What Is Ear Training And Why Should Your Child Do It?

What Is Ear Training And Why Should Your Child Do It?

Ear-Training - What Is It And Why Is It So Important?

Guitar Lessons for kids in London Ear Training Importance
  •   Improving your child’s musical imagination

  •   Improving your child’s ear-hand coordination

  •   For your child to hear what they play before they play it

  •   Never forgetting a song ever again!

Who Should Do Ear Training?

If your child is just starting to play guitar and learning their first few chords and melodies, then it is probably a little early for them to start ear-training.

If they have been playing at least a few months, and have a handle on the basic chords and can play some melodies or scales, or if they are more advanced than that – then ear-training is an essential element to add to their practice routine.

Improving your child’s musical imagination

What ear-training does, is it allows your child to HEAR music in their head more vividly. When they can image themselves playing a riff in their heads, they will hear the notes in their minds-ear a LOT more clearly after working on ear training.

It will get to the point where they will be able to hear a piece of music and then know where the notes are on the guitar fretboard!

Improving your child’s ear-hand coordination

Ear-hand coordination is the ability to hear a melody and play it on their instrument, or to play a melody and then be able to hear which scale tones they are playing.

This is NOT to be confused with Perfect Pitch, or Absolute Pitch – the ability to remember perfectly and recognise the sound of each note; if they have this ability, when someone plays a C on the piano, they know straight away that it’s a C. Same for an F#, or a B, or any other note.

Scientists say that this is an ability which everyone is born with, but if it’s not developed very early on, even by the time your child is 1 year old, the brain has already lost the capability to fully develop it. But don’t worry! That doesn’t make any difference for most musicians.

Many (perhaps even most) of the greatest musicians in history did NOT have perfect pitch – they had very good relative pitch. Which is another way of saying they had very good ear-hand coordination.  

Your child hearing the music BEFORE they play it

When your child plays something on the spot and makes it up, they may be thinking about what chords they should be playing.
If they are thinking about any of these things, this is okay in the beginning. Longer term, it is necessary to go through a phase where you have a lot of things to remember and consolidate.

Just like when you learned to drive, at first it was difficult because you had to think about when to press the clutch, when to hit the break and when to hit to press the accelerator.

After lots of practice, your child doesn’t have to think about this anymore, like you were able to think about where you want to drive to, and your feet and hands automatically do what they need to do to get you there.

That’s what needs to happen eventually when your child is improvising; they will think broadly about what they want to play, and then be able to focus on the emotions, accents and groove that makes music so beautiful.

Your child will hear it in their heads AS they are playing, and the notes will be played by their fingers instantly. They might not play EXACTLY what they hear, but even if they get around 60 or 70% of the music they hear in their head out of the guitar, they are doing great!

Never forget a song ever again!

If your child train their ears well, they will find they can remember songs once they are properly learned. It is MUCH easier to remember a melody than a really long string of numbers (as in fret numbers) or letters (as in note-names).

You can probably still remember songs you heard when you were a child. Ear training helps your child learn songs quicker and retain them longer.

About The Author

Find a great guitar teacher in your area to help your child learn ear training and learn guitar too. If you are in Dublin, Ireland check out the best guitar lessons in Dublin.