This Wednesday in the MuseScore Cafe - a special session on ear "cross training" for music theory!

OK, you're probably wondering what I mean by that. Well, I have been tinkering with this idea that since music is an essentially aural phenomenon, it should be possible to learn almost everything about music aurally. This idea started out in discussions with blind musicians about how I could teach music theory in an accessible way. Around the same time I started listening to a variety of audio books and podcasts regularly, and I realized how powerful that format can be for learning all sorts of different subjects - so why not music? My Cafe series is like a video podcast, and of course, when I am talking about MuseScore specifically, the visuals are usually very helpful. But what would it be like to do a Cafe episode that was more like an audio podcast? Tune in Wednesday and we'll all find out together! I'm thinking seriously of starting a full-blown podcast on this topic soon, so I will very much welcome your feedback on this little experiment.

I suppose I still haven't answered the question about what I really mean by "ear cross training". My memories of formal ear training, a.k.a. "aural skills", are not really that positive. It always seemed there was too much emphasis on recognizing the opening motif of "My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean" as a major sixth, and it was really hard to find practical applications for this skill. On the flip side, when I do have a real need to be able to rely my ear - like in transcribing a song, or recognizing what chord substitutions are being used by musicians I am playing with, or just wanting to be able to play or notate some phrase I am hearing in my head - I find little of the formal ear training I received is of much immediate use. I've come to see the basic problem as being not enough connection being made between ear training, theory, and the music we want to learn.

Over the years I've developed some pretty unique approaches that work for me, and I am getting excited to share these with you too. So I hope you'll join me this Wedneday for a bit of a preview and conversation! As usual, we get underway at 12:30 PM Eastern time, which is 16:30 GMT.

One more thing: YouTube has been making some changes to how their "Live" feature works, and the methods I had been using to do my Cafe are changing too. As a result, there will be a new URL for the Cafe. I think the following will work:

If that doesn't, then try the following link:

I will update this post as needed once I'm online and can confirm.

One way or another, though, I'll be going live on Wednesday, I really hope you can join me!