever to keep learning and growing as a pianist. 

Some of my favorite aspects of the Cascade Method are NoteMatch — I wish I could have used it when I was younger — and the positive reinforcement that comes with Cascade. 

I definitely see myself playing the piano forever. I may not get into teaching or playing with an orchestra but I will never stop playing the piano.”

CUE THE TEARS 🥲😆😍 I just friggin love this kid.

How do you feel about your students? 

Ask yourself how you genuinely feel about your students and then, honestly think about how they must think of you… We are so much more than just teachers to these children. I do my best to bond with every single one of my students because I know the difference it makes in their progress. I want them to have a positive experience in everything they do that involves piano, which includes me! If you want to learn fun and encouraging ways to teach your students and build quality relationships with them, consider becoming Cascade Certified! 

We are passionate educators that just so happen to have a lot of fun! If you’re looking for a way to level up your piano lessons and transform your curriculum from traditional to totally entertaining — you’re in the right place! 


Cascade Certification course

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