Milestones Music is a growing team of Sacramento musicians who all have the same drive: Helping students discover and achieve their musical goals. Milestones founder, Jamin Coller, has a long history of success in training musicians and teachers alike:
Jamin has taught music privately since 1994 and has played with and studied under jazz greats (pianist Joe Gilman, saxophonists Mike McMullen and world-famous Dave Liebman, and Mumbo Gumbo's drummer Rick Lotter) and plays in the Sacramento area, performing several times at the Sacramento Jazz Festival. After completing the Jazz Saxophone coursework at ARC, Jamin continued on to study jazz at Sacramento State University, where he earn his bachelor’s degree.
In addition to his dedication to playing jazz, Jamin has a great deal of performing experience in contemporary Christian and gospel music. Jamin spent several years writing, arranging, and conducting as the music pastor at Lifepoints Church. He has also written, arranged, and conducted music for the Gospel Music Workshop of America and assisted in the arrangements for the Sacramento Youth Symphony. Jamin has played with Martha Munizzi, Tramaine Hawkins, Lincoln Brewster, Joe Pace, Dorothy Love Thornton, and the Rev. Prince Yelder and plays annually in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations in Sacramento. You may have seen him recently in a regular performance with one of several of the bands that perform at “Gospel Day” in the California State Fair. Recently Jamin has also assisted the music pastors and musicians from Sacramento mega churches like Abundant Life Fellowship, Bayside, and others.
Before opening his own music studio, Jamin spent nearly 10 years as a full-time, credentialed school teacher. In addition to teaching the core subjects to his own middle school classroom, Jamin taught a range of music classes, including AP Music Theory, Music History, Music Appreciation, and a variety of choirs. Teaching all grades from kindergarten to high-school, he has developed a wide range of teaching styles. In addition to accolades from colleagues, Jamin has received multiple commendations from WASC (the accreditation agency for western high schools and colleges.)
While fighting the idea of opening just another music school in Sacramento, Jamin's passions for music and for teaching united when he realized what was missing from so many music studios: teachers who care more about student goals than teacher goals. Unfortunately, it is easier for teachers to pick a set of music books, start at the beginning, and just assign the next song in the book in each lesson regardless of whether the student or the teacher are interested in doing the song or practicing its associated skills.
"I can teach you the skill I know you need on almost any song; so you pick a song you're excited to practice, and I'll help you accidentally learn what you need."
Over the next several years, Jamin wrote the most flexible teaching curriculum in the world: Non-Linear Music, and dedicated himself to taking music education to the next level. Jamin's non-linear approach assumes that music, like any language, is a web of concepts that can be learn and applied in an almost infinite number of combinations. There is not a direct path from novice to professional in music or any other language. People can learn the parts that are most relevant and exciting to them first and learn to appreciate and tackle the rest as their ability, passion and curiosity grow.
The Non-Linear Music book sold internationally from 2002-2012, but Jamin pulled it from the shelves because the curriculum continued to expand over 14 editions and he didn't like the fact that consumers who had purchased an earlier edition were not able to access the new material. Jamin also felt growing concern that the curriculum was exponentially more powerful when the student had a personal teacher to help suggest the next concepts based on what a student had been interested in learning so far.
So in 2013 Jamin launched LearnPianoLive.com, where he could present the concepts in live broadcasts to his students world-wide and interact with them, giving personal feedback to students and showing them how the individual lessons interact with each other. At Learn Piano Live, students learn their concepts and songs at their pace on their instrument in their home while still having all the advantages of a personal instructor.
"Best of all, we get to charge almost nothing. The teacher, the curriculum, the play-along tracks and everything else are included for twenty bucks a month, so we're really getting to the point that people who think they might be interested in music can give it a full try without spending hundreds of dollars only to find out it's not really for them. The threshold for entry into music should be a lot lower than it's been in the past, and the technology is there to finally make that happen."
"Not everyone wants to become a professional, but that is the only track most teachers will teach. Whether out of laziness, insecurity, or an over-excitement about a particular method, most teachers push all their students throught the same pages of the teacher's favorite lesson books, but most students just want to have fun playing music at their pace. That's what a good teacher should do - guide students as they learn what they want to learn and at the pace they can learn it; because music should make your life more enjoyable, not more stressful."
"Since the possibilities of music are limitless, the pursuit of music is an exploration, not an accomplishment. Enjoying the journey of discovery is the only joy that really exists. No one ever 'becomes' a musician or 'masters' their instrument. We're all just swimming in this ocean of musical possibilities and while some have swum longer and harder, no one will get to experience the whole ocean before they die."