Learn Flute Podcast SHOW NOTES:
In this episode, you will learn all about the magic of an earworm for the flutist including how to find it.
This is the Learn Flute Podcast Episode 085.
What this podcast will be all about
- Information on this podcast is supplemental to LearnFluteOnline.com
- What an earworm is
- What the magic of an earworm is for the flutist
- A success story from a fellow flute student
- What you can look forward to learning from listening
Learn Flute Podcast 085
Press the Play Button to Listen Now:
Have you ever heard a song on the radio while browsing through a grocery store, and then had it stick in your head for literally the rest of the day? It’s podcast number eighty five, and this is the magic of an earworm for the flutist. Take it away!
Well, hello hello I’m Rebecca Fuller, the expert and instructor of the Learn Flute Online programs, where people like you can come and learn in a super easy to understand, accessible format, in the comfort of your own home and on your own schedule. It’s pure flute education, and today is going to be great! As you heard in the introduction, we’re going to be talking about the magic of an earworm for a flutist.. Kind of weird and kinda cool sounding at the same time, right? Haha let’s get started!
For those of you wondering what exactly is an earworm, it’s that little snippet of a tune or song that just seems to get stuck on replay in your mind. It goes over and over and over all day long, and many times you can never seem to get past that phrase.. It’s like it never finishes. Know what I’m talking about? Ya, I bet you do.
At first, we hear something like this and we either consciously or unconsciously recognize the melody (sometimes with lyrics or not), we either love it or hate it, and it goes round and round and round in our ‘ear’ we say like a little worm.
The funny thing about these little critters is that we can’t escape the reality that we actually are learning the music. Psychologists think these things get cemented into our mind just by the mere exposure effect of it. It’s been heard and replayed so many times it can’t be ignored or unlearned.
Another reason these snips of melody stay with us forever is because music has an emotional effect on humans. I think we’ve talked about that before in one of these podcasts. And, it’s true! It’s wired into either our DNA or our spirit, or both, or something. But, the reality is that when we hear music, something happens emotionally to us – whether negative or positive. It doesn’t matter. It’s there.
Once we’ve heard or thought of something a large number of times, our minds are wired for something cool. This is where the magic comes in. We start to be able to actually anticipate what is coming up. Meaning, we can subconsciously ‘hear’ the next note before it happens.
Have you ever stopped to think about this? It’s soooo cool. And, it’s high level stuff.
Did you know that it’s a fact that we humans tend to gravitate towards and find favor in sounds or musical patterns we’ve heard before? Think about it. Pop radio is full of the same three or four chord changes. This means it’s music composed for the simple-minded. Now, no offense needs to be taken here because it’ kind of neat to think that our species is taking certain musical patterns and teaching it to the masses through repetition.. They flock to it like bees to honey.
There’s actually a reason this happens. (I’m kind of geeking out philosophically right now haha). Hang with me. The reason we are so attracted to familiar musical phrases is that our mind has heard it enough times that we don’t have to even process the main melody anymore. Basically, we can go brain dead and just enjoy. Or it leaves room for us to focus on new sounds within the music, like the drum pattern or the symphonic sounds behind the melody for example.
So what does this mean for us as a learning musician? Especially on the flute? Well, it means awesomeness. That’s what it means.
Haha, let me explain. The flute is a melody instrument for the most part, meaning it can only play one note at a time so it’s used to play either melodies or one note harmonies only. We can’t play chords, and the flute is not traditionally used to be the beat. So, once our minds hear a melodious earworm enough times, we’ve got it! It starts to ingrain in our minds which will translate to our bodies like a magic trick.
Remember when I said a minute ago that once we hear a series of notes enough times that we start to be able to unconsciously or even consciously anticipate what is coming next? Yes Yes. When we are a flutist, not only can we hear what’s coming next, suddenly our fingers know where they are going – before we tell them to go there. So, so cool.
This happens to the flutists who practice plenty, and are especially great at getting and keeping their scales up to par. We start to just ‘know’ where to go.
Some people call this playing by ear, but it’s much more than that. It’s like a sixth sense or flute-intuition. And, it’s a beautiful day when it starts to happen for you.
How can you accomplish this yourself? Easy! Put the music you’re learning on repeat. And I mean repeat. Let it go throughout the house for days. Put it on low so you don’t drive yourself crazy, but this is how you do it
Being able to play the flute without looking at sheet music or taking a lot of mental space to figure it out is the goal for many. Try it, you’ll like it!
I have a fun story to share with you. I received this from Pamela who is one of my premium Learn Flute Online members. I think she won’t mind me sharing because it’s so great!
She says, “Hi Rebecca, I wanted to share my flute success story with you. I’m still new to playing the flute, it’s only been a little over two years since I started lessons at Learn Flute Online. Although I haven’t completed the Intermediate modules yet, I felt confident enough to join a newly formed community band in January. We performed our first concert in May! A local paper published an article about the band this past week, since we’re still growing and need more members.
I’ve noticed that some of the pieces I used struggle with have become easier both with advancing through the online modules, lots of practice, and being in the band. Attached is a photo from the newspaper article. I was able to accomplish joining the band and making the flute skills advancement I have because of your online lessons and great teaching style. Thank you, Rebecca!!!”
Oh, I do love this. And I’m wondering what’s your success story? Leave it in the comment section for us all to read and enjoy.
Here’s a Ted Talk that I really love all about why we love repetition in music.
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I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the magic of an earworm for the flutist. Join us for the next episode.