7 “Must Read” Reasons Why Your Child Needs To Read And Write Music
Over the years I have often heard many people say that if a child can play by ear, then that child does not need to read and write music.
I’ve even heard it being said that if a child can play by ear, learning to read and write music will only hamper the development of his ear and therefore he should not be taught to sight-read music and only be allowed to play by ear.
While the reasoning behind statements like that could be that when a child starts to read music he might not be as inclined to develop his ear, simply because a child can play by ear does not mean that he should be denied the right to read and write music.
I guess you’ve heard me say many times that my father has perfect pitch, but unlike my mom who received formal music training from a young age, my father was self taught when it came to playing different instruments.
While he was excellent at playing, he could never really share his own creations and arrangement because he couldn’t write music. Likewise, it was very difficult for him to play very complex pieces in a stylistic manner, because he was unable to read and decipher extremely complex sheet music that had so many different signs and symbols (which was beyond basic notation).
As you can see, while not all of us are blessed with perfect pitch, simply because a child seems to be able to play by ear does not mean that he should be given the resources and the tools necessary to read and write music. In fact it is very important that he is provided those tools from an early age as possible.
Here are 7 reasons that you simply cannot argue with about why a child needs to be taught to read and write music.
Reason No 1
From my own experience and watching my father and his struggles with mastering renowned classics, I believe that one of the most important reasons why a child should be taught to read music is because it would enable him to play even the most complex pieces with ease.
Reason No 2
Many of the greatest composers of all time could play music by ear from a very early age, yet they all learned to read and write music from a young age too. If all a child needs to be a great musician is to have an ear for music, then would the greats like Mozart have learned to read music? Also if the myth that reading and writing music would result in inhibiting the development of the musical ear in kids were true, how is it that composers, like Mozart and Beethoven were able to excel?
Reason No 3
Being able to read music enables the student to analyse great pieces. All great composers and anyone serious about learning music and creating their own music has analysed compositions and masterpieces, Mozart did it, Beethoven did it, Bach did it and numerous other great musicians from all genres and eras continue to do it. So if you want your child to excel at music and realize his full potential creatively, then learning to read and write music (beyond basic notation) is of paramount importance.
Reasons No 4
You know from the story that I related to you about my dad, who was amazingly talented but struggled to share his arrangements and creations, what a vital role the ability to write music plays. Imagine Mozart or Beethoven or even David Foster (someone closer to our time), only being able to play by ear and create music but being unable to write it down. Not only would it have been impossible for them to share their compositions with us, but they also would not have been able to bring together other musicians and orchestras to play their creations.
Yes, it is true that today we have an array of technology to help us write music, but unless your child has a strong foundation in music theory, composition and sight-reading, using technology alone will not help your child reach his full potential. While technology will continue to advance and become more intelligent, at least for the foreseeable future human creativity and solid technical knowledge of music is necessary to ensure that the technology is able to create and share the tunes running through your child’s head.
Reason No 5
The ability to read and write music is highly transferable and will help your child to quickly learn a variety of instruments that otherwise would take much longer if they all had to be mastered by ear or some other means.
Reason No 6
The ability to sight-read music will enable your child to improve his musicmanship skills at a faster pace and accelerate his/her learning.
Reason No 7
Last but not least, the ability to read and write music enables the child to engage all parts of the brain. It also engages children with all learning styles whether it is visual, auditory or kinaesthetic. When children are able to read and write music, they are able to see what they play, hear what they see, play what they hear and see, and they are also able to write what they hear and write what they play. Can you see how it all connects together to enhance their learning, enjoyment and mastery in the long run?
It is for all these reasons that all the Teach Your Child Piano courses include music theory and mastery of music notation, Italian terms, music symbols and much more, which taken as a whole will give your child a progressive understanding and knowledge of the technicalities of reading and writing music.
If your child has never learned to read music and you would love to introduce your child to music notation, then please join my FREE challenge where I teach you and your child to Read Music Notes in less than Six Weeks.
However, if your child can already read music and you are looking at advancing his/her knowledge further, then please take a look at my courses Learn Music Theory (which is focused exclusively on teaching music theory and is a wonderful supplement to any student learning to play any instrument) and Teach Your Child Piano – Level 1.