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Learning by Ear

February 2, 2008

I grew up listening to my mother play piano “by ear”. She’d taken piano lessons after her older sister and heard her practice all the pieces she would be learning. After a few lessons the teacher told my grandparents that there was no point in paying for piano lessons for my Mom, as she was playing “by ear”. She could play any piece after hearing it a few times so she didn’t need to learn to read music. She played beautifully, and very expressively without the benefit of lessons.

http://www.oldpianos.com/images/Trades/94samick.jpg

94samick.jpg (JPEG Image, 1681×1607 pixels) – Scaled (46%) via kwout

A few years back, fellow teachers and some students began to talk about visual, audio, and kinesthetic learners, declaring that each person favoured certain senses for taking in information, for learning. With the advent of the web with its sight and sound possibilities, learners can choose to learn through a variety of media, and perceptual channels.

Podcasting specialist, Donna Papacosta, in her Trafcom News blog, links to the Online Education Database, where you can listen, for free, to speakers, using iTunes U, on topics like Human-Computer Interaction, Engineering Ethics, or a wide variety of others, from universities such as Queen’s , Harvard, and the University of Glasgow. If you see yourself as an auditory learner, (cross-sensory phrasing deliberate) or simply would prefer to listen rather than read while commuting, check out the Online Education Database

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