The Pop Keyboard Course and Junior Music Course are the result of extensive research and development that spans over 20 years. Great West Music, in conjunction with musician and author, Merv Mauthe began work on the project in 1982 with the goal being to design an innovative and popular keyboard method that would offer a more enjoyable alternative to traditional curriculum and also meet the needs of the majority of students. Besides careful analysis of all the existing methods in use, the developmental stages included compiling information from all types of music enthusiasts, including educators, students, music retailers and parents, in order to come up with a pop course that would meet their needs, be appealing and survive the test of time. To insure a successful learning flow and student success each lesson was tested on actual students for an entire school term, with additional input from all the teachers involved.
The Pop Keyboard method books, which included piano and organ were introduced first in 1983 followed by the Junior programs a few years later. Once in the marketplace, the effectiveness and success of the courses and the students was also consistently monitored so that necessary changes in content and teaching techniques could be made. Detailed teacher guides were introduced along with the programs to insure teacher efficiency and effectiveness, and guarantee all students were getting the most out of the method. Student numbers and interest quickly grew and it was soon evident this program was addressing an important need in contemporary music education. Now, after more then 20 years of success, and 3 revised editions to insure the highest of standards, these courses have certainly proven their worthiness and demonstrated a long lasting popularity that is unique in the world of keyboard courses.
The program was adopted by Technics Musical Instruments and over the years thousands upon thousands of people have taken the T.M.A. programs in over 18 countries around the world. The vast majority continue to play and enjoy music long after completing the program, and many have gone on to very successful careers in music. Training seminars have helped teachers understand the program and modern teaching methods, and assisted in promoting new attitudes to music education and technology. Students have been motivated and inspired through popular music festivals designed for T.M.A. students and held annually around the world. Students everywhere have also benefited from the T.M.A. exam system introduced in 1985, and major universities and colleges in North America and the U.K. have recognized the validity of the course content and structure. The diligence, time, energy and dedication initially spent on developing these programs has proven to be the key to their long lasting success, and with such a proven curriculum more and more people are continuing to experience the joy and benefits of making music.