5 Ridiculously Simple Ways To Train Your Child’s Ear In The Homeschool
Have you ever been mezmemorized that some people can simply play whatever they hear on any instrument that is around them?
Have you ever wished that you could do the same?
Have you always hoped that your child will one day be able to play an instrument by ear?
Do you believe that people are born with the ability to play by ear and if you don’t have that ability from birth, then you can never acquire it later on in life?
If the answer to all of the above was a YES, then I’m very sorry to burst your bubble.
You are wrong.
100% absolutely, totally, incredibly WRONG.
Yes, it is myth and that’s all it is.
You don’t have to be born with an ear for music. Rather, you can develop your ear.
What is more, even if you have never learned music yourself, you can still develop your child’s musical ear in the homeschool and in this article I’m going to demystify it for you.
Learn Relative Pitch
While there is much talk about perfect pitch, when it comes down to playing a song back, what is important is relative pitch.
If you have a piano at home for instance you can play high and low notes teach your child how to identify them (high sounds happy and chirpy, low sound more angry).
Then you can move to playing two notes consecutively while your child is facing away from the piano, play the two notes in the same order again, name the first note and then ask your child to name the next note.
You can tell your child you are going to play Middle C and either D4 or E4. Play each of those notes and call out the name while your child’s back is turned to the wall.
Next, play Middle C, and call out the name, after that play E4 but do not call out the name.
Repeat by playing Middle C again, call it out, then play E but don’t call that out, now ask your child to name the second note.
You do this with different notes as your child becomes more proficient at recognising and naming the notes.
If you don’t know your way around the keyboard and would like to learn, then please, join my FREE Read Music Notes in Six Weeks Challenge Group right now and start learning for free.
Skip Ups, Skip Downs, Step Ups and Step Downs
Here, you need to play two adjoining notes consecutively for Step Ups and Step Downs. If the second note is higher than the first in sound, it is known as a Step Up and if it is lower then it is known as a Step Down.
In the case of Skip Ups and Skip Downs you don’t play two adjoining notes but you skip the adjoining note and play the one after that.
So instead of playing Middle C and then D4 (which is a Step Up), you play Middle C and then E4 – this will be a Skip Up, because E4 has a higher sound than Middle C.
Likewise you can also play Middle C and then A3 that is to its left, which will be a skip down, because A3, which is the left of Middle C is lower in sound than Middle C.
You can do this with any notes on the keyboard.
Skip Ups/Downs and Step Ups/Downs are all core components of the Teach Your Child Piano – 1 Year Curriculum and also the Learn Music Theory – Level 1 Curriculum and are considered by many renowned music development programs around the world as the best starting point for ear training.
Sing At The Correct Pitch
Singing is something we all do even those of us who think that we can’t sing do actually sing.
The problem is that we try to sing really difficult songs and get frustrated when we either can’t stay on pitch or just can’t get the tune right.
The ability to sing aids in learning a new instrument and developing our musical ear, if you are interested in knowing how this can be, then read my article on the 3 ‘Must Know’ Reasons Why Singing Is Important.
When attempting to sing, start with an easy song, a nursery rhyme or a simple gospel song.
Sing it at the correct pitch and teach your child to do the same.
By being able to stay in tune, and raising and lowering your voice at the correct time, your child and you can both develop your ear at the same time.
Practice Easy Songs
Most children are able to play at least one or two songs by ear. The problem is that we all try to play very difficult songs at the start and then simply give up when we can’t get it to sound right.
Always start with the easiest possible song so your child will have a quick win.
Try playing a song like Hot Cross Buns or Mary Had A Little Lamb. Start off by singing it first then try to play it on the piano while singing it.
If you can’t find the next accurate note, stop and sing that note and try to find it on the keyboard and continue.
The benefit of trying to play easy songs is also that they are often very short in length and can be mastered easily.
Clapping In Tune
You might wonder what clapping has to do with training your child’s ear in the homeschool. Well, clapping is very important and you can read all about the reasons why you should teach your child to clap, by clicking here.
When your child claps he learns to recognise a consistent beat and stick with it, playing all the correct notes are important when playing back a song that you hear, but sticking to the correct beat and having accurate rhythm is equally important.
This is why clapping is considered to be a very important component of ear training.
First clapping the beat and then recognising the difference between beat and the rhythm and clapping the rhythm will help to further enhance your child’s musical abilities.
Want to learn how to teach rhythm and beat in the homeschool? Then read my article about it by clicking here.
Now that you have read the entire article, pick one strategy that you can implement today and run with it, once you’ve done that and you see your child’s musical ear developing, pick another strategy and implement that.
Please comment below and let me know, which strategy you most enjoy and which one you hope to implement today and why?
Creator of the Teach Your Child Piano Series
Karen’s programs are grounded in her signature method the Transformational Five Framework, which ensures that all learners gain a solid foundation to help them master the art of playing piano.
It is Karen’s dearest wish that all children, irrespective of their background are able to experience the joy of music in their homeschool. And to this end, it is her vision to reach out to a million or more moms’/parents’ who have always dreamed of teaching their kids music, but couldn’t do so because they were not taught music as kids.