• Exposed: The Three Aspects Of The “Hear And Play” Philosophy

    in Beginners,Ear-Training,Experienced players,General Music,Piano,Playing By Ear

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    Jermaine Griggs introduced the hear and play philosophy in the year 2000.

    According to Jermaine, “if you can hear it, you can play it”. The “if you can hear it, you can play it” phrase is the cornerstone philosophy of this site that has helped hundreds of thousands of musicians all around the world learn how to play by the ear.

    I’m excited to share the three components of the hear and play philosophy with you in this lesson. But before I do so, I’ll want to let you know if I agree with Jermaine or not.

    “Dr. Pokey, Do You Agree With Jermaine?”

    This is a question so many people may want to ask if this was a classroom situation. I agree with Jermaine that “if you can hear it, you can play it”. Please, permit me to tell you why.

    Reason #1 – His Philosophy Has Stood The Test Of Time

    After several years (almost 2 decades and still counting) from the inception of the Hear and Play Music Learning Center, it has helped millions of people. Its positive impact is tangible and time or space would fail me to share all the testimonials and success stories.

    If Jermaine is wrong, why has his approach helped millions of musicians across several countries actualize their musical goals and reach their potential?

    Reason #2 – His Philosophy Has Passed The Test Of Acceptance And Dependence

    I agree with Jermaine because his method has passed the test of acceptance and has also gained dependence.

    So many musicians across the continents of the world have accepted his philosophy: African musicians, Asian musicians, American musicians, Australian musicians, etc

    Hundreds of thousands of musicians depend on his paid courses and millions of musicians view pages of his lessons annually.

    Reason #3 – His Philosophy Has Passed My Personal Test

    I started playing the Piano in 1996 and never really skipped the baby steps.

    I was stuck at playing one-finger melodies and primary triads (the 1-chord, 4-chord, and 5-chord) until I discovered the hear and play philosophy in 2003 and by 2005, I was already teaching other kids in my neighborhood.

    I was following his 60 day piano lesson delivered to my email and also bought a few courses from the Beginners Basic Collection and in a matter of weeks and months, I made monumental progress that neither me nor my family/friends could deny.

    In 2008, I was already learning how to play Jazz on this site and the rest is history.

    The Three Aspeccts Of The “Hear And Play” Philosophy

    The two main terms in the Hear and Play philosophy is hearing and playing. Hearing is associated with perception and Playing is associated with execution.

    So, Jermaine Griggs is simply saying:

    If you can perceive it (perception), you can execute it (execution)

    But in between perception and execution is recognition. So, altogether, there are three aspects of the Hear and Play philosophy and we’re covering them right away.

    Aspect #1 — Aural Perception

    Below is one of the universal definitions of music:

    Music is an organized “sound” that is pleasant to the ear.

    Although music can either be pleasant or unpleasant, one thing remains the fact that music is basically a product of sound (which is the raw material).

    If music is basically sound, then it all begins with hearing and the sense of hearing.

    Hearing is important to everyone: musicians and non-musicians alike. However, the sense of hearing is more important to the musician and this is because he/she is responsible for the organization of sounds into music.

    The organ of hearing (which is the ear) is the musician’s greatest asset and the truth remains that deafness (which is the absence of aural perception) incapacitates a musician.

    It is also important to note that in the hear and play philosophy:

    “If you can hear it, you can play it”

    …hearing comes before playing. So, aural perception is the starting point of musicianship and anyone who can hear has fulfilled the requirement of the first aspect.

    Let’s proceed to the second aspect.

    Aspect #2 — Mental Recognition

    Hearing is NOT enough — Yes!

    The second aspect of the Hear and Play philosophy is the mental recognition of what is heard and that’s what separates musicians from non-musicians.

    Although hearing is not unique to musicians alone, the mental recognition or awareness of what is heard is what distinguishes musicians from non-musicians.

    When a song is played or heard, a musician is able to recognize notes, scales, intervals, chords, chord progressions, etc., and the ability to recognize all these components comes through ear-training and prolonged active listening.

    The ability to hear (aspect #1) a song for the first time and play (aspect #3) it = Hear and Play. There’s no magic anywhere in the world that can help you to hear and play, without the second aspect that enables you to do so (which is mental recognition).

    So, it’s possible to play your favorite instrument (which is most likely the piano) if you have mental recognition for the rhythmic, melodic and harmonic components of music.

    Attention: Mental recognition comes through ear-training. Click here to get started with ear-training now.

    Aspect #3 — Physical Execution

    The third aspect of the Hear and Play philosophy is playing and it is 100% physical; involving the hands (and feet).

    Physical execution encompasses all the processes of playing an instrument, which may include any of the following: touching, striking, beating, plucking, etc.

    In the case of the piano, a proper understanding of the concept of fingering, fingering guidelines, sitting position, etc., is very vital.

    There is no musical instrument that is not mechanically challenging to say the least. On the piano, the pianist needs to acquire the following:

    Independence, speed, agility, precision, fleetness, etc.,

    …to be able to play certain melodic and harmonic ideas.

    Attention: If you’re interested in overcoming the mechanical difficulties musicians encounter on the piano, then you need to click here and check out the Hanon Mastery Course.

    Final Words

    So, while the first aspect of the Hear and Play philosophy comes naturally, the other two aspects:

    Mental recognition

    Physical execution

    …require exercises and prolonged exposure to training.

    Let me end by saying this: “If you can hear it, you can play it“.

    All the best!

    The following two tabs change content below.
    Hello, I'm Chuku Onyemachi (aka - "Dr. Pokey") - a musicologist, pianist, author, clinician and Nigerian. Inspired by my role model Jermaine Griggs, I started teaching musicians in my neighborhood in April 2005. Today, I'm privileged to work as the head of education, music consultant, and chief content creator with HearandPlay Music Group sharing my wealth of knowledge with hundreds of thousands of musicians across the world.

    Attention: To learn more about this, I recommend our 500+ page course: The "Official Guide To Piano Playing." Click here for more information.



    { 1 comment… read it below or add one }

    1 Carolyn

    Thanks for sharing. Yes I can hear it and I am playing it. You
    all are great teachers. I am so grateful I found this site. God
    bless you all.


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