How To Play Piano By Ear!

I love the piano. I’ve been playing since I was a little kid. And yes, it’s true, my parents had to make me take lessons for a few years, but once I was around 10 or 11 I started to really love it. And what made me love it was figuring out how to play songs on the radio by ear!

I think the first one I learned was Jump by Van Halen. You were really cool if you could play that back in the 1980’s. And I wanted to be cool. My friend Jeff showed me how to do it. Once I got it, I played it over and over and over again, surely driving my parents crazy. But I was so excited that I could play something on the piano and have it sound exactly like what I heard on the radio. I knew right then I wanted more of that. So I learned Axel F from Beverly Hills Cop. Then it was the theme to Rocky and the theme to Chariots Of Fire. Now that I think about it, a lot of those songs were from movies and TV shows I loved. It was so fun to be able to watch my favorite show and then go over to the piano and play the theme song!
Now as a piano teacher in St. Louis, MO, I get to help my students accomplish that very same feat every day! And it is so fun to watch them start to understand how to learn these songs by ear. See, there is an actual system that all professional musicians use to learn songs. Once you understand your basic major scales, you can start to learn how to build chords from those scales. And then you put those chords into chord progressions which make up all the songs we know. This is by far my favorite thing to teach. A student can go from no knowledge of music at all to playing one of their favorite songs in a matter of weeks. How fun is that!?
If you’d like to experience these magical moments for yourself, I would love to chat about piano lessons for your kids or for you! It’s never too late to start learning this stuff. And the joy my students get from being able to sit down and play music for the people they love, is really what it’s all about. Playing the piano by ear is a learnable skill that just about anyone can do. You don’t have to be blessed with amazing musical talent. You just have to love music and be willing to sit down and practice a few times a week. Believe me, the pay off is worth it!
If you’d like more information on piano lessons, please visit:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *