I’ve had this theory for a while that if you have the words to describe what is happening when you play music (physically, mentally, emotionally) it assists greatly in the development of musicality. My experience has been that having a vocabulary to express what you hear is integral to being able to improve. This is because great musicians are always comparing two things: their ideal concept of what something will sound like and what their playing sounds like in reality. Yet, in the way that we teach, we often tell our students “that’s wrong, it goes like this,” without giving them the tools to be able to express why something doesn’t meet their own aural concept. It’s just as important to do this with the nuts-and-bolts of music (rhythm, articulation, pitch) as well as the more expressive aspects of music. This is because giving students building a musical vocabulary early enables them to understand instruction more quickly and develop self-reflective practising skills.  Continue reading