Learning how to read music as an auditory learner can be quite a tricky situation.
What is an auditory learner and how to do you tell if you or your child is one?
Some indicators of an auditory learner are:
- talking aloud
- having difficulty following written directions
- memorizng by saying things aloud
- being distracted by background noise
- explaining things aloud
Many parents will enroll their child in music lessons because they’re auditory learners, thinking that music is auditory and therefore their child will learn it better.
This is not the case.
While a child may learn to play music well, he or she will have difficulties reading music.
Recently, I disovered that all of the students I teach are auditory learners. As a visual learner, it was difficult for me to understand where they were coming from. I would get frustrated when they chose to only rely on the sound and not the notes.
In December I hosted a piano recital for my three students. During the recital, I had a family member record each of their performances, plus a segment where I played.
At their lesson the following week, I provided each student with a DVD of the recital. For ‘homework’ they were asked to watch the DVD and write down three things they could improve on and three things they noticed about someone else’s performance (either something they did well or could improve on).
The results were amazing.
I realized that all three of them were able to pick out the mistakes they made just by hearing themselves play.
This is a brilliant technique not only because it gets the students to identify the causes of their mistakes, but it adapts to their auditory learning style.
Here is what they made note of:
- Play more fluently
- Don’t pause so long between mistakes
- Try to look at your hands less and the notes more
- Trust your instincts
- Be confident when you play
- Sit up straight
Now it’s your turn! Here’s the clip of the song I played for my students. What things do I do well? What could I improve on? (Even a piano player who’s been playing for years and years has room for improvement.)
What suggestions do you have for teaching to auditory learners? Leave a comment–I’d love to hear your methods!