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I'm very excited about learning everything in a natural way. That means beginners will learn something (they want) by "exposing" to the subject that they decide. They may not understand any technique, just need some direction from the teacher or the director. After a period of time, they will learn in normal way or some kinds of effective methods.

My idea is based of the way a children learn a language. They just listen, listen, and listen, then they imitate their parents, and after three or four years, they have enough ability to speak fluently. After that, they learn phonics, grammar, etc... I call that is a natural way. Now we also know the grammar method is not effective to learn a language, especially for adults.

Come back to music, I just give the idea for people who want to find a better method to develop real talented student. Notice that some talented children can play music without seeing the sheets, just using their ear and skill. So I think the current methods aren't the best to develop full skill from a student. Maybe let the student listen some songs, then let them imitate and play in instrument without understanding the notes, or anything etc.

My idea is just from a person who don't know much music. How do you think about this?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Karen, Dave, Tim, Doktor Mayhem Oct 15 '16 at 15:11

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    "My idea is just from a person who don't know much music. How do you think about this?" Sorry, but I think you need to be a music teacher of long experience to justify assertions like these. My most positive suggestion is to spend a decade or two teaching using this method, then report back on how it worked. – Andy Oct 12 '16 at 12:08
  • Pretty sure it's been tried many times, and other methods found to be more effective - and a darn sight quicker! – Tim Oct 12 '16 at 12:12
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    Yeah I agree that I need to study more and try. Now it's just an idea. Thanks for your all comments! – Feliks Oct 12 '16 at 12:39
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    The Suzuki method is largely based off of this principle. At least, it claims to be! – Richard Oct 12 '16 at 16:41
  • I would say that this is a very slow way to learn music, a teacher is needed to teach a student good technique. After the simple part is learnt self teaching could be used. – Unknown Oct 12 '16 at 22:17
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This reminds me so, sooooo much of the Suzuki Method, which literally aims to teach music to children the same way you might teach a child to speak. Children might be started on, say, the violin as early as two because the younger the mind, the more impressionable it is.

Now for the big reveal, because the way that you described is basically the way that I learned to play. I started with the Suzuki Method for violin. Later on, I learned the "grammar" of music.

How'd that look?

Pros:

  • I developed a strong ear
  • I developed a love for baroque music, since Suzuki is like all baroque. Apparently, it's easier to learn baroque music by ear because it's very symmetrical and stuff.
  • I could play the violin fairly well very quickly with no musical knowledge
  • I play, I am told, with a very strong emotional aspect, or however you'd say that. A lot of feeling. I just get music, and how the musical story should go.
  • I decided that I liked violin much sooner, I think, than I would have if I hadn't used Suzuki because I got to do fun stuff without needing to fuss about theory.

Cons:

  • I couldn't read music, like, at all, until literally two years into playing, and not very adeptly until I started an orchestra four years into it. That's just bad.

  • Because of that, if I didn't have the cd with the song or a teacher, I couldn't learn a song by myself. I was completely dependent on the teacher and the recording. Now I've learned to read music, and I feed myself literature whenever I want. But it took a while.

In the end, I think that there's a trade off. I wonder if I would ever have gotten to where I am if I hadn't used the Suzuki method, but at the same time, if I had used more classical training, I may very well be much, much better at musical theory than I am today.

Right, so your question could be described, now that I think of it, as the opposite of Suzuki, in that you want to know if it's possible to learn theory without technical knowledge, presumably on an instrument...

I've wondered about ear training for younger children (read: infants). Having perfect pitch, I suppose, could be learned just like learning the colors could be. Imagine if all children were as well versed in solfége by the time they were three as they usually are in shapes and colors. How do kids learn shapes and colors?

Well, food for thought. I think what you're saying is possible. I don't know if it's practical. I know that there would be trade offs, but maybe they'd be worth it.

And no idea is bad enough to ridicule.

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    Having perfect (absolute) pitch isn't like learning colours. It's like yes, that's green, but is it dark or light, compared with yes, that's a note between C and E. However, I like your answer. There's no knowing which path would have been better. Some read music well, while others rely far more on ears. Rarely do people have excellent skills in both. A great test would be to take identical twins and put each through the different method. Maybe one day? – Tim Oct 13 '16 at 7:19
  • Thanks for your comment with Suzuki method, just gives me a foundation. I also want to say that learning in that way must be super easy, that's the key. Exposing to music in early age won't be useful if it's so complicated. And the bottom line of the stage "learning without rules" is to develop intuitive power. Testing my idea would take a lot of time. Thank you one more time! – Feliks Oct 31 '16 at 12:20
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Your "idea" suffers from the problem that it assumes young children and adults learn in the same way. That absolutely isn't the case, and education, including musical education, consequently already is completely different for young children and adults. There are some methods (like the Suzuki method mentioned in other answers) more explicitly and systematically focusing on early exposure to music in order to make use of younger pupils' much greater facility of assimilation as compared to higher level understanding.

Some parents try exposing their children to large amounts of music at young age in order to give them some musical talent they don't possess themselves. I don't think that this can replace an actually supportive and interactive environment. These days it is hard to escape constant exposure to music (or what runs under that label) anywhere and it does not really seem to have increased the abundance of creative musical talent.

At any rate, whatever theory makes you work extensively and obsessively with material at a level of your understanding is likely to "prove valid" in the long run. Obsession with some material tends to beat non-obsession, even if based on crackpot theories of education. At least as long as you don't paint yourself into a complete corner.

  • I think you could have explained your point and have been a lot more gracious to the OP. – General Nuisance Oct 13 '16 at 13:35
  • The purpose of my idea is to develop the intuitive power in children's mind. So it can't be applied at all stages of the learning, just in early stage. Adults and children can learn in a same way if adults can control their minds in a right way to learn like children. Of course in theory, everything is perfect, but maybe ridiculous in reality. So I know I need a lot of time of experiment. Thanks for your comments! :) – Feliks Oct 31 '16 at 12:24
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I believe what you're after is called the Think System. It's guaranteed not to work off-stage.

Even children with a natural ear for tunes or chords cannot learn proper technique for playing an instrument or singing. Frankly, you should avoid setting up a rulebase (for music or any other endeavor in your life) based solely on what you wnat to believe.

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    Yeah I just think that some skills related to art or subconscious part in brain should be learned without modern rules in very first stage. At first, beginners learn from what they look, hear and think, then they will be "fixed" or " standardized" precisely. I need time to study more about this. You know, breaking rules often makes people excited :) – Feliks Oct 12 '16 at 12:37
  • No, breaking rules leads to disaster 99.99% of the time. Just because a few famous cases worked out doesn't mean it's the way to go. – Carl Witthoft Oct 12 '16 at 12:41
  • "Frankly, you should avoid setting up a rulebase (for music or any other endeavor in your life) based solely on what you wnat to believe." How do I give like 5 upvotes for this? – user6164 Oct 12 '16 at 13:05
  • @TheGuitarShawn you're my new best friend :-) – Carl Witthoft Oct 12 '16 at 13:42
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    I think Feliks' ideas are not uncommon. Montessori is similar in nature, I believe, for education in general. There are also many traditions that focus more on aural music learning. Trying something different is another way of experimenting and that is not always bad. – jomki Oct 13 '16 at 0:27

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