Q: I am wondering how your ear training/sight singing course would work with children and young teens. I teach piano from beginning to advanced levels, and it seems your concepts would greatly benefit students who have not yet formed "bad habits" of listening, such as those promoted by so many conservatory curricula and contemporary method books which emphasize interval recognition. Are you aware of teachers using your materials? Do you think children would respond well, and if so, how would you recommend delivering this course to them?
A: I've had reports from parents that have used both the Ear Training One Note Complete and the Fanatic's Guide to Ear Training and Sight Singing with kids as young as 7 years old. They have found that these young people do VERY well with the ear training. For the very young it's best if you are doing the ear training with them because then it's more like a game to them than work. One problem that will crop up as you get past the Ear Training One Note Complete and start working on Key Note Recognition is the music theory involved in calculating the right answer. For instance, if the student hears the 5th of Gb, he or she needs to know what the 5th of Gb is in order to give the correct answer. You could have them just do recognition based on degree. In other words they would answer the 5th rather than Db. That would temporarily get around the music theory problem, but, in order for them to play the Db on their instrument, they would need to know the music theory part. You could also just stick to C major for a very long time. I'd also recommend using the Interval Recognition MP3s or the Music Theory Workbooks to help develop music theory knowledge