Duncan Lorien the Educator

Duncan is the creator of the Understanding of Music seminars

Duncan Lorien has been teaching since he was a child. He started teaching first the children of neighbors then the parents of those children until, by the time he was 13 years old, he had a full teaching practice. His approach was unconventional to say the least, getting adults to demonstrate musical concepts using objects such as dolls and making students talk to their fingers in order to increase their dexterity and control. One of the more revolutionary approaches he developed is teaching students to communicate with their audiences from the very beginning by using a series of communication drills whenever they practice.

As word of his successful teaching methods spread the number of keyboard, guitar and vocal students rapidly climbed to 50 and more a week with some people traveling hundreds of miles for a one hour lesson and record companies seeking to secure lessons for their artists by offering to pay double or triple his fees. At one point Duncan advertised himself as Europe’s most expensive music teacher in the hope that some kind of a natural selection process would occur. Instead, the phone rang continuously and people even just arrived at his house without appointments in the hope that they might be able to book a lesson. When the number of students hit 60 a week with people offering to pay over $1000 per lesson Duncan realized that something would have to be done in order to deal with the demands for his approach to educating people about music. Responding to the suggestion that perhaps he should put together some type of a seminar he famously said “perhaps I could do one seminar and see how it goes”! That was in 1991 and in the last 20 years he has since given thousands of seminars, lectures and workshops around the world.

The Understanding of Music Seminar™ was followed by The Understanding of Songwriting Seminar™ in 1998 and Understanding the Basics of Singing Seminar™ was added in 2007.

Duncan works constantly to improve the quality of the materials given to each attendee with illustrated seminar manuals, lesson books, DVD’s, laminated keyboards and foam-board fretboards as well as researching and recommending the best musical dictionaries and reference books for graduates to use.

The products of the seminars are legendary; The Understanding of Music Seminar™ covers the science and history of the subject. Everyone learns how to recognize the names of the notes on the keyboard and guitar and how to learn the names of the notes on any other instrument. Each student can play any scale and chord on both keyboard and guitar by the second day and has stated working with the fundamentals of improvisation. Specially designed exercises to develop co-coordination skills are taught and by the third day everyone is able to read the pitch and rhythm on any piece of music. By the end of the seminar the students are all reading and playing, slowly but accurately, hands-together music by J.S.Bach even if they never touched an instrument before beginning the seminar!

The Understanding of Music Seminar - European format™  and The Understanding of Reading & Playing Music Seminar™ were designed to handle specific difficulties arising from the German music theory system and combine together to cover exactly the same data for German speaking audiences.

The Understanding of Songwriting Seminar™ covers all the rules of melody and harmony in a completely original way that is taught by no-one else. Advanced concepts like modulation, transposition, song-formulas, musical styles using chord patterning and  lyrics are taught in the unique Lorien methodology. The seminar covers basics on recording, copyrighting and promotion and even how to break into the music business through the backdoor. Yes, there actually is a backdoor in the music business!. However, the most amazing aspect of this seminar is that everyone is writing completed songs in a maximum of 4 minutes for each song by the end of the seminar! It sounds unreal and yet thousands can attest to doing just that with many going on to release their own C.D.’s!

Understanding the Basics of Singing Seminar™ was created owing to the huge public demand for more data on Duncan’s incredibly simple approach to getting at the real basics in the subject of singing. Starting with drills that get anyone to be comfortable standing in front of an audience and continuing with understanding breathing technique in a new way, Duncan brings his own observations of what works and what doesn’t work to teaching pitch control, improving tone, projection and range and handling the so-called transitions between vocal registers. The seminar manual is accompanied by a DVD showing how each drill should be done when practicing.

Duncan Lorien has taught renowned rock, jazz and classical musicians, college instructors, teachers and even music professors as well as thousands of total beginners. He states that rather than being a teacher in the traditional sense with the goal of imparting music information to students he sees himself as an educator with the goal to get the average man or woman to understand and apply music so they can inspire others. His wish is to see everyone experience the simplicity and fun that music can bring to someone’s life. Not everyone can afford the time to put their life into music but with the Understanding of Music Seminars™ and their simple 10 minute a day practice program anyone can now put music into their life!