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