The Understanding Music Seminar- About Us

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The Understanding of Music Seminar

homeYes, it is possible to learn how to play piano or guitar in just one long weekend, at the Understanding of Music Seminar. Since it began in 1991, close to 40,000 people have graduated from this incredible weekend seminar in 25 countries across 5 continents. You could join them and be playing music quicker than you ever dreamed possible!

Even if you have tried to learn how to play music before and given up or had the dream to play but never touched a musical instrument before, the Understanding of Music Seminar will truly inspire and motivate anyone who has ever had a desire to play any musical instrument. And give you the ability to play notes, chords, scales and songs on whatever instrument you choose.

In the Understanding of Music Seminar, you will learn:

  • all your note names on keyboard and guitar, plus how to find them on Any Western Musical Instrument
  • all chords (major, minor and more) and how to play them, what finger shapes to use, etc
  • all of the scales in Western music (major, minor and more), how to play them on any instrument
  • how to play in different musical styles, eg jazz, blues, etc
  • how to improvise, and much, much more!

Essentially, the Seminar helps you make a huge leap forward regardless of your prior musical experience. And if you already have some musical experience or ability, have taught yourself to play or perhaps have lapsed in playing, the seminar will fill in all the “gaps” in your musical knowledge.

It will help you understand all the parts of music that never made sense before and inspire you to new levels of creativity and playing. Even if you are a complete novice, you will gain an understanding of music theory equivalent to someone who has been learning to play for years.

You will master notes, chords, scales and more so you can play the music you want to play on a piano or keyboard. If guitar is more your thing, don’t worry, as everything you learn at the seminar, is applicable to the guitar as well. You will come away knowing all your notes, chords, scales, strumming, finger patterns, etc on guitar!

If you have tried to learn how to play music before and given up in frustration or if you learnt to play at school but never kept it up, you can bring that long cherished musical dream back to life! The seminar will show you why you gave up music and help you overcome the barriers and obstacles you ran into that prevented you from playing and becoming the musician you wanted to become! And it will revitalise your musical goals so you continue back on the journey you started on.

Even if you are currently taking lessons but having difficulties and problems with your music that you feel you can’t overcome or your teacher can’t handle for you, the seminar is also for you, as it will un-entangle all the complexities of music for you and make it a simple, easy to understand subject. You’ll become a much better student because your lessons won’t get caught up in trying to understand music theory but instead free you to learn how to play what you want to play, the songs you want to play!

If you’re an accomplished musician, you will gain newfound insights and learn to tackle whatever has held you back as a musician for years. For some, it’s about learning to improvise. For yet others, it’s about finally learning to play in a new musical style such as the Blues. It can even completely revitalise “lapsed” or “failed” musicians, empowering you to once again pursue your musical dreams.

If you’re a music teacher, you will gain new knowledge that “no one ever could explain to you”, improve your own mastery of music, and take away methods that other teachers tell us have made a big difference to their own students. These claims are not made by the seminar organisers, but rather by the many tens of thousands of people who have completed the seminar, some of whose testimonials you can read on this website.

The seminar does this by first exploding 6 key myths about music that stand in the way of people learning. These commonly held myths are that music is:

  1. complex and difficult to learn
  2. a “serious” subject
  3. expensive to learn
  4. takes years to master
  5. requires (at least some) “natural talent”
  6. is “not for everyone”.

Once you have done the seminar, you will realise why these myths are simply that, just myths that will melt away as shadows.

The Understanding of Music Seminar is very practical, very “hands on” and involves you doing a lot of playing of keyboards and guitars. The seminar is presented by Duncan Lorien, a successful musician and music educator for over 30 years. He has recorded 3 top selling albums, worked as a session musician with some of the best musicians on the planet and been a producer for some of the world’s top recording labels. He was once the Deputy Head Chorister for the Royal School of Church Music in London and at one point was the highest paid music teacher in Europe!

Now he devotes himself almost exclusively to bringing music to the people of the world, through his amazing seminar. You too can begin your journey towards your musical future. Please read through what others say about The Understanding of Music Seminar on our Testimonials Page and have all your questions answered on FAQ page. We look forward to welcoming you to The Understanding of Music Seminar and supporting you to make the biggest single leap forward in music that you’ll ever make. (See the Guarantee page for details of what is covered in this seminar)

Understanding the Basics of Singing Seminar

Have you always wanted to sing? Have you tried before but felt your voice wasn’t good enough? Have you been singing for a while but want to get much better? Understanding The Basics of Singing Seminar will teach you more about singing in just 1 evening and 1 day, than you thought possible. This seminar is for anyone who has ever wanted to sing and has never realised their dream or for anyone who is currently singing and wants to improve their singing. In this remarkable seminar you will learn powerful fundamentals of singing, that even the professionals don’t know such as:

  • what it actually means “to sing”, (understanding this point alone will change the way you look at singing forever)
  • what your “voice-box” is and how it works
  • what “singing in pitch” actually means
  • how to be more relaxed in front of an audience
  • how to control your breath
  • how to project your voice better
  • how to increase the range of your voice
  • how to add interesting effects to your voice
  • how to handle vocal breaks or transitions,
  • how to sing by sight-reading, so you can pick up any piece of music and know how to sing it

You will walk out of this seminar knowing that when you go for a note, you will be able to nail it every time! You will increase your confidence and certainty in your voice and your overall singing ability. In fact, you will discover ‘The Voice’ you never know you had inside you! You’ll also learn some great warm up and cool down exercises for your voice, so you can look after it better. The seminar includes a complete manual and a FREE DVD of Duncan’s own daughter demonstrating all the exercises for you. So you can see someone else who couldn’t sing at the beginning actually go through the process of learning to sing with you. Register for the Singing Seminar today at our registration page or ask for a free info pack at

Understanding the Basics of Songwriting Seminar

This seminar is the ultimate for songwriters and music lovers alike. In fact, it is for ANYONE who wants to:

  • write complete songs
  • improvise
  • gain a better appreciation of music
  • finally understand music theory advanced and totally practical (some of the data and composition tools in this seminar you can’t get anywhere else in the world, including at the premier music colleges!)
  • get hard-won tips and secrets about recording and publishing your songs
  • hook up with others

It’s a hands-on way learn to write songs in 4 minutes or less regardless of prior experience. Why so fast? Because through quantity comes quality. This thinking is the opposite of conventional wisdom. Duncan ‘ purpose is to help you avoid two of the biggest problems many people suffer from once they begin songwriting – producing only a couple of good songs a year, and being trapped within a single musical style or sound.

Duncan teaches you how to write songs at lightning speed, which is totally liberating for people. It is a spontaneous and creative process that can be accelerated beyond your wildest expectations. Finally, Duncan lets you into the inner workings of the music industry. Whether you re already dying to publish your own songs, or you re one of the many who think I ll never be that good and discover in the seminar that you really can write songs either way, you ll be thankful to know how to avoid the common pitfalls in the industry. In short, this seminar is a real treat and only runs a few times worldwide each year. Australia is fortunate to have had it 3 times in the last 5 years.

The only pre-requisite is that you must be a graduate of the Understanding of Music Seminar (which is always run before any Songwriting seminar, so people who want to can do both seminars can within a maximum of 1 year gap). (See the Guarantee page for details of what is covered in this seminar)

About Duncan Lorien

Sofia Lundberg's PhotographyMany of us can remember a favourite teacher, someone who fostered our passion in a subject and left us inspired, energised and excited. The kind of person who could make any subject interesting.

Duncan Lorien, the seminar author and presenter, is one of these rare people. He has recorded 3 top-selling albums, worked as a session musician with some of the most famous musicians on the planet and been a producer for some of the world s top recording labels. Above all, he is a brilliant music educator. His passion is watching people “come alive” with newfound understanding, inspiration and creativity by opening new doors for people in music.

Born in 1954 in London, England, he studied classical piano from the age of 4 years, and was Deputy Head Chorister at the Royal School of Church Music at Addington Palace in London. He studied drama and music in college and trained in opera and theatre for 3 years.

At teacher training college he found the approach to music was serious and complex and left to begin his own approach to the subject. The 20 years he spent researching music history and education resulted in the Understanding of Music Seminar delivered worldwide since 1991. The Understanding of Songwriting Seminar for graduates of the Understanding of Music Seminar was introduced in 1998.

He has worked as a recording artist, songwriter and producer with BMG Publishing, EMI Records, Polygram, PRT Records, Chappell, Carlin, Intersong, Ocean Disque and ARC Records. His publishing and recording deals resulted in the successful albums with guitarist Martin Daley; “Architects of Time” and “Dreams of the Yes Men.” Both albums were play-listed on top radio stations and reached number one in the U.K. new age charts, charting above albums by Enya, Yanni, Rick Wakeman, Tangerine Dream and Andy Summers of The Police. The first album “Architects of Time,” number one in 1989, was still in the top six new age charting albums in 1992, three years later! “Dreams of the Yes Men,” released in 1992, went to number one the first week of its release. Duncan writes and performs many musical styles including rock, jazz, blues and classical and in March 2003 released a new rock instrumental album “One Life at a time.”

The Music of Duncan Lorien.

The Understanding of Music Company was founded in response to the demand for Duncan’s teaching methods from thousands of people all over the world. Until recently he was travelling 150,000 miles each year going around the world to five continents to bring his simple and powerful system to as many people as possible.

His revolutionary approach to playing, reading and composing music has helped renowned rock, jazz and classical musicians, college instructors and teachers plus hundreds of total beginners to reach new heights of creativity! Duncan wants everyone to experience the joy and simplicity of music and he invites you to join him for the musical adventure of your life.

Now that revolution continues as Duncan now delivers his seminar to you, in the comfort of your own home, meaning you don’t have to travel anywhere to enjoy this life-changing approach to learning how to read, play and compose music!

Reviews of the Seminar

Duncan Lorien and the Seminar continue to receive media and popular attention internationally. Since the seminar began in 1991, it has been presented to popular acclaim in 25 countries and the list is growing:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Canada
  • Carribean
  • Czech Republic
  • Dutch Antilles (Aruba)
  • England
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • Poland
  • Russia
  • Scotland
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Switzerland
  • USA
  • Venezuela

Participant acclaim in Australia has landed us a spot in the top 3 seminar countries worldwide. For all our lack of grandstanding, we spread the word to friends and family faster than many others do.

Also, we owe thanks to the media for their interest and positive reviews of the seminar. The seminar has received coverage from:

  • The Age
  • Herald Sun
  • ABC Radio
  • Boite Music Festival
  • Melbourne Music Festival
  • Australian Music Teacher Journal and Music Teacher Magazine

See our media page for more information


Understanding of Music Seminar

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

0450 510 822 (If overseas + 613 9870 6980)