If I understand correctly, there are two very different components to music
learning: traditional note-by-note and "technical" learning, and a right
brain "play by ear" kind of process. I read a number of years ago of a
musician who was fortunate enough to be able to do both. When he suffered
a left brain stroke, he lost all his technical knowledge and could no longer
even read music, but was still able to play by ear.
Perhaps if our music classes engaged students first in the creative and
personal "response to feeling" end of music--and then gave them the
technical skills to refine that "by ear" creating process, more students
would find music classes fulfilling. Our oldest son had a very traditional,
by the book, piano teacher. He fought with her for three years. In the
meantime he used the organ to learn in his own experimental style, and went
on to compose for flute, synthesizer etc.
I would be interested to hear of right brain techniques being used to teach
music "by ear"...
Lily Kerns (CWKerns)
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