Clarinet:  Clarinet Teacher: Newburgh, Fife & Perthshire

Soprano Sax: Saxophone lessons: Newburgh, Fife & Perthshire Mandolin: Music lessons: Newburgh, Fife & Perthshire

5 string bass machine head: Bass lessons: Newburgh, Fife & Perthshire Flute: Flute lessons: Newburgh, Fife & Perthshire

Music for Dyslexic people. Suzuki method

All private & workshop tuition by James J Ford is based on the Suzuki movements ideas

Playing it by ear: Music without the paperwork.

For millions of years, people have been playing music by ear. We would have learned it in the same way we still learn our first language, by listening & imitating. Something spotted by Shin'ichi Suzuki around 1946. Those around 6 years of age are truly brilliant at it.

Yet today 6 year olds are given a book of dots to 'read' along with their first instrument. Today, teaching using music notation has completely taken over for those at this magical age ensuring the slow death of this natural talent.. By neglecting this most natural of skills, one fails to develop something we're all born to enjoy, but something that is critical for developement in those for whom sheet music is particularly difficult.

Playing music by ear is a wonderful skill for anyone, but particularly helpful for those with a learning difficulty. It removes an interface & brings one in direct contact with the subject. Although everyone can play by ear, children are particularly brilliant & should be given the option early on to learn this way. For many, the decision to impose notation will lead to them failing at music.

People with dyslexia have an advantage. Since they more likely to be comfortable playing exclusively by ear, they are more likely to benefit from ‘total emersion' in this activity & become truly brilliant at it.

When someone learns an instrument purely by ear, progress is fast as they don't have to learn notation. Students are able to choose which music is learned at the lesson & can generally play a rif, melody line, or chord sequence to their choice by the end of their first lesson. Quick results feed enthusiasm. On-line duke boxes today make this even easier.

Playing by ear is as skilful as its paper equivalent & ‘Ear' players should be given equal respect. Our musical masters were all naturally good readers to succeed and most treat those who choose not to read as second class citizens. For them, reading was easy & makes perfect sense.

Since most youngsters want most to join a band, where reading is not generally an asset there really is no need to insist on notation. Notation is a useful tool & it can be introduced at any time. Many will have no problem using it. Those who dislike it, however, will already be able to play their instrument so it this difficulty will not be a problem.

If you learn & play your instrument by ear, you can:

  • Teach yourself to play any tune you like, at will, in any key.
  • Be able to play along to your favourite recorded music: something which makes ‘practice' serious fun.
  • Join & harmonise with other musicians with little or no preparation.
  • Find chords & rhythms instinctively
  • Develop improvisation skills

Great readers are skilled at accurately interpreting someone else's musical ideas. Great ear based players are skilled at playing accurately what they hear, but also free to add their own interpretation & make the music their own where they feel that is appropriate.

Those who discover how easy things are when you approach music purely by listening & imitating are in a secret club. They know it's no big deal whilst other find it baffling.

If one has the confidence to believe one can play by ear, one has the opportunity to eclipse the confidence of those who can only read.

James J Ford

Shin'ichi Suzuki look .. no music!

Fish eye type shot of acoustic guitar: Guitar lessons: Newburgh, Fife & Perthshire Banjo: Music lessons: Newburgh, FifeKeyboard: Piano teacher: Newburgh, Fife & PerthSoprano Sax: Sax lessons: Newburgh, Fife & Perthshire Dave playing Soprano Sax: Learn your Sax by Ear with Dave...www.Jamesjford.co.uk

Soprano Sax: Saxaphone lessons: Newburgh, Fife & Perthshire Bass: Bass lessons: Newburgh, Fife & Perthshire

Weavers Hall, Bank Close, Newburgh, Fife
KY14 6EG

email: james

mobile: 07970 744986
landline:01337 842434

Dave J Ford peering through  ice sculpture