Welcome to our December Blog all about Ear Training and Scales.
It makes sense to begin with what singing is. Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice and augments regular speech by the use of sustained tonality, rhythm, and a variety of vocal techniques. Imagine catching a ball. The catcher perceives the ball coming towards them and calculates the speed and position of the ball so as to coordinate their muscles to catch it. In the same way a singer hears a pitch and coordinates their muscles to create the pitch. Like catching a ball this has to be learnt. Like a child learning to walk or eat by themselves the brain needs time to practice the skill and to build muscle memory.
You have probably noticed that vocal teachers like to use scales. This is because singing scales improves pitch memory (the ability to hear notes and phrases and accurately sing those notes and phrases), Often one scale can cover several pitches spanning an octave or more so practicing scales also challenges and expands vocal range. Ear training put simply is a music theory study in which musicians learn to identify pitches, intervals, melody, chords, rhythms, solfeges, and other basic elements of music, solely by hearing.
EAR TRAINING AND SCALES
Have you ever heard the term 'Tone deaf'? I hear it thrown about for almost anyone who has not learnt to coordinate pitch yet. However, very few people – around five per cent of the population – actually suffer from amusia, a clinical cognitive impairment which means the brain cannot process musical sounds properly to make sense of them. The majority of people who cannot pitch simply never learnt. Or at least did not practise the skill as much as maybe another person. Or even did not practise in the same way as another person, but that is a discussion for another blog.
So put simply, singing requires ear training and ear training requires scales to help the brain learn to coordinate the muscles to the desired pitch. We hope you enjoyed this blog and welcome any comments or questions you may have. Look out for our essential scales available to download from our shop at https://www.legacyvocalcoaching.co.uk/shop.html