Aural activities for beginner piano students5 min read
A piano student should develop an excellent ear in order to learn. However, unlike other instruments, they should also learn how to mentally approach the keyboard/Piano. This is the key to success on the piano. This spatial method of reading music is very important for the survival of a piano player. Aural piano activities are great for new students. They can be done in various ways such as group lessons, private lessons, and online.
What is an Aural Skill?
Aural training otherwise called Ear training is a theoretical study that involves learning to identify the basic elements of music, such as melody, pitch, rhythm, and solfege, through hearing. Learning how to identify and play basic musical elements by hearing them is an unavoidable skill every musician should acquire. This is similar to the concept of sight-reading.
Functional pitch recognition
A functional pitch recognition system refers to the recognition of the function or role of a particular pitch in the context of a given tonic.
Having the ability to recognize intervals is also a vital skill for musicians. Music teachers can help their students improve their relative pitch by having them identify the notes in a popular song with the first two notes.
It is also important for musicians to hear the harmonic structures that help support a song’s melody. By learning how to hear different types of chords, they can also learn how chord progressions work in the context of other works.
Micro-tonal chord and interval recognition
This process is similar to ear training, but with many intervals to identify different intonation patterns. Sight-singing exercises are also commonly used to improve one’s ear training.
A way to improve rhythm is by teaching it to the muscles in the body. This method involves holding a rhythm in one hand and singing a rhythm on a syllable.
Musical instruments have a variety of characteristics that are independent of pitch and loudness. Some have more than one timbre. When tuned correctly, these can make a difference in the sound quality of a song. Learning to identify these components is very important for a musician’s development.
Teachers often suggest transcribing recorded music to help their students develop their various skills. Aside from music, the student may also perform short compositions on paper.
So doing the Aural Training will help you a lot in being a good Musician. Here are some activities that can help you build your aural skills.
High and Low
There are a few things to keep in mind before moving into this activity. If it’s a high note, stand up. If it’s a low note, sit down. Now either you listen to a few random notes and follow the rules or get help from the tutor in doing this. This certain exercise will help you physically (Can be a Workout too!! LOL)also in understanding the notes better.
Slow and Fast
Choose a simple pattern on the piano and try marching with the music. Try to identify if the music is fast or slow. By doing this we can clearly get the basics of a tempo, which is very useful in your music lessons. Try practicing it for a while, and you can see the differences in identifying a Tempo in any music you hear.
Same or Different
This is a great practice for young musicians. It will teach them to identify the different pitches and patterns, and it will help them avoid having a hard time distinguishing between different voices.
Position the notes on the piano and then play a second note.
This technique will help you make the sounds that are similar to the same sound more unique by varying the length, volume, and articulation. This will improve your ear skills which is a vital thing for any musician.
These are a few simple activities you can do to improve your Ear skills or Aural Skills. Once you feel you have mastered these skills, you can follow two more activities that can still uplift your Aural Skills to the next level.
Singing while recognizing the intervals will help you improve your hearing skills. Instead of just naming intervals, sing the notes in between the two given notes. This method works well for training yourselves to hear distances correctly. Play a rhythm on middle C and hum the same note with a new rhythm. This will make the task harder but will improve your ear.
After a long time of developing your foundational pitch and singing the major scale, it is time to try and learn some parts of songs or whole songs by ear. This is another way to start developing ear training. Record some rousing music and see if you can make 4 different clapping styles along with it. Gradually you can create your own music. You can notate music by ear or use some computer notation software to further develop your understanding, though this is not entirely necessary.
There are countless aids on the internet today that can help you with listening and training your years. Find the relevant ones and practice with them. Discover the maximum options in developing your ears and you can be unbeatable.
Aside from being a vital practice for developing a musician, ear training is also important for any level of music education. Without this component, music making is seriously missing.
Developing strong aural skills can be done in many different ways. Building up your relative pitch skills is the first step. After that, sing the major scale from your foundational note. Next, start working with chord and chord progressions. Ear training is a vital part of any music school’s curriculum. It will teach you how to develop strong aural skills in just a few weeks.