Progressing Ear Training with the Right Books
Progressing Ear Training with the Right Books
Q: With both the Direct Application Ear Training and Key Note Recognition, as soon as you name the note then it is “obvious”. I don’t understand why. Also if I use my computer instead of iPod for Key Note Recognition, being able to see the correct name as the cadence is playing will make the correct answer instantly knowable to me. (I only did that as an experiment). The visual gives it away. I seemed to have reached a plateau with progressing ear training. What to do?
A: Thanks for getting back in touch. I’m a little puzzled by your email on progressing ear training. What it seems to be saying is one. Once you hear the answer you release it’s the right answer and two. If you play the exercise on a computer and purposely look at the answer that is embedded in the title you know the answer. My answer is “yes” people commonly say “oh yes that’s the correct answer” when they hear the correct answer and purposely looking at the answer will give you the answer and make the exercise, for progressing ear training, useless. Again I’m unsure what you are asking and why you are looking at the answer before you guess it. Please get back to me and clarify.
Q: I gave the two examples of experiments I did to get insight as to why I am not progressing ear training well. I don’t actually practice that way. I do the Direct Application Ear Training and Key Note Recognition the way that you say in the instructions.
It just seems like I hit a wall. I made gradual progress with Ear Training One Note and Contextual Ear Training; but not with Direct Application Ear Training and Key Note Recognition. I avoid trying to vocalize or any other crutch. I am at a loss. With KNR and DA, I rarely know what I’m hearing. Maybe I just am one of those that will need a few years of work. Any suggestions?
A: Where are you at with the Ear Training One Note and Contextual Ear Training?
A: OK so don’t worry about the really low and high notes with the Ear Training One Note Complete those will come over time. What I think is going on is you are very “Contextual” in your learning. In reality listening to the pitches on the Direct Application Ear Training and Key Note Recognition is no different. In both cases you are hearing the notes in relationship to a key center. But you like most students have a problem when the “context” is changed. What I would do is bite the bullet and mostly listen to the Direct Application Ear Training and Key Note Recognition and do the Ear Training One Note Advanced and Contextual Ear Training only once a day. You will probably find that your accuracy will start to fall a bit on the Ear Training One Note Complete and Contextual Ear Training but don’t worry about that right now we need to get you into a new context. I would also recommend starting to sing the “Blues” exercise on page 17 of the Fanatic’s Guide to Sight Singing and Ear Training. Again I’m trying to change up the context in which you do your singing so that you can get over this hump and start progressing ear training again.
Just so you know if took me one and 1/2 years to get through Ear Training One Note Complete. It then took me another year to get through Key Note Recognition. Wish I would have known back then that it was just that the “context” had changed and that it was normal for me to have problems. I just sat around beating myself up because I sucked. Don’t let that happen to you. The whole process you are going through is normal. You just need to keep the faith and continue on because everyone who stays with this ear training gets it and the rewards are massive.
I would also highly recommend you get started with the Scale Analysis course. The overall idea of this course is to teach you how this ear training works when you have a chord progressions. Basically Scale Analysis teaches you how you will hear the scales that go over a chord progression. There are two sides to this course. One is filling in the worksheets and the other is doing the ear training exercises that accompany the course. If you could get started filling in the worksheets now and in 6 months or so start the ear training exercises when you get better at the “one note” ear training that would be the best approach. I’d like you to do one worksheet a week which will take about 20 minutes to fill out. There are 36 worksheet to complete in the course so that will take 36 weeks or 9 months to complete. If you can get to the point that you intellectual understand how this ear training works it will help you see what you are working towards and you will also start processing chord/scale relationships in the right way.
Best thing is to stay in touch and let me know how it’s going even if it’s not changing check in and tell me how it’s going, what you are thinking etc. That will help me find paths for you that will speed up your progress.
It is also recommended that you read Bruce Arnold’s Blog at his artist site. It contains more discussion of the musical topics found in these FAQs as well as other subjects of interest. You will also find the “Music Education Genealogy Chart” located here which shows you the historic significance of the music education products found on the Muse Eek Publishing Company Website.