Learning Music: Listen Then Feel

When you’re learning music, first listen then feel.

What is the first thing you do when a new song comes on the radio?…… You “listen” to it! Now if you like it, you might download it and “listen” to it many times. Next thing you know, you’re tapping your foot (no thinking, just doing). You might say that you “feel” the beat, followed by chair dancing or better yet getting up and dancing with your friends.

After many listenings, you will probably start to sing along with the song. How did you know when to “come-in”? There are more than one hidden clues that tell you it’s time to sing….Maybe start after 8 beats, (that would be the intellectual route..no fun!) or something sinister like the last chord before the singing starts tells you when. What ever the real reason is, you “feel” the right time to come-in.

Here’s another example. You listen to a song and say: “This music feels sad” (or solemn, or spooky). The music actually is telling you how to “feel”. It could be a combination of chords, the minor key, dynamics, tempo, the tone colors, and of course the lyrics.

Jazz players hear and feel the chords not only to know when to play, they also are inspired to create spontaneously what they “feel”. This is only the tip of the iceberg. I will expand on that subject in my next blog, but for now when you’re learning music, don’t be afraid to listen and let yourself “Feel”.