Learning to read music, sight reading, is important for any good piano player and singer. To be a professional as a vocalist or musician, it is almost a must to read music, but there are a some who do not. Developing a good ear is crucial for creativity and a lot of fun too! Personally, I think it’s important to develop both, playing by ear and reading music.

There are very creative people who play an instrument completely by ear and struggle reading the music. Sight reading seems to turn off their creative switch and block their path for growth. I think those who play by ear are just as talented as those who read music. Some musicians that read music seem to lack the creative flow. It’s important to try and develop both. Those who read music can snub their nose at those that just play by ear and that should not be the case. Both types of talent are equally valuable. I believe it is easier to learn how to read music and then develop playing by ear, but everyone is different.

Here are some tips to help develop a good musical ear. First, try to come up with some harmonies to a song while singing with an artist. Try singing a little higher or lower and blend with the singer. Another way to develop a good musical ear is trying to play a melody on the keyboard. Choose a song that you know really well and can sing. See if you can match the notes, even If you don’t play the piano, start in the middle of the piano and see if you can find the notes. This will really help you identify pitch, blends and so much more.

Here is another tip, learning to improvise. While improvising may seem scary, particularly if you feel you barely know how to play or sing, consider that improvising is how every child learns to speak their native language. Just as a toddler learns to speak syllable by syllable and word by word; putting together groups of notes in scale and chord patterns helps you learn the building blocks of music. Even better, improvising can be freeing and fun. So, if you are at the piano, play every other note and see how they blend together.

Joke for the day: Why did the grandma sit in the rocking chair with her roller blades on? Because she wanted to rock and roll

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