Language – You Speak Before You Read

You Talk Before You Can Read
You Talk Before You Can Read

I was talking to a friend recently, and I had an interesting perspective on teaching my kids to play music. I was lamenting that I wanted them to be able to read music as well as play music by ear. He said something that stuck with me all weekend long. He simply said, “Don’t worry about them reading music. How long did it take you before you learned to read English? – You Talk Before You Can Read!”

WOW! It’s so true. In 99.999 percent of the time children learn to speak before they can read. The reading comes at different times, but most start the reading process when they get to school. This is something that I never really thought about. It will change the way that I approach teaching young people to learn to play.

Take a look at this video featuring jazz legend, Bassist Jaco Pastorius, as he gave a lesson on the bass guitar. He talks about his philosophy on playing and how he learned to read music long after he had learned to play by ear.

So pick up your instrument, no matter what it is. Have Fun and continue to Play It By Ear

4 thoughts on “Language – You Speak Before You Read”

  1. David your children are musicians no matter what. Interestingly enough or oldest Luke could read music before reading words. He truly enjoys piano and always has. He began asking to play at 3. And you know, edward and i are no musicians. But we put him in a program called Sammy snail that taught him to read music through play. He is 13 now and still craves the challenge of music… Reading music. He’s not much of an improvisor but I would say he’s a musician. Isn’t it lovely that God has created our minds to all work differently?

    1. Jennifer, Of course Luke is a musician. I wasn’t trying to say that he wasn’t. I was trying to find a way to balance reading music and playing by ear and teaching it to them. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this…

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