Music Theory

Learning to read sheet music (dots on lines) is a form of literacy I never quite managed to acquire and always wanted.  As a child, I could learn a tune by ear but was discouraged from learning music from that starting point by a teacher who insisted that I learn to name the dots on the page and then learn to play the dots after I knew their names.  It didn’t work for me at all.

My brain is hardwired oddly and I struggle with names. For example: I recognize my friends from the way they move and gesture; I can recognize faces if I stare long enough.  I don’t use faces because staring at people is rude.  That leaves movement. I link a person’s name to personality traits and to how they walk, gesture, stand, sit, etc. I LOVE how my husband moves because I can pick him out of a group and make a beeline to him anytime!

Recently I have begun to change my approach to learning music from books. Instead of the total frustration of attempting to force my brain to link a dot and a name together and only then add playing the note, I am going to concentrate on hearing the notes and linking the image of the dot on the paper to the note I am physically playing.  Physically play the notes, add image to tone, then turn that around to expressing the dot I see as a played note.   I must begin by ear.  Later I can link the dot to the name of the note it represents.

I am working on unit 1 in my book and CD Learning to Play Mountain Ocarinas.  I am playing the songs easily and beginning to put the tone and the dot on the page together in my mind. Letting my ear and visual memory work together

Dear Lord, thank You for the insight into how my mind works and where I have always gone wrong in the past when attempting to learn to read music.  Please help me to learn to play my ocarina and my autoharp skillfully with or without sheet music.  Thank You for the opportunity to add music to my life. Amen.



Music Theory — 3 Comments

  1. I hope your new approach allows you an easier time learning! 🙂 Along the lines of not recognizing people by their faces, do you think you are slightly face blind? I’ve been studying face blindness lately, it’s very interesting!

    • I don’t think so, it is more that I am very nearsighted and cannot see faces until they get up close and it is impolite to stare, and I am shy of being seen to stare; so in the end I avoid using faces to recognize people.

      That and I have ALWAYS struggled to learn names.

      • Gotcha. I’m headed to that level of nearsightedness myself :/ I am getting contacts again to try and make it a little better, but I doubt it will help much.