Learning Music by Watching Others Learn Music


in Learning Music

How much or what can you learn music by watching someone else begin taught music?

Let's explore this interesting concept as a method of learning more music. It can be an enhancing way of learning concepts by observation and not participation.

Over the years I've been exposed to sitting in on the tail end of many students lessons and have observed what they were learning. These occurrences allowed for a new educational experience. It gave me an ability to learn music by only thinking and not implementing.music-classroom

What Process Takes Place

As a student watches someone else taking a lesson a host of internal thoughts come up. Take an example of watching a student learn a new complex chord. You might think the following:

  • I know the triad, or three basic notes.
  • In my mind I can see them on the staff, or the shape my hand takes to play those notes together or as an arpeggio.
  • I see an inversion as a 3 5 and 1 on the scale.
  • Playing the seventh, is that a major or dominant, what position is it being played in.

So right off the bat you have a minds eye of what is being done. Now as the student struggles with the placement of a note or a fingering, or playing the notes in combination or part of melody the mind will try to correct what that student is doing.

This allows you to see what is happening and reflect on how the other student has done the same, do it differently, or corrected the action. You are actually participating in a way that allow the conscious and subconscious mind to process known or new information.

Some Benefits

This can be an invaluable lesson as your thought process takes over rather than your physical approach. It is well worth exploring as an adjunct to your music learning. Being watched serves a purpose as well.

Getting used to others being around makes you more comfortable when it comes to performing or playing for others. This is a huge benefit in your progress toward playing in front of others.

How To Take Advantage of Watching Others

If you are taking lessons see if you can show up early to your lesson and watch others learn.

Observation by video. There is a wealth of specific pieces of information on the web where you can learn from others.

Many teachers encourage and sometimes demand that students observe what others are learning and struggling to accomplish. Some of the conservatories make this part of the curriculum.

Participation in group lessons is also another way to observe. The group dynamic can sometimes seem limiting, however, I observed that many questions come up sooner rather than later and push you along some times better.

What If You ..

Show up and observe or joined the school band. Learning and practicing in performing with others.

Show up and observe the choir.

Ask to participate in group lessons.

This method of learning music shouldn't be overlooked and if you can find a way to watch others learn you are bound to get some knowledge and improved music skills from doing so.

As a next step think about how you might teach what you learned, but that's a whole other discussion.

Featured Music Resources

Learn Guitar Online with Videos: JamPlay Guitar

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