• Michelle Ostrove


Learning to read music is important for any good piano player and singer, but developing a good musical ear is just as important and can be a lot of fun. Learning to play by ear is a very helpful skill to create new idea and can improve technique. This is an added bonus to learning how to read music notation and music theory.

Developing your musical ear is crucial for the creative process. Singers are taught from the very beginning to use their ears for pitch, note correction, timing and much more. One of the arguments is that playing by ear is just imitation, but really it just using your instincts and your ears to create. The problem is you might not know if you are doing it wrong, reinforcing bad habits which will take more time to correct.

Personally, I think it’s important for every musician and singer to learn how to sight read music and develop a strong music ear. How do you develop your musical ear? Listen to a melody and then try to find the notes on the piano. To make it more challenging, listen to the chords being played on a karaoke track and try and figure out which chords are being played. Playing piano by ear is the special ability to produce a piece of music you have heard without looking at any type of sheet music. As a musician your ears are one of the most important assets that you possess.

Good singers use their ears as much as they use their voice. The ears are the vocalists “tool,” helping them to sound better. A vocalist will use their ears to check pitch, adjust tone and check volume balance. For a vocal challenge, listen to a new song, play the first verse and then mimic what you have heard. Do the same thing with the chorus. Now, try to find some harmonizing notes to sing in the chorus. To start you can sing whatever background vocals you hear. As you get better at it, make up some background vocals with a song that has none. These types of music games can be fun. Create a game called “play along” where you randomly find some chords that sound good and hum a tune as you play them. This is a great way to get those creative juices flowing.


Why was the musician arrested? Because he got in treble

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