“Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is the southern writer's only published book. Jerald Simon, of Fruit Heights, would be the first to tell you that he's no Harper Lee, but the piano teacher has become a prolific writer in the last two years. He has self-published 11 books anchored in instructional theory aimed at connecting young students with one of the arguably most-boring and least-popular topics related to music: music theory, a subject many pop musicians ignore. "I wanted to teach theory in a different way, but in a way that was exciting and fun," said Simon, who is the president and owner of his music company, Music Motivation. He's also president of the Davis chapter of the Utah Music Teachers Association and vice president of the Ogden chapter. Simon might have unique tastes — he admits that he reads music theory books for fun — but his techniques have been embraced by music teachers around the Salt Lake Valley, who have started teaching from his books in their own les”
“Jerald M. Simon, in addition to being the vice president of programs for the Ogden chapter of the Utah Music Teachers Association and a piano teacher, is also an entrepreneur. The Bountiful-based musician has self-published a series of piano books designed to help students grasp theory and concept. "I wanted to reach those students learning how to play piano who aren't enjoying the process," said Simon during an interview. "There are those children who will excel no matter what teacher or method they are using, but there are those who feel like they are forced to take piano. They feel forced by their parents or their teachers. "These books are designed to help them, but at the same time not ignore those who like piano lessons." The books — "Variations on Mary Had a Little Lamb," "Playing Around and the Jazz Song" and "An Introduction to Scales and Modes" — published by Simon's company Music Motivation (www.musicmotivation.com), give students an alternate and fun way to learn th”
“Simon is a Utah music teacher who has produced several books with the goal of "prepar(ing) the next generation of composers, arrangers, musicians, music teachers and musicologists to use their music and their love of music to make a difference in their own lives, their community and the world," his website reads.”
“All nine tracks on the new album "Hymns of the Heart," by Jerald Simon, were arranged without any rehearsing or prior planning. The result is a layered, heartfelt collection that breathes spontaneous life into familiar hymns Simon approached the making of this album with heart instead of his usual rehearsal and practice schedule. As such, all tracks are driven by the emotion of the music in the moment. The technique pays off. It's easy to be pulled into the depth of each track. Simon understands the art involved in the pressure of each key on the piano. The arrangements tell a story without a single word being sung. The unexpected arrangements are peaceful and bring meditation to mind, great for a Sunday morning or relaxing in the evening with the family.”
“Jerald Simon is a brilliant musician, teacher, and performer, with a fascinating story to tell. If you're interested in learning how to improvise or compose music, be sure to check out his books.”
“It has been and is a pleasure to work with Jerald. He is very knowledgeable in music in all angles and situations. He has a way of working with the youth to bring out the best performance and feeling in their music and also adults. He knows how to create a positive situation when talking to people. He is friendly and a joy to work with.”
“Jerald is a motivating person who is able to encourage others to explore their options in music, with his creative materials. My students enjoyed having him demonstrate various techniques for improvisation, and were encouraged to try on their own in the following weeks, something I had not been able to accomplish previously. Jerald is a very pleasant man, and is sincere in his desire to help others enjoy music to the max.”
“Jerald is an exceptional Jazz pianist, composer and teacher. I thoroughly enjoy working with him and learning from his expertise. He offers much in bridging the gap between the Classical approach to music and the improv approach. I appreciate his willingness in sharing generously his knowledge. Among several things, I appreciate the jazz/theory explanations in his publications. These are most beneficial to my students. Not only do they learn "cool" music, but they understand what makes up the music itself. Thanks, Jerald, for the wonderful contributions you are making to our profession.”
“I have recieved a sizeable amount of help for my piano studio from Jerald. He is always thurough in his knowledge of music. I really enjoy ordering Music Motiviation products as learning tools. I have recieved great results from my students due to these great products that Jerald has produced. I would reccomend Jerald Simon's work to anyone that asked me.”
“Jerald Simon is very personable and entertaining. My students enjoyed listening to him teach and play. He is also very knowledgeable and able to convey that knowledge to others in an easily understandable way. He also cares about the subject that he teaches and it is evident in the way that he presents his materials. Each of my students that attended his workshop wanted to improve and learn more of the subject. I would highly recommend him to anyone!”
“Jerald Simon is amazing! I highly recommend Jerald Simon to anyone who is looking for a music professional. I have seen Jerald perform and he is a great entertainer! I have seen Jerald teach and he is a great teacher! I have purchased all of Jerald's music books he has written which include music theory and songs he has composed that go along with the theory he is teaching. Jerald is a great composer and music theory writer! My teenage daughter has taken piano from Jerald for about three years. She has taken off with piano and is flourishing and enjoying piano, even admitting that she loves playing the piano to her friends! I have started taking lessons from Jerald and am learning and understanding the piano more than I ever have before, not only because of his knowledge, but also his great teaching ability. Jerald writes his own piano books --- the music and the theory behind the songs! Students learn music theory while learning his songs and he makes it fun! He is very motivational”
“In his "Music Motivation Series", Jerald Simon is truly able to make music motivating. Jerald teaches music theory, improvisation and composition in a way that makes learning music both interesting and fun.”
“Jerald is one of the most creative, talented, good hearted men I know. His commitment to his area of expertise, coupled with his genuine love for people makes him someone you really want to work with. If he was stock, I'd invest in him!”
“Jerald is a wonderful human being who has inspired not only me to be a better pianist, but hundreds of other people. Keep up all the great work Jerald.”
"Jerald's motivational poetry, writing and music education books are a true expression of Jerald's winning personality and innovation. He is a Utah treasure."
"If everyone would live by the themes expressed in Jerald's poetry, the world would be a much better place."
"Jerald's unique motivation techniques make learning the piano seem less like a chore, and more like an adventure."
"Jerald's hymn arrangements are as beautiful as they are musically interesting. I'm sure people are going to love hearing them in church meetings or wherever they are played."
“Jerald Simon's music motivation program is brilliant and should inspire and encourage any piano student to stick with it.”
“I just received your book (Sea Fever) this week, and I absolutely fell in love with it...it is an amazing collection of pieces. I must admit, the first day I opened the book to the middle and just played and played. It was only after going through most of the pieces that I pulled myself in and read your introduction - I thought it was really beautiful how you drew inspiration from the poem, and it really added to the cohesiveness of the work. The next day, I went through the pieces in order, front to back. However, when I stepped away from the piano, I literally had sea-legs (I'm not exaggerating!), and quite quickly had to sit down again. I've never had that experience before after playing music, but it is a tribute to how much movement and sound-painting you have woven into your pieces. This is a fantastic book, and I will be recommending it to students and colleagues alike. I will also be posting a review on my studio blog, if that's alright with you.”
“I recommend the CD Hymns of Exaltation for everyone of all ages and you can count on the fact that Hymns of Exaltation will be my number one gift that I give this year to my family and friends. ”
“Here is the reaction from students when I introduce a song from one of your books. "That is SO COOL!" I especially love the reactions from my elementary age boys,... because they just can't wait to sound that "cool". I've heard the same response from teens and just about anyone I've had play your pieces. I figure if they are ready to handle them technically, even before their reading and theory knowledge are quite there, they will push themselves to learn the pieces anyway. Anytime a student wants to push themselves, I'm all for that! Hooray!All the best,”
“For those who have not had the opportunity to listen to Hymns of Exaltation do not miss this opportunity. Business often requires that I spend hours at the computer writing and communicating. It can be easy to get tired, lose your focus and waste time. In the past to combat these tendencies I have listened to Handel's water music which has helped immensely and proved why students listening to similar music will do 17% better than those listening to rock music while they study. Recently I played Jerald's Hymns of Exaltation and instantly I was hooked. Now it is a must in our home and when I am at my computer. Not only does it provide an excellent background music with enough variety to keep your mind alert like the Water music but I found my mind magically rehearsing the inspirational words. This music lifts the soul and inspires the listener to reach into eternity with an inner quest to settle for nothing less than exaltation.”
“Jerald's Hymns of Exaltation CD is both uplifting and empowering. After listening to the music I am always reassured of God's love for me and that I'm never alone. It is music for my soul. Many thanks.”
“Thank you so much for Hymns of Exaltation! I have had quite a hard time for quite a while and wondering why I'm still here, then I got this CD. I put it on one night while trying to fall asleep, and it immediately calmed all my fears and worries, and was such a blessing to have to help me. It has absolutely beautiful music compositions and I think that everyone can benefit from this music. Especially in this day and age with everything going wrong!”
“The hymn arrangements in Jerald's 'Hymns of Exaltation' are not only an enjoyment to hear but are also very exciting to play. I particularly enjoy listening to the arrangements on the CD as I am learning to play the music.”
“Several months ago I heard Jerald play one of the songs from Hymns of Exaltation, Nearer my God to Thee. Tears came to my eyes as I listened to the beautiful arrangement of that hymn. We immediately purchased the book and CD. The music has been played and listened to in our home nearly every day since. The music has inspired those who have listened to and played it. An element of depth is added to the inspiring messages that come to mind while listening to Hymns of Exaltation. These feelings are renewed each time we listen.”
“Jerald’s session on improvisation and composition was an eye opener for my students! Using a wealth of creative techniques, enhancing basic theory with jazz elements...his workshop left my students excited and anxious to get home to their pianos. What more can you want?”
“He relates well to the students, and they find him fun, and very knowledgeable about music of interest to them, as well as ways to enhance the music, and personalize it to their own styles.”
“Great for summer camps and group lessons.”
“We've used the Variations on Mary had a Little Lamb book, and had a lot of fun with that book, and look forward to using others.”
“This is what I have been looking for, for a long time. I can hardly contain my excitement for my students to grasp these patterns and to have so much fun with improvisation. Thank you for sharing these great ideas for motivating our students.”
“The 'Mary Had a Little Lamb’ workshop and book are phenomenal! Students love the fun of Mary and her lamb experiencing so many different styles of music. I love it!”