I am convinced that it is possible to learn to play the piano without listening. A student can learn to mechanically play the piano as a technician by focusing on seeing the music and the keyboard in combination with comprehension of basic theory understood solely as music math, and employing concepts such as dynamics and fingering. Often I see the results of this method of teaching and learning. It leaves the player feeling completely disconnected from the incredible world of music and sound. It contributes to student frustration and claims of disliking the music learning process. Students want to be more than robots. That's boring! They deserve to become personally engaged with the world of communicating through sound… to make music. To make music we need to learn what it means to listen.
If you’re having trouble practicing piano please consider going for a walk without some device plugged into your ears and listen. Experience the world around you. Then I encourage you to go back to your piano and play what you heard and experienced. I also encourage you to watch a You Tube video by a world class percussionist. Dame Evelyn Glennie, who happens to be deaf, gives us true insight into the art of listening in her Ted Talk entitled How to truly listen.
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