Q: What is your recommendation for combining the Ear Training One Note Complete and Fanatic's Guide to Ear Training and Sight Singing aural exercises? Do you alternate lessons from each book daily or do you have another method that will maximize results? Thanks for your time and I am looking forward to hearing better.
A: Thanks for contacting me. I'm glad you have both the Fanatic's Guide to Ear Training and Sight Singing and the Ear Training One Note Complete Book. Working on both singing and listening is very important to fast progress. One of the key ingredients to improving at the fastest pace with this method is to practice several times throughout the day, as opposed to one long session. 15-20 twenty minute intervals would be ideal. During this practice time you should work in both books by listening to the CD for the Ear Training One Note Complete Book and then doing some of the singing exercises out of the Fanatic's Guide to Ear Training and Sight Singing. Make sure you always use the Fanatic's Guide to Ear Training and Sight Singing CD with any exercise you sing. I should also mention that you could use the Contextual Ear Training Book as an alternative to Fanatic's Guide to Ear Training and Sight Singing for learning the "one note" singing exercise. Contextual Ear Training audio files give you the answer as opposed to having to play it on your instrument and the audio files use both a major and minor cadence. In either case it is important to always hear your voice in relation to a key center.
Another big issue is your understanding of what you are trying to do inside your head with this ear training and how you deal with your own preconceptions and old habits. These questions are usually dealt with by me in a private lesson over a period of time. In this case we don't have that luxury. To deal with this problem I have written a 10 page article that is free for you because you own a muse-eek book. You can find this article in the "member's area" of the muse-eek.com website. This article will give you much more information on how to approach each book and the hows and whys of organizing your practice time. I think you would greatly benefit from reading this information before you embark on this ear training method. It may also create some more specific questions relating to your take on the process. Remember you are trying to reprogram the way you hear music. If you start to think about that it's a pretty massive task. Luckily this method will do this for you BUT you need to be fully involved in monitoring and analyzing your practice habits and your perception of sound.
It is important that you read the FAQs under all the ear training books on the muse-eek.com website. In theory this ear training method is simple, yet once your mind starts to process sound and you are in the middle of practicing you'd be surprised how many different right and wrong perceptions students have of what is the "right thing to do." Let me know if you have any more questions and I wish you good luck with your progress.