LFP 058 | Trick For Developing Your Ear Even if You Don’t Have One

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LFP 058 | Trick For Developing Your Ear Even if You Don't Have One

Learn Flute Podcast SHOW NOTES:

In this episode, you will learn a trick for developing your ear even if you don’t have one.

This is the Learn Flute Podcast Episode 058.


You’ll learn:

What this podcast will be all about

  • Information on this podcast is supplemental to LearnFluteOnline.com
  • What you can do to develop your ear
  • A personal story from one of Rebecca’s sons
  • A sweet testimonial from a fellow flute student
  • What you can look forward to learning from listening

Learn Flute Podcast 058

Press the Play Button to Listen Now:

This is the Learn Flute Podcast. I’m Rebecca Fuller, your host and the expert instructor at the Learn Flute Online lesson programs. I’m excited to help you even further with your development into learning how to play the flute. It’s exciting, it’s fun, and another new subject starts today- which is that we’re going to talk about a trick for developing your ear even if you don’t have one.

Today we get to talk about a fun subject which all centers around your ear. Now, what do I mean by your ear? Well, this is what I mean… have you even seen someone pick up an instrument and just play – without even setting out sheet music or having something totally memorized? It’s kind of incredible looking and slightly mysterious to you, right? If you have no clue how they do it, you’re going to love this episode today because I’m going to give you a trick for developing your ear even if you yourself don’t have one.

Most people weren’t born with the ability to just pop out a melody or match chords. That’s the truth, so if you’re worrying that you were just not born with some musical gift – don’t worry for one second longer because it’s pretty learn-able. Is that a word? Haha, learn-able. We’ve heard of being teach-able, so why not be learn-able?

Anyway, back way way many years ago, I met my first musician who played by ear. I honestly thought it was a magic trick they were playing on me. And, I wanted to know how it was done! I’ll admit that I really wasn’t a total loss as far as playing without music, but there definitely is something about a person who just can make it up on the fly.

I’d love to give a whole documentary here on the art of playing by ear, but today we’ll just talk about one thing you can do on a consistent basis that will eventually help you acquire the skill to play by ear. Sound good? Great – let’s see what it is:

Alrighty, what I’m going to tell you here today in this episode, might not sound like earth shattering news to you- but it probably is one of the biggest items that needs to be on your to-do list in order to learn to play by ear, and that is- to expose yourself repeatedly to the same melodies. What I mean by that is that you need to become pretty super familiar with music by listening over and over and over again.

Probably doesn’t sound too tricky, does it? Well, it works. In fact, it’s a human-phenomenon that it takes only eight to ten exposures to a radio commercial for a person to be able to sing along. That’s it. Eight to ten.

Think about it – when’s the last time you heard an ad that was maybe advertising for a service or location and then they gave you the phone number at the end? The first time you heard it, you probably didn’t even try to remember the number because it was just too unfamiliar, right?

But, if the station you listen to plays the same ad over and over and over for a three week period of time, not only do you get kind of tired of the same jingle or information being presented, but you can start talking along verbatim while the ad is playing. Repetition is an obvious precursor to memorization. It’s true. So, what is the difference between memorization and playing by ear?

That’s a really great question- let me answer it by taking you on a little journey of one of my sons. Now, please don’t think that just because he’s my son that he was born with some amazing gift that made it so that all of the instruments he touches are immediately playable and awesome. He’s a great regular human just like you with perhaps one difference- he has me as his mother. And, I know the power of repetition.

So, from a very young age, basically from birth, I had music playing in our home- pretty much constantly. In fact, I made sure he fell asleep with music running and everything, everyday. When we practiced our music lessons, we played repetition games, and pretty soon my son began to speak the language of music. And, throughout the process I took him through he was able (within a few years of daily practice) to listen to an entire concerto, glance at the music once or twice, and then he could play it verbatim afterwards.  I hope you believe me because it’s true, and it’s really really cool.

Now, along with these mentioned abilities, he then could pick up his flute and play anything he could imagine in his mind. He composed a few pieces, won some awards, and pretty much felt great about his abilities.

So, is this the same as playing by ear? You betcha it is. And, the ability came from listening, practicing and repetition.

Let’s get a testimonial today from one of my students, shall we? I love hearing from all of you, and it’s especially a great day when I get to hear about your successes as well!

Today we hear from Carlos, who has been one of my great students here at Learn Flute Online. He is commenting on a previous podcast where I encourage you students to find a group to play and practice with if possible. He says, “I wanted to say” thank you!” for giving your students a nudge to take that step. I can’t wait to see my community and the faces when I play, I hope to inspire them as well. Thank you again. Carlos”

A definite thank you for sending this to me- I really mean the best for all of you. Our goal is to turn this hobby of playing the flute into a life-long skill that you can realize is helping you all across the board.

So great!

I can’t wait to see YOU inside a lesson this week. If you have questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you. The best place is inside the comment section because then we keep the same subjects threaded together. We can all join in!

Thanks for listening – bye now!


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I hope you’ve enjoyed learning all about the flute and learn a trick for developing your ear even if you don’t have one. Join us for the next episode.

Have any questions? Comment below and I will help you out.

Rebecca FullerRebecca Fuller
Get Flutie with us! Learn and enjoy every musical minute.

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