Ear Training Blog by Bruce Arnold for Muse Eek Publishing Inc. Key Retention

Ups and Downs of Ear Training

Ups and Downs of Ear Training

I get contacted by musicians everyday with various stories of their troubles with ear training. Many customers are not young folks. For me I started ear training serious when I was in my early 30’s after many years of do interval training. I can tell you that re-educating your ear is much harder than starting off with a fresh plate. That said, it can be done, but takes patience, understanding and determination.

There will be many steps along the way to get yourself hearing correctly and many of you have made the correct choices by starting with the Ear Training One Complete and Contextual Ear Training courses. One of the first things you learn with this ear training is how you remember things. If it was imperative that you remember a 16 digit number you wouldn’t just practice learning it for a few minutes and then assume you have it memorized. You would think of it all day maybe even wake up in the middle of the night to see if you remembered it. This is how you need to approach the ear training and why I recommend working on the ear training in 5 to 10 minute sessions as many times as you can throughout the day. Many of the best musicians are compulsive in that they are obsessed with learning various aspects of music.

On the other hand most aspiring ear training students have a life where practicing 10 hours a day isn’t possible. But thanks to the way I’ve built many of my ear training courses you can do this ear training anywhere with a mobile device. If you are a person who can’t find a lot of free time during the day, then slowly start to increase the time you practice ear training each day. Think of it like training for a marathon. You wouldn’t go out and run 28 miles the first day. So do the same thing applies to the ear training. Slowly build up a regimen that you can maintain every day.

Also for students coming to this ear training late there will be many common problems. Here are a few of the ups and downs of ear training:

  • Students have problems hearing in a minor key
  • They are used to thinking intervals, so they compare the last note they heard in the one note ear training to the next note they hear. The is not the right approach and runs counter to what you need to do.
  • Students can’t maintain a key center in their mind for more than a few seconds at best
  • Older student figure that because of their age they won’t be able to learn new things.

Ups and Downs of Ear Training Can Be Fixed

All of this can be fixed. Some of it through targeted exercises some of it through changing the way you think about yourself.

Overall you need to believe in yourself, If you can make these changes and have the patience to work through the tough spots that will inevitably show up, I guarantee it. For instance, I had problems with hearing “b6” when doing the one note ear training. After about six months of my teacher refusing to move me to the next level because of this problem, I practiced hearing “b6” ten hours a day for 3 weeks. I used many of the ideas presented in courses like:

I’m not saying that every student will need all of these books but for me it took all of those types of exercises to break through a tough patch with ear training. These courses were created by me because I’ve found that many problems that ear training students have can be solved by these exercises— I wish I had had them when I was just starting out.

So the best thing to do is stay in touch with me as you work through the process. Take notes about what seems to be happening, what habits you are developing, what is going on in your mind as you do the ear training etc… In the long run ear training should become a natural process where you just know what you are hearing, just like when someone says something to you and you know what they said. You don’t have to ponder this, you just know intrinsically. That has to happen if this ear training is going to make any sense to use in the real world with real music.

Bruce Arnold Music Education Genealogy Chart

You might enjoy checking out the “Music Education Genealogy Chart” located on my artist’s site. You will clearly see the historic progression of pedagogy that is the basis for Muse Eek Publishing Products. Great musicians throughout history have been studying the ideas presented by Muse-eek.com which derives its content from a lineage that stretches back to Scarlatti!

Bruce-Arnold-Guitar-Flutterby-3-Bruce-Arnold-Ear-Training-Blog-Muse-Eek-Publishing-Inc.-Keeping a Positive Attitude when practicing music Key Based Ear Training Vs. Interval Training Ups and Downs of Ear Training

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About Muse Eek

Muse-Eek Publishing Company is a publishing house with a broad focus on music education. Muse-Eek also publishes fine art and poetry books, and has its own record label, Muse-Eek Records. Our online presence, Muse-Eek.com specializes in the publication of music workbooks, video courses and sound and video recordings that teach the foundation of good musicianship through groundbreaking and innovative methods along with traditional methods that have been taught for centuries. These historic methods date back through centuries of great musicians and educators. To see these interesting relationship please see Bruce Arnold's Music Education Genealogy Chart which tells you a lot about the where many of his educational ideas took root and some of the educational pillars that are evident throughout the books you find on this website. The Muse-Eek Records catalogue contains a diverse selection of music much of it by Bruce Arnold in collaboration with some of today's best players in classical, jazz, rock and avant-garde music. These are available in CD, DVD and mp3 formats. We believe in a working relationship with our music education customers; they are free to interact with the author after purchasing a book to help them through any material they don’t understand or which they need further clarification. We also have a member's area which contains a wealth of free information to help a student understand music at a deeper level and access additional files for our books. Many of our books offer cutting edge ideas regarding ear training, guitar technique, rhythm and time. These methods have a proven track record. Our main author Bruce Arnold has taught at some of the most prestigious music schools in the world, including Princeton, Dartmouth, Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory, The New School and NYU. Along with Mr. Arnold's publications on the Muse-eek.com website he has also written books and appeared in educational DVDs for MelBay and Truefire. Over the years Mr Arnold has used his experiences with his students to develop a program that can elevate a musician's ability to world class caliber. If you have questions about any of our books or recordings please send us an email. Along with general questions about either our record label or our publishing company we also welcome questions to help a student choose the proper materials to reach their goals. We have over 300 products to help you learn any style of music and to develop your musicianship to its peak. We also make recommendations for practice schedules for students who use our methods to get the most out of their study time. This, along with personal interaction with Bruce through email, nurtures the student's ability through a closely monitored situation, ensuring there is no wasted time or misunderstanding.