Q: I understand your approach to ear training and I believe it will work in my case. For example, I could never figure out how to superimpose the sound of a minor 3rd when trying to sing from a 3rd degree to a 5th degree in a key. I just knew the sound of the 5th degree and sang it regardless of what note I was coming from. Of course I always thought this approach must be wrong (i.e. not using the sound of the interval) and tried to resist it. Now that you've given me the okay to do it this way, my sight-singing has DRASTICALLY improved (in only a few short weeks).
Anyway, my question is at what point in this process will I begin to hear and understand (immediately) short melodies. After all, that is what the music is all about and what I'm ultimately trying to reproduce (either by singing or playing my instrument)?
A: The ability to apply this ear training method in "real life" varies for each person. For me it took about 6 months before I started to hear a few notes here and there. These were usually over a drone and at a very slow tempo. Of course this all depends on how quickly you develop with this ear training. I was very slow but then again, I've had many students get "one note" ear training in 2 weeks--then they start to apply it right away-- much quicker than my 6 months. To get a more drastic perspective, other students with a real weakness can take 4 years to just get "one note" ear training. Of course to some people that seems like "forever." But, I can tell you that all these students experience a profound difference in their musicianship after they start to hear correctly. They not only can hear what notes are played but they play so much more musically, that there is no comparison.
I've also noticed that some students can get "one note" ear training on the CDs OK but it takes them much longer to apply this to real life playing situations. I believe a lot of this depends on whether a person tries to apply it, or whether they compartmentalize the exercises into an isolated academic study. Again, for some musicians it takes time for them to integrate this new ear training technique into their everyday interaction with music.
From your description of how your are singing the notes, it sounds like you are on the right track. I hope you are working with both a "one note" book and the Fanatic's Guide to Ear Training and Sight Sining or Contextual Ear Training audio files. By doing both singing and listening exercises you will improve at the fastest rate.
Once you are getting around 50% correct answers with the Ear Training One Note Complete method it’s time to diversify your listening repertoire. You must apply this ear training to "real music" situations to get the most out of the method.