How does one learn to read music? At a glance it seems like an impossible task, deciphering all those dots, lines and swoops can seem very overwhelming.
We may even be able to play music pretty well, but reading music is still a daunting and arduous challenge.
Reading music refers to reading and making sense of musical notations. Many musicians use this process to learn songs quickly and memorize songs faster.
Reading music has its own particular challenges, since making sense of the timings of notes, scales, keys, tempos, etc. is another language we have to accustom ourselves to.
Learning to read music can make your life as an aspiring musician much easier. It is not impossible to make a career in music without learning this skill. Many musicians listened to music and picked it up naturally through trial and error. Learning to read notations, however, will give you a formal skill. They will teach you the central method of communication for the musical world. This can help you in a lot of ways, not only as a musician but also as an individual.
Firstly, learning to read music will give you a better understanding of music. Trying to get a grip on musical flow and melody through trial and error is a tedious process. You might get the results that you’re looking for, but doing so might take a lot of time.
With the ability to read music, you will know and be able to predict what direction the notations will go. This will reduce your time spent in compositions and error correction. You will be able to pinpoint mistakes earlier. A better academic grasp of fundamentals always leads to clearer direction.
The ability to read music will give you a tremendous leg up if you intend to pursue music academically.
Reading music is the language of the art. You will be required to learn it at music school. If you learn it earlier, you will be providing yourself with a huge advantage over your peers. That advantage might bring you more personalized attention and recognition from professors. You can save your time for other activities and pursuits while others are busy learning to read music.
Learning to read music demands discipline and focus. You are learning an entire language from scratch. This process has a lot of advantages for your brain. It has to work more to grasp a different system of language so it gets bigger and smarter.
Your mental capacity improves while you develop diligence. This also makes you more confident in yourself and your abilities. This will be further added to when your skill makes you stand out in music school. You can use this skill in social interactions too by sitting at local choirs and orchestras. It will allow you to understand what is going on and establish rapport with the performers.
Normally, learning to read music would require one of several difficult methods. One, you teach yourself by pouring over books and testing every new concept. Two, you utilize YouTube and online video tutorials which will also take time. Three, you hire a personal instructor or enroll in a course.
Luckily, modern technology means you can learn to read music right out of the palm of your hand. There exist many iOS music reading apps which can help you learn the language. Below, we will inform you about some of the most widely used.
MCQs and flashcards are some of the best ways to prepare for exams. Name That Note utilizes those same principles to create an app which eases learning to read music notations.
It uses MCQs, complete with 4 options, delivered in a flashcard manner. The questions range in difficulty from beginner to intermediate to advanced levels. It is a very handy app to grasp the fundamentals of notational language.
Guessing the right answers and trial and error can only take you so far. Choose ClefTutor Free if you want an app to build your theoretical foundation.
This app is inbuilt with tutorials to teach you about the fundamentals of music. After all, there is no better way to remember theoretical concepts than testing them out.
You will learn about alphabets, notations, staff, and terminologies. It also has quizzes to test you on these concepts. The app is only this thorough because it has been designed by a music teacher.
If you want to apply your learning so far and give yourself a challenge, then Tenuto is the music reading app for you. It is a series of exercises, 15 in total, which test different parts and aspects of reading music.
You may be dismayed by the number of exercises but don’t be. Not only do they test a range of your musicality and reading ability, they are also customizable. You can adjust for different settings through the 5 different calculators for accidentals, intervals, chords, analysis symbols, and twelve-tone matrices.
The iPhone offers a lot of music reading apps, however you may need to target your specific weakness to the said app. If you are confused about note values and rhythm, there are better apps for this. If you need melodic training there are better apps for that.
Nevertheless, the aforementioned apps will be more than enough to build a solid foundation until you can handle more complicated material.
If you have an Android, here are some more apps that we've compiled to learn to read music.
The Jam Addict team is a revolving door of writers who care about music, its effects on culture, and giving aspiring artists tools and knowledge to be inspired and keep on creating.
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