The Understanding Music Seminar

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I do the Seminar?

Most of us have a goal or dream we’d love to achieve in music. It’s one of those “One day I’d love to…” sort of things.
What is your goal or dream? Perhaps it’s about finally learning an instrument, or learning to sing or play for your own enjoyment. Maybe it’s playing better so you can entertain family on special occasions, or joining other musicians to “jam” together, or improving your songwriting. Or perhaps you even dream of performing on a world-famous stage in front of 100,000 fans?
The seminar is all about supporting people at any level of musical experience…: giving you UNDERSTANDING, INSPIRATION AND CREATIVITY.


The ancient Greeks considered music to be a natural part of life and every child was expected to be able to play not just one, but several instruments as part of their education. A person was not required to have a special gift, talent or natural ability for music. Music was simple enough for EVERYONE to learn.
Starting about 400 A.D. a complex system of rules began to be added to music, which still governs all Western music today, from classical and jazz through to punk and grunge.
In the seminar, you’ll hear the fascinating story of intrigue, elitism, and control that established these rules – many of which defy logic! But it’s not simply entertaining. It’s essential in helping you overcome the self-limiting thinking we’ve all inherited about music.

These six false ideas are at the bottom of our self-limiting thinking in music:
1 Music is complex and difficult to learn.
2 Music is a “serious” subject.
3 Music takes years to learn.
4 Music education is expensive.
5 Music requires at least some natural ability and talent.
6 For all these reasons music is not for everyone.

None of these above myths are truth.. they are all false!

The FACT is that MUSIC really IS SIMPLE.

Today, when we learn music, we simply learn the rules, without ever fully understanding the What, Why, and How behind the rules. Even most music teachers and professionals were never taught this, even after studying music in University. Instead, we just learn to take them as the “givens” in music.
The result of following the rules without fully understanding What, Why and How is that we all run into our own stumbling blocks or confusions, and these confusions build up into a motivational brick wall, stopping us dead in our tracks (we give up) -or slowing us down. We blame ourselves for “not getting it”, and think “I’ll never really be a great musician.” when the real fault lies not with us, but with the confusing system of rules.
So the 6 myths about music are at the core of why so many people believe they can’t learn music or why they give up learning music in frustration after having started.

The seminar is called the UNDERSTANDING of Music Seminar, because it teaches you the WHY and HOW behind the rules, as well as a much simpler and more powerful method of learning to read and play music. Even professional musicians, music teachers, and professors of music tell us that they finally get answers to questions they’ve been secretly carrying around for years.

Many participants say they come to the seminar feeling hopeful, but sceptical. “I really hope it’ll help me, but I don’t really believe it’s possible.” The scepticism is often due, in part, to having been mystified or confused about many aspects of music in the past.
By the time they walk out of the seminar, participants report feeling totally energised and rejuvenated, with a newfound creativity to communicate through music. Armed with a wealth of musical understanding, plus the tools they need to apply it, they feel ready to start finally achieving their own musical goals and dreams. Through this newfound inspiration, comes a dramatically enhanced level of creativity.

What does the MUSIC Seminar cover?

The Understanding of MUSIC Seminar is designed to give you the tools you need to be build the level of competence you want to achieve in reading and playing music on any Western musical instrument or voice.

Each of us has our own stumbling blocks around reading and playing music. This seminar helps you crash through stumbling blocks of all kinds, whether they are mental (“I don’t know how or why”), physical (“I don’t have the coordination or dexterity”), emotional (“I’ve lost the inspiration….”), visual (“I can’t sight read fast enough”) or auditory (“Why doesn’t it sound good?”). When you complete the seminar, you’ll feel totally reenergised and confident to achieve whatever goal you set. And you’ll have a structured 10-minute daily practice schedule and the option to access free advice to keep you focussed and progressing after the weekend is over.

For more specifics of what is covered in this seminar, please go to the “Guarantee” page.

What does the SONGWRITING Seminar cover?

The Understanding of SONGWRITING Seminar is designed to take you to a whole new level in music.understanding all about writing songs in any Western musical style. If you’re interested in anything from pop, jazz and blues through to classical music and you want to learn how to write songs- or greatly improve existing songwriting skills-then this is for you. Where else can you learn to write songs in 4 minutes or less with results that sound good?

For more specifics of what is covered in this seminar, please go to the “Guarantee” page.

What does the SINGING Seminar cover?

The Understanding the Basics of Singing Seminar is designed to give anyone a range of skills they can use to dramatically improve their singing, whether they are a beginner or have been singing for years.

In this seminar you will learn what it actually means “to sing”. You will learn drills designed to help you sing in pitch better, control your voice and be more relaxed in front of an audience. You’ll also see how to increase the range of your voice, visualise sounds before you sing them, how to improve the tonal quality of your voice and project your voice. You’ll also learn the secrets to sight reading so you can look at a piece of music and know how to sing it, plus you’ll learn such clever singing tricks as how to add interesting vocal effects to your singing repetoire. You’ll even learn great warm up and cool down exercises so you can look after your voice better.

For more specifics of what is covered in this seminar, please go to the “Guarantee” page.

How can all this happen in one weekend per seminar? (Or 1 night and 1 day for the Singing Seminar.)

By using an advanced system of easy steps developed by Duncan Lorien that ensures everyone in the Seminar fully understands and is able to apply each step before the next step is started. All the Seminar information is included in an easy to read manual with simple diagrams. You simply interact with the manual throughout the Seminar and continue at home with your daily practice schedule. The Seminar manual is included in the cost of the Seminar.

What is the graduation rate?

95%. Yes, very few people have ever failed to graduate from any of Duncan’s seminars! And he’s taken close to 40,000 people through it, in over 25 countries worldwide.

This graduation rate explains the huge expansion of this “grass-roots” movement around the world as graduates tell family, friends and colleagues about their success from doing the Seminar.

What instruments are required?

Duncan Lorien recommends the keyboard as the fastest instrument on which to learn music. In the Understanding of Music Seminar, you will learn keyboard/piano and guitar, as well as how to apply these learnings to any other Western Instrument (eg, brass, woodwind, strings, percussion) and voice.

Yamaha have for many years been generously providing keyboards for our use during the seminars, so you need not bring one with you. They also supply a couple of acoustic guitars, though if you have one, you are most welcome to bring it along.

Who should come to these seminars?

Anyone who wants to do more in music or singing, regardless of prior experience. Absolute beginners in music, professionals in all styles of music, college graduates with music degrees, music teachers and even music college instructors have all attended and testified to the incredible success they have experienced with the Seminar.

The youngest ever graduate was only 6 years old and the oldest was 92! Two wonderful successes!
People always ask us how young children can be and still get the benefit of the seminar. The youngest recommended age is 13, due to study ability and other factors, although younger children will be considered in special circumstances. Some parents even do the seminar both for their own pleasure and to gain insights for teaching their own younger children.

What are the Seminar schedules?

The Music Seminar is conducted over a full 3-day weekend, starting on Friday morning.  So get ready to take a day off work for an exciting and amazing musical adventure!


11:00 am – 6:30 pm
(1:00 pm – 2:00 pm lunch break, plus afternoon break)


9:00 am – 6:30 pm
(1:00 pm – 2:00 pm lunch break, plus morning and afternoon breaks)


9:00 am – 6:30 pm
(1:00 pm – 2:00 pm lunch break, plus morning and afternoon breaks)

While this may seem like a tough schedule, Duncan’s teaching methods are so engaging that people routinely report they actually reach the end of the seminar feeling totally invigorated!

The Understanding the Basics of Singing Seminar is held over 1.5 days, usually a Tuesday evening & Wednesday day

How much does the Seminar cost?

The full fee for the music seminar is $995 (Australian seminars only). This includes a comprehensive seminar manual, 100 Free in home lessons (previously charged at over $200) & Free Instructional DVD.  Also included is an option to consult by letter, e-mail, fax or phone with the Understanding of Music Company on any aspect of the Seminar information at no extra charge – free advice for life!

The songwriting seminar fee is also $995. The singing seminar is only $495 as this is a shorter 1.5 day seminar.

You can obtain an EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT by paying your full seminar fee in advance or by paying for both The Understanding of Music and The Understanding of Songwriting Seminar together. (See the registration page for more info.).

A deposit of $200 is normally required to secure your place in either Seminar. Due to a strict limit on the number of places and a great demand for places, the earlier this deposit is made the greater the chance someone has of gaining a place.

Finally your seminar fee entitles you to repeat the Music or Songwriting Seminar again, anytime in the future, for only $300. (Singing Seminar repeats will be $200.) Many participants come back to the seminar to deepen and solidify their learnings and to get another injection of energy and inspiration.

Is the Seminar expensive?

Hundreds of hours of music lessons and many years of study are normally spent trying to understand, read and play music. So, this weekend Seminar that delivers exactly what it promises to deliver and actually saves both money and time!
You get 3 years worth of understanding, in just 3 days, saving you an enormous amount of time.

Given that most music teachers charge around $70 an hour for lessons, you’d have to pay over $1420 in normal music lessons simply to get the 22+ hours of tuition offered at the seminar. Yet you pay only $995 and end up with a level of understanding of music equivalent to someone who has been studying music for years.

Plus, you get your 100 lessons from the seminar presenter absolutely free at the end of the seminar. These have a comparable value of $30 each, so that’s another $3000 worth of tuition that you get for no additional cost.
And you get a FREE DVD as well containing all the exercises you learn in the seminar. This alone is worth hundreds of dollars.

Your workbook from the seminar contains the equivalent data of a 3 year music degree, and that’s included in the price.
Many graduates have said they would have paid as much as five times the fee for this Seminar because “it gave them freedom to communicate in music.”

With a 100% no nonsense money-back guarantee and glowing testimonials from other Australians, you can be confident the seminar is a gift that you’ll treasure for life.

Are there any Seminar rules?

Yes. The seminar promises unheard of results for you and fellow participants. To deliver such results, and be able to honour the 100% money-back guarantee, a few rules are necessary:

  • Each attendee undertakes to make the Seminar Presenter immediately aware of any confusion or difficulty so that it can be fully handled at that time.
  • Any attendee who is unable to adhere to the full schedule and maintain punctuality creates a disruption to the rest of the attendees and will be refunded and asked to leave the Seminar.
  • Any attendee with a reading or hearing problem or who is physically challenged is requested to advise the Seminar Organizer so the best efforts can be made to accommodate that attendee.
  • Tape recording is not permitted as it creates a distraction and breaches copyright. Taking notes are welcomed but not essential as all information is in the Seminar manual.
  • No drugs or alcohol may be consumed during the weekend on which the Seminar is being held (attendees receiving prescription drugs under medical supervision are requested to advise the Seminar Organizer what drugs are being prescribed).
  • No smoking will be allowed during the Seminar but sufficient meal and rest breaks should ensure this is not a problem.
Can you recommend any music teachers?

We often get asked this question, particularly by graduates of the seminar with limited prior experience in music. They want someone to work with after the seminar who can support their progress and teach consistently with Duncan’s approach.

We have already referred people on a case-by-case basis, and we are now developing a list of “preferred music teachers” – music teachers who are graduates of the seminar-covering such varied instruments as piano, guitar, percussion, harp, and voice.


Understanding of Music Seminar

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

0450 510 822 (If overseas + 613 9870 6980)