An often overlooked and under appreciated activity is listening to our own practicing through audio playback and listening the great artists play our repertoire.
The first activity lets us hear the truth. Champions welcome feedback. I promise it won’t all be bad or embarrassing. Really!
The second activity gets the sound in our head out the hands. It familiarizes us to the musical language being spoken. A cornerstone of learning any new language.
Let’s dig down.
1. Listening to ourselves, as objectively as we can, helps us to appreciate our progress. And, it saves time by exposing in short order what needs attention. No point wasting time on the whole piece when it is obviously measure 22 through 26 that really needs our attention.
2. Listening to the music we are studying serves a number of purposes.
Swing jazz comping patterns verses Bebop comping patterns
Dynamics in early Classical sonatas verses late Romantic sonatas
It gets the sound in our ears though analytic listening. That is to say, what is going on here with:
After years of teaching and practicing I've concluded: we can’t play what we can’t hear.
You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.
I'm a professional pianist and music educator in West Toronto Ontario. I'm also a devoted student and teacher of the drums.