NMI-New Musical Instrument
A couple of years back, I sat down with the intention of finally learning to play the piano well. To accomplish my song writing and singing goals, mastery of an instrument and musical understanding are necessary and crucial skills. After less than two hours, something inside me rebelled "This is ridiculous! Almost all my effort is going into mastering not music or training my ear but developing purely mechanical skills..... and I can create something much more expressive than a piano!"
Just as I had invented the Vocal Eliminator to pursue my singing goals, I vowed I would develop a totally new type of instrument. One that truly facilitated both musical expression and understanding. An instrument that was virtually unlimited in it's expressive abilities and range of music types. An instrument that had much, much more of what I really wanted, without the purely mechanical "gymnastics" of current instruments which predate our current computer age.
Unlike the attempts of others I have seen to "modernize" today's centuries old instruments, this would be a total Paradigm Shift in the way music was noted as well as exactly what a musical instrument was in the first place. The goal of my New Musical Instrument project is to make musical expression and understanding as universally accessible as language is to our species. You do not have to send a child to school to learn to speak and communicate. They pick it up will no apparent effort on their part. The tools of our brains, vocal cords, and our inclination to communicate make language "universally accessible" to all humans.
Imagine the impact upon child development! Humans at birth have structurally unfinished brains. Even though the brain size will double in the first year, a child is born with twice as many brain cells at birth as he will have at the end of the first year of life. The cells that get stimulated remain and develop, the ones that are not stimulated die away. This is why audio, visual and kinesthetic stimulation are so crucial to a child's full development. The generation that grows up with these new tools of expression will be a different creature than you and I. Such tools will allow our species to evolve to the next level.
That is certainly not to say that the NMI will not benefit you or I. My primary inclination for its development is to make musical expression and understanding accessible to me. Indeed, grandmothers who have always "wished" they could play the piano, will finally have access to playing an instrument far more expressive and compelling than a piano.
Music itself is quite simple. You intuitively know much more about music than you give yourself credit for. If I sang a song and it did not end on the keynote you would know something just didn't sound right. Most of the effort of becoming a "musician" with today's instruments actually has nothing at all to do with music! Most of the effort is in gaining purely mechanical skills to play instruments designed centuries ago.
This instrument uses all ten fingers, yet with only two fingers, you could do almost everything you could do with a guitar. The first day you would develop musical understanding at a level most people do not achieve after years of playing instruments. Your ability to hear and recognize chords would develop within the first week. You would be sitting a dinner, hear a song in the background and think : "That's a typical I, IV, V7, I progression". Most lifetime musicians do not have that ability. You would pick it up apparently effortlessly and intuitively just the way children pick up language, by exposure, play, and experimentation.
You cannot imagine the possibilities yet of what you could do with your other eight fingers! The "pain to gain" ratio will have shifted to the point that you are not conscious of any effort on your part as you progress in your learning because it is so pleasurable and the struggle has been removed from the equation. Exactly the way a child learns language. Playing and developing occurs totally as experimentation, discovery and play within a framework that allows for true musical understanding and expression. It will change our world.