How does music function?

Here you can find some articles about important topics about and around music learning that can help you.

Ear Training

Many people love music but don't play an instrument. Are you one of them?  No problem; playing an instrument is not a necessity for you to learn something important about music.

There is one method where you can learn the most: singing! Anyone can sing. With no instrument, you can train your inner hearing fast and effectively!

The Kodaly Method

What is the Kodaly method? It is a simple but effective method to discover and learn the musical language and structure of music. The Kodály Method is a holistic concept for discovering the rules of music. The focus is on singing and listening; both are closely related. Whoever sings also hears themselves.

Folk and children's songs are excellent ear training

Folk or children's songs are excellent for ear training and learning about the basic principles of music.

It's essential to know and sing children's songs and simple folk songs!

Ear training, but how?

The entrance into the world of music is through hearing.

Ear training is the basis of the musical “language”.

Therefore, the first thing you should do is train your hearing if you want to speak the language of music.

If you play an instrument, you can simply start training your hearing on the side!

There are several types of ear training, and they are all aimed at creating a closer connection between you and music.  

There’s a lot of confusion and false myths going around about how to develop the ability to hear important musical contexts by ear. .  

What is the best way to develop your ear?

You don't have to play an instrument to train your ear!

There are a lot of ear training courses, videos, and software programs.

But without context, you won’t be able to effectively use them!

The best and most thorough way to learn is to sing along.

This way, you are actively involved in the learning process and are able to understand the music more effectively and quickly.

Because you program your hearing for sound patterns and retrieve them by singing.

If you already play an instrument, you can start building your ear now!  Ear training gives you the confidence to trust your ears over everything else.

With ear training, every time you listen, you learn.

Ear training tips, learn online.

Discover how to build your musical ear to the fullest!

The language of music.

Many people like music. Some of them want to play music actively.
Many amateur musicians wish to be able to play a melody and chords they have heard.  
However, this is only possible when one has a practiced, developed ear.

Music is an audible art. So, if you want to understand and speak the language of music, you should have a relatively good ear.

If you don't have a good one yet, then you can form it, that is, develop it.

To actively and consciously enter the world of music, it is essential to follow the necessary steps.
The first step should be to recognize tones, tone series, and sounds by ear.

Ear training is a method of teaching the brain to recognize musical relationships and training the inner ear.

The musical or inner ear is therefore, an essential prerequisite for a thorough understanding of music. Every musician has good hearing - I don't necessarily mean "absolute hearing" here, but relative, comparative hearing.

Let's now examine how you can do this easily, quickly, and effectively:

Music lessons consist of ear training, music theory, music rules, and mostly instrumental lessons.

It is not optimal to do ear training in isolation because it covers only a part of the music.

What is the best way to do ear training?

Music is the best teacher.

When most people think of ear training, they imagine sitting in a classroom or course or using ear training software/app that puts them in the passive role of just hearing tones, dyads, and so on and identifying them.
Many people have problems with this type of ear training.

The quickest way to learn to identify our musical system's tones is to hear how they are used in practice, that is, in melodies.

A tone by itself is not music. But in the context of a melodic phrase, that note could then take on an exciting role.

Only here, in the music itself, can we genuinely understand tones and appreciate their power.

Recognizing tones, melodies, intervals, triads, and so on by ear will change your understanding of music.

It is essential to be able to understand any piece of music by listening to it, and to have the ability to hear melodies directly and place them in a system

Music is tonal.  It is not optimal to treat music as a series of intervals that have nothing to do with each other.   

Don't focus on interval relationships between random notes.  Instead, focus on the role of each note in relation to the overall key of the music.

Each note of the major scale creates a very specific perception that you can already recognize in the surrounding music.  
Each note represents a pitch. You need to take time to perceive and practice these tonal steps audibly.

Ear training is not a stand-alone activity.

The moment you consider ear training to be an isolated little island, separate from a real melody or detached from the musical context, you are already doomed to failure.
It's like saying that you could spend part of the time making music and the other part of the time listening to the sounds.

You'd best produce the tones and sounds yourself. There are a lot of ear training CDs, software, apps and courses. In these, the user is usually put in the passive role of just listening to and identifying tones, intervals, etc.

However, this is a slow and somewhat dry way to discover music. We humans need to investigate the phenomena ourselves to understand them. We have to pick up objects, turn them in our hands, and look at them from all angles. I
n music, this is exactly what we do when we sing.

Not only do we make music, but we also explore the sounds of our musical system and learn to recognize them by ear.
This method is ideal because it guides you through our musical system's sounds in a logical and organized way.


For the above reasons, I decided to create a practical video course that anyone can follow step by step.
With a method based on real situations and combinations as they appear in the songs 

The principle is: listen, sing, and recognize.

You have to sing what you hear. This is  easy, but very useful because you are listening and singing!
This way, you are actively involved in the learning process, and you learn the fastest and most effectively because you program your hearing to recognize sound patterns and recall them by singing.
This is an ancient method that ensures learning success.

The musical ABCs, the twelve tonal steps that make up our music, are systematically discovered by listening and singing.  But what makes the course particularly valuable is its holistic approach.

From the beginning, the connections, the big picture, are made visible as one learns to recognize the tones audibly.
Each tone is placed in the musical system.  Here you can see the musical "forest" behind the many trees.

I do not play you random sequences of tones or intervals, but meaningful musical units often occur in songs and musical pieces.
The most important musical rules are presented in a very understandable way.

The big pluses are the many original graphics and even small animations that visually support what you hear.
Along the way, you'll learn to read music and even to sing from the sheet, that is, a notated melody.
Along the way, you'll learn to read music and even to sing from the sheet, that is, to sing a notated melody.

I will show you another useful tool, the tone syllable.
This means that the tone steps are named with the same names, with seven syllables, and with tone syllables.  
This will ensure that you will hear and understand the tonal steps and how they are integrated into a system.

Learn ear training online

The usual ear-training tasks are naturally and meaningfully incorporated, immediately applied, heard, and experienced in a musical context.  
This style is more thorough than the typical ear-only training programs.

Understand what you hear.  
When your ear is educated, you can better understand how music is built.
Listening to music becomes much more exciting for you when you can consciously discover, recognize, and name musical phenomena.

This won't happen overnight, but it will happen faster than you think.
Just take a look at Udemy where you can find this online video course.

You can try the course without any obligation.
There are three free lessons to get an idea of how this method of ear training works.

“Do Re Mi” Song

from the musical "The Sound of Music"

The Kodaly method

What is the Kodaly method?

What is it?

A simple but effective method to discover and learn the musical language and structure of music.

What does this bring you?

You will soon realize how much it does you when you sing or play. 

Why should you be interested in it?

If you want to make music, i.e. sing or play an instrument, you need to know music rules.

What should you do next?

Continue reading this text to learn about the Kodaly Method of teaching music.

The Kodály Method is a holistic concept for discovering the rules of music.
The focus is on singing and listening; both are closely related. Whoever sings also hears himself.

We hear first before we can speak; therefore, the first step to learning music should be listening or singing.  
The music should first be grasped sensually, so it is best through singing.  In this way, one's voice is connected with one's hearing. 
In this way, one's voice is connected with one's hearing.

Zoltan Kodály says: "According to the current method, beginners first learn how to handle an instrument and the signs (the notes) and only later (or even later hardly at all) their meaning.  Someone who wants to make music should not touch any instrument before he orshe can sing fluently, at least according to rhythmic solmization signs.

The order is significant. First, one should make music and sing, then develop musical awareness, and for that, also learn the symbols or signs and link them to the ear.

Do Re Mi

To demonstrate this method in practice, a world-famous song from the musical "The Sound of Music" is very suitable.
Do Re Mi is the song's title, how could it be anything else?
Let's read the lyrics first; it describes very well how this method is used in practice.

What exactly "Do Re Mi" means is briefly explained in the song.
Oscar Hammerstein, who wrote the song's lyrics, describes very aptly what these syllables Do Re and Mi mean and how a melody is made. That's why I would like to introduce the lyrics first:

"-Let's start at the very beginning.  A very good place to start: when you read, you begin with A-B-C; when you sing, you begin with do-re-mi.

Oh let's see if I can make it easier: Do- A deer, a female deer. Re- A drop of golden sun Mi- A name I call myself Fa- A long, long way to run, So- A needle pulling thread, La- A note to follow So, Te- A drink with jam and bread.

And this is supposed to be a song? Do Re Mi Fa and So?

-No, Do Re Mi Fa So is just the tool we need to build a song.  Once we have these notes in our heads, we can sing an infinite number of different melodies!  When you know the notes to sing, you can sing most anything.”  

Now let's watch the video about it:

So „When you know the notes to sing, you can sing most anything.”


Now, a bit more detail about the method.

Kodály Zoltán was a Hungarian composer, ethnomusicologist and music educator.  
He was concerned with fundamental questions of musical education.
The "Kodály Method" developed by him is based on the relative solmization (Do Re Mi etc.) of Guido of Arezzo and places the audible and sung experience at the center of music teaching.

This method, which is especially important and helpful for amateur music, is successfully applied in Hungary, Spain, Italy, the USA, Canada, and Japan.

The essential feature of the Kodály method is singing with tonal syllables.
Relative solmization is supposed to be the main methodological tool in teaching musical reading and writing.

In solmization, each pitch is given a short syllable as its name, which is easy to sing. The seven tone levels that make up our music are called: Do Re Mi So La Ti. These are the seven musical letters. If you know them, you can sing, hear, understand, and write down many melodies.

Z. Kodály assumed that every person should learn to master an instrument: his voice. This "instrument is available to everyone free of charge."

The musical mother tongue should be the folk song.
Building on this, other musical styles and pieces of music are then opened up.

Although this method was named after Kodály, it is, in fact, a European collective work. The French solfège lessons served as a model; the elementary principle of relative solmization was that of the Swiss elementary school teacher Johann Rudolf Weber. The hand signs and tone syllable names were supplied by the Englishman John Curwen.
The ideas of the German music educators F. Jöde and Agnes Hundoegger were used. The Frenchman Émile Chevé invented rhythmic syllables.

The starting point for making the Kodály Method known was the ISME conference in 1964 in Budapest, where Hungarian music educators presented this method's results.

In 1973, the Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute was founded in Kecskemét, where international students have been able to study the Kodály concept ever since.

What is the real benefit of this concept?

You can experience the elementary rules of music quickly and easily, but still thoroughly, which makes everything easier when learning an instrument.

Thus, tonal syllables are used for the tonal steps that make up our music, and rhythmic syllables are used for the rhythm. They make it much easier to recognize the basics of music.

Notation - Ear training

Music lessons should systematically teach musical reading and writing in solfège lessons (aural education). The notation is introduced from the beginning, but first comes singing and listening, then the notation.
Kodály developed a simple system for the beginning with simplified forms of presentation that everyone can quickly grasp.
It establishes a logical connection between singing, listening, and notes.  In this way, note-taking can be learned, just like regular reading in school.

As with foreign language or instrumental lessons, solmization (and thus ear training) must begin with a few elements.
Regular practice and the slow and steady increase in  demands will eventually lead to the skills necessary to sing more challenging melodies and polyphonic pieces.

Hand signs and movement in Music

Also, one should learn the hand signs for each step; they are a sign language. With them, one can practically visualize the course of a melody and further enhance the tonal syllables' effect.  In this way, all the senses, even the motor ones, are stimulated.
However, learning the hand signs is not obligatory but rather intended as a help in the beginning.

Music is movement, a metrical flow, so Kodály suggests walking while singing.

This approach requires well-thought-out practice material. Kodály wrote a systematic "Choir School" on how to learn to sing together, it is also available in English and German.

What should you do next?

Get to know the method better!  

If you have a child and want to get to know the Kodály Method entertainingly, I recommend my video course: „EarTraining Made Easy“  

Thank you for your attention!

Folk or children's songs are excellent ear training

Could you play chess without knowing its rules, how to move the chess pieces?  

Certainly not.  It is the same with the game with the tones, that is, with the music.

In this article, I’ll cover the basic elements of music theory and provide some resources to start your journey learning ear training concepts.

It's essential to know and sing children's songs and simple folk songs!


This is the best way to learn the rules of music because they know all these melodies clearly.

Children's songs, ear training, singing

Every song usually has some unique parts, that are not easy to remember, so these songs are almost like lessons invented to teach you the sounds and structures of our music system!

This is an excellent foundation for understanding how music works.

But to achieve that, we need to perceive each melody and analyze it consciously.  We have to learn the lessons that each of these songs teaches us.

Learning this from the beginning will give you a lifetime of musical enjoyment. Once you have learned to recognize the seven notes of the major scale in these simple children's and folk songs, you will be able to recognize them in other pieces of music.

This opens the door to being able to play hundreds of songs and virtually any music you've ever heard, all by ear, just by remembering what it sounds like. 

In concrete terms, this means being able to identify each note in a melody and place it in the scale, in other words, to recognize and name the tone steps with the tone syllables.

This is an essential skill that has a significant impact on our understanding of music. So it's worth taking the time to explain the seven tones that form the basis of our music.

What are tone steps and tone syllables?

The seven main tone steps that make up our music are named with short syllables: Do Re Mi Fa So La and Ti.  
These are the seven tone syllables for the seven tone levels:

1st = Do,  2nd = Re,  3rd = Mi,  4th = Fa   5th = So,   6th = La,  7th = Ti.

You can choose whether you prefer the tone syllables or the numbers for the tone steps.
The tone syllables are more comfortable to sing.

The tone steps/tone syllables are relative, which means they are independent of the absolute pitch or the key.

I will now present a short tutorial that will soon enable you, too, to master the ability to recognize and sing the tone steps in a melody.

Each note in a melody has a specific place and role in a scale. So we need to figure out exactly what the note steps are.

Here is the exact process I used to learn this skill myself:

Choose a song whose melody you have very well in mind. Start with a simple piece, like children's folk or Christmas songs.

Choose songs that have special meaning to you. These sounds are so deeply imprinted in your memory that you can't possibly forget how they feel. So all you have to do is learn which notes, or more specifically, which pitches, you've heard and sung over the years!

Write down the melody with the note steps or note syllables.

Remember not to guess. If you need the original sheet music to help with this, download it from the internet to ensure you are using the correct note steps and syllables.

You need to know exactly what notes/sounds make up your chosen melody that you have heard all your life. Identify the key of the song and write down the entire melody with the tonal syllables.

Example: "Tomorrow Santa Claus is coming" ( or, Twinkle, twinkle little star) with the tonal syllables:

| Do Do So So | La La Soo | Fa Fa Mi Mi | Ree Doo | 

| So So Fa | Mi Mi Ree | So So Fa Fa | Mi Mi Ree

| Do Do So So | La La Soo | Fa Fa Mi | Ree Doo |

Sing the melody several times, but instead of singing the words, sing the sound syllables.

In this way, you will learn the true meaning of the tone syllables/tone steps.
You will learn the task and structure of the melody this way.  

If you already know how to play an instrument, play the melody on it.

Note that this is the last step in a process that requires absolute clarity in terms of pitch levels. Since you have taken the time to study the melody and have learned exactly what tonal syllables make up this melody, you can now play the melody perfectly in any key on your instrument.

Realize that the point is not to learn the song.  
It's about recognizing the pitch levels and learning how they are put together.

The reason it is worth giving so much time and attention to a simple children's song is that you are learning something that is far more powerful than it initially appears.  

You are learning the ability to recognize the pitch levels in music.

If you study about ten songs thoroughly in this way, you will soon be able to sing and understand hundreds of more pieces. It's all about recognizing our music's structure and composition, and children's songs are ideal for getting your first insights because the tonal steps are presented so clearly and simply there.

I hope this brief introduction has inspired you to continue singing and enjoying these elementary children's and folk songs and to take them apart to look at them in more detail.

You should know the tonal steps for each note that occurs in these songs.

This is wonderful training, and you will be amazed at how quickly this exercise will allow you to recognize and hear the structures and patterns in the music.

If you would like to learn this method even better, I recommend my FREE Quick-Start, „How to immediately understand music better with this guide“  in which I explain and show you everything step by step.

Thank you for your attention!


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