I’m Robert Baldwin, owner and instructor at Music Foundations Piano Studio. Perhaps you’ve heard that a traditional piano lesson based on theory, scales, and what’s usually called “sight reading” is the most effective way for you or your child to learn music. If you have any doubt about that, please read on.
Music reading and instrumental technique are important skills for students to learn. But I noticed in my early years of teaching that when those skills are taught at the wrong time and outside of a logically sequenced curriculum, they just don’t stick. My results were typical for a modern music studio; a few students thrived but some just didn’t grasp the material. At the time I didn’t know how to effectively teach all of my students the musical skills that I have found so meaningful in my own life.
It turns out that in order for reading and technical skills to really take hold, musicians need to learn to hear with understanding. That skill is called audiation, and when taught skillfully and studied with patience, it can be learned. Audiation isn’t just for professional musicians. It’s for music lovers of all ages, and it’s a necessary foundation for future learning.