Often, when we’re learning music in choir, we receive sheet music, and learn the piece by reading the essential information contained in that sheet music. While learning to read music is a vital part of being a good musician, there are also several benefits from learning music aurally.
Learning music aurally is often referred to by other names; ear training, playing by ear, etc… It is an extremely important skill for any musician to develop, but it is particularly useful for singers.
Ear training allows singers to understand the note they are singing in relation to the other notes around them. Understanding the context of the music, allows singers to listen to music critically, and more thoroughly appreciate the relationship between intervals. This can be an especially important skill when singing atonal music.
Learning music aurally can also help singers to appreciate the nuances of sound. When a singer doesn’t have to focus on the written music, they are able to hear the small subtleties in intonation, timbre, and colour of the sound they are producing. This focus on the nuances of sound can greatly improve the overall choral sound, as well as individual singers’ voices.
When an entire choir is focused on the subtleties of the sound they’re creating, by learning the music aurally, they also become much more attuned to the sound the other people around them are creating. Listening critically is essential for any singer, and it greatly aids choirs in producing a blended sound; the ultimate goal of choral singing!
Do you like to learn music aurally? Tell us in the comments below!