I'm posting today to share my story in hopes that maybe it will hit a chord with someone else and hopefully at the very least allow those who feel alone (as I do) some hope that thy are not in this by themselves.
I am a jazz musician in Portland Oregon and dyslexic. My main instrument is bass guitar and for the last 15 years I have struggled to foster a professional career only to fail again and again due to a lack of speed in sight reading and have realized that due to my dyslexia I will never have the career I had hoped for. Along side of my progression as a bass player, I have spent years trying to master piano while earning my bachelors and masters in jazz music and struggled with the nature and layout of the diatonic piano. In my masters program I came across the Janko Whole Tone layout, an alternative piano key layout as a way of using the symmetrical nature of string instruments like bass/guitar to master piano and jazz harmony. Being dyslexic and because the bass has a layout and logic that works well with my spatial acuity and memory, I learned it very quickly much like the bass. I could see the shapes on the fingerboard before I played them and how they related to the sounds they created. The Janko system makes this type of learning possible for the piano, making it accessible, not only for other dyslexics, but for musicians to use the symmetry of stringed instruments on the master instrument piano.
Simply put the Janko layout makes all scales, arpeggios and chords, everything you can play on piano in one shape and fingering. Everything is played the same in all 12 keys and I am writing a jazz piano method to help those struggling with piano and music as well as those who want to learn how to spatially understand music. I have started a Gofundme to get funds to get a full range instrument and write the book. It will be written in dyslexic font, include audio tracks, notation and a audio book format for those who want to follow along for are visually impaired. Once done I will distribute the book free online for who ever needs it. Please check it out and tell me what you you think!
(Me Playing "Satin Doll")
(2-5-1s in all 12 keys)
Exploring the talents and abilities that accompany dyslexia
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