#1
What are the benefits of taking Aural Skills 1 -4 in college?

Let's say you never took an Aural Skills class before...
but you have a lot of understanding theory under your belt. Wouldn't analyzing scores and concentrating on what is going on melodically/harmonically with your ears be just as effective of developing ears as taking solitary Aural Skills classes?

For me I find that listening to music in context helps to develop my ears. But what is the point of just taking Aural Skills in and of itself for 2 years?
#2
Because you probably can't identify intervals and precise harmonies.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#3
Many older, informally trained musicians have really good ears because they've practiced and listened diligently for much of their lives.

Now imagine a class dedicated solely to that end. It will give you a massive head start because instead of going through a piece and making sense of it from the ground up, you already have a foundation to build on and knowledge to draw on to help you get more from the piece.

It's like learning a new language, especially one with a different grammar and syntax. You could dive in and try to figure it out as you go, or you could study the language so that you don't have to learn the basics through trial and error. But this doesn't replace actually speaking and listening to the language by any means, it just gives you a head start.
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#4
It's to make sure your 100% right on hearing an interval what it is, and not 99% or less.

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#5
ok but lets say you can hear chords/intervals , the whole nine yards by themselves. Now, try hearing it all in context while the piece of music is moving with multiple instruments going on like symphonies for example.

I bet all that aural skills training is going to fall apart due to all the simultaneous instruments going on. How is that preventable?
#6
That's the exact point of taking a course for a subject like this.
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#7
Exactly. You take classes like this to improve your ear. Does your ear need improving? Sounds to me like it probably does.

I don't know if classes are how I would go about improving my ear, but you should be working on your ear, period.
#8
Quote by Unreal T
ok but lets say you can hear chords/intervals , the whole nine yards by themselves. Now, try hearing it all in context while the piece of music is moving with multiple instruments going on like symphonies for example.

I bet all that aural skills training is going to fall apart due to all the simultaneous instruments going on. How is that preventable?

I'm fairly certain that you listen to fully fledged pieces in the higher level classes.
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#9
I have the opportunity to take 4 semesters of Aural Skills at a uni but was wondering if you can just teach it to yourself using books and aural training software. We are going to use a book anyway to work out of so I just thought, why not just do it on my own time? But, then again the instructor's hold doctorate degrees and can I suppose be a guide or mentor. But, still don't you think it is best to do it on your own time and out of the classroom. I feel the classroom may actually do more harm than good in forcing you to do things in short spans of time and putting pressure on students , which I feel is not good at all when learning music.

What can I get from taking it in the classroom that I can't on my own?

IMO, College setting is a very structured in systematic approach to learning, and very strict on learning things in exact periods of time (the semester). You basically get one shot, and if you blow it you blow it. I just don't like that pressure, ESPECIALLY in learning music.
Last edited by Unreal T at Oct 20, 2013,
#10
It sounds like you're trying to come up with excuses to NOT take the class.

I've never heard about Aural Skills classes before. In my college that's part of the regular music theory classes.

Anyway, take the class. The pressure will force you to study more and will make you an overall better musician.
#11
Quote by Unreal T
I have the opportunity to take 4 semesters of Aural Skills at a uni but was wondering if you can just teach it to yourself using books and aural training software. We are going to use a book anyway to work out of so I just thought, why not just do it on my own time? But, then again the instructor's hold doctorate degrees and can I suppose be a guide or mentor. But, still don't you think it is best to do it on your own time and out of the classroom. I feel the classroom may actually do more harm than good in forcing you to do things in short spans of time and putting pressure on students , which I feel is not good at all when learning music.

What can I get from taking it in the classroom that I can't on my own?

IMO, College setting is a very structured in systematic approach to learning, and very strict on learning things in exact periods of time (the semester). You basically get one shot, and if you blow it you blow it. I just don't like that pressure, ESPECIALLY in learning music.

You need a lot of discipline to match what a class would have you do. I'm not even talking about the rigor, I'm talking about just staying consistent with it. Sure, there is less pressure when you're on your own, but then again, classes can be the kick in the ass that you need.

Perhaps take one class and see if you'd like to continue them?
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#12
The thing is, do you have the motivation outside uni to work really hard on training your ear? Uni pretty much forces you to get good at it quick.
#13
Your gonna be judged on something that is dear to you, so it's normal to be scared.

That, or social fear.

Take the classes, it will be better for you, and after few classes you will think why was this a hard descision .

Pressure bad?

Bitch please, humans are built to learn, and to get better at anything.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Oct 21, 2013,
#14
Quote by Unreal T


What can I get from taking it in the classroom that I can't on my own?


Here's the question:

How much have you worked on your ear this week?

If the answer is "none" or "a little" that's your answer. You could be working on it on your own, but you're not. Yes, you could be using the functional ear trainer, getting "Ear Training for the Contemporary Musician" by Wyatt et al, and transcribing ... every day (which is what you're supposed to do to develop your ear) ... but you haven't been doing that.

Why?

I'm sometimes baffled by this behavior in students (I teach at the college level). Students claim to care a tremendous amount about something, but display very little initiative or energy as far as doing anything but the bare minimum required by the class. For some people, and it seems likely that you are one of them, having a class with pressure and deadlines is exactly what they need, because otherwise they don't do the work.

Nothing has stopped you from working on your ear up to this point. So why haven't you? Heck, even if you were going to start taking an ear-training class next semester, there's no reason not to start now on your own. You'll get far more out of your class that way.
#15
Quote by HotspurJr
Here's the question:

How much have you worked on your ear this week?

If the answer is "none" or "a little" that's your answer. You could be working on it on your own, but you're not. Yes, you could be using the functional ear trainer, getting "Ear Training for the Contemporary Musician" by Wyatt et al, and transcribing ... every day (which is what you're supposed to do to develop your ear) ... but you haven't been doing that.

Why?

I'm sometimes baffled by this behavior in students (I teach at the college level). Students claim to care a tremendous amount about something, but display very little initiative or energy as far as doing anything but the bare minimum required by the class. For some people, and it seems likely that you are one of them, having a class with pressure and deadlines is exactly what they need, because otherwise they don't do the work.

Nothing has stopped you from working on your ear up to this point. So why haven't you? Heck, even if you were going to start taking an ear-training class next semester, there's no reason not to start now on your own. You'll get far more out of your class that way.


Im pretty sure that in this situation they wouldn't do the work because they are maybe not in the class?
Hell I say sign up for the class unless you really don't want to?(which maybe the point of this thread) I do agree that if you actually WANT to learn then school shouldn't hinder you although I've come across too many a music teacher (mainly in instrument lessons) that don't understand that you go to school to get what you want out of it (which is a music education in this case) and not to learn everything they shit into your mouth because lets be serious I'm sure there are a few things in music that aren't understood and they should be giving you a tool (music theory/practice) to explore the vast cosmos of possibilities at your fingertips.
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#16
Right. But here we have a poster asking if he should take a class.

He clearly has concerns about his ear. But he also, clearly, is looking for reasons not to take the class.

Which is fine. I don't have any problem with him not taking the class. My problem is with the fact that he's looking for a reason not to take the class while, at the same time (probably) not doing the hard work to improve his ear without taking the class.

Less talk, more doing. If you think the class might not be necessary, prove it. Go work on your ear. If you get to the point where you're happy with your ear without the class, then don't take the class. If you don't, then maybe you need the class.

Incidentally, the students of mine I was complaining about are people who are, in fact, taking the class. And I don't teach music - I teach a different artistic discipline.

If you care about this - and if you're posting here, I'm guessing you do - then you should take some initiative for your own development. There's a limit to what any teacher can do.
#17
Can you turn on the radio and figure out what the chords are by the time the song is over?

If not, you should get some professional ear training. You simply will not develop good ears without using them to figure stuff out.
#18
Quote by cdgraves
Can you turn on the radio and figure out what the chords are by the time the song is over?

If not, you should get some professional ear training. You simply will not develop good ears without using them to figure stuff out.



Not on the spot or effortlessly. But, I can take my guitar and hunt out the chords with trial and error. I know how to find roots of chords and then build upon it to make the full chord. I suppose though, that is considered a poor ear? And I would need training. Maybe, I will just take the class.
#19
Here are three popular songs. Given the key/first chord, can you name the rest of chords without your guitar in hand?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHlhOgQ36m8 "If I was from Paris" in F#

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxHMHrWJ2SE "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" in C

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyhMgXmR3w4 "Hold on Loosely" in E

If not, you should pursue ear training of some sort, or at least get disciplined in transcribing. There's no harm at all in taking the class, as long as you can afford it. If you're a serious hobbyist or aspire to play professionally, you should take any learning opportunities you find. The theory and ear training I had for a couple years in college was some of the most valuable musical experience I've had.
Last edited by cdgraves at Oct 23, 2013,
#20
Without guitar in hand? Nope.

With guitar in hand I would have little trouble noodling out the chords until they sound right, for these particular songs that is.

I think I will just take the course and see how it is..I don't think I have that much to lose.