I'm always amazed at the idea that musicians should not learn to read music.
How can that possibly help your music career?
If musicians spent as much time learning basic music skills as they do bitching about the lack of opportunity, their chances for success would improve instantly.
If you are serious about becoming a professional musician...
Stop the excuses and learn to read music.It's just not that hard.
First - Here are the top excuses for NOT reading music:
So what? What does that have to do with your music career?
Does being able to read and write mess up your voice or personality?
Maybe not - but why limit your options?
Then learn to read music the right way - musically with feeling and expression.
I work with musicians of all backgrounds and styles. The best ones can flow in any musical setting.
In some situations, nobody cares if you can or can't read music - as long as you can deliver what the gig demands.
And that's my goal for you: to be able to take any gig you want because you have the knowledge and skills to do it.
So here they are, in no particular order.
There are more advantages from learning to read music - but these are enough to get the idea.
To put it bluntly, over the past 20 years, I would say that anywhere from $30,000.00 to $50,000.00 a year of my income has been from gigs that required me to read music.
If you add up only $25,000.00 a year times 20 years - that's $500,000.00 I would have given away 1/2 a million dollars!
Money isn't everything, but if you want a full-time career in music, you might not want to turn it down.
Reading music builds vocabulary for most aspects of music. From Timing and Tempo to Key and Form, reading music covers it all.
You should be able to talk intelligently about music, like any other professional can.
If you ever need a lawyer, would you hire one to represent you in court that couldn't read? Would you trust anybody in any profession that didn't know the vocabulary of their trade?
Aren't you tired of being scared or nervous about basic musical information?
Music is already a tough way to make a living because there are so many variables beyond your control. But these and many other musical fears are easily fixed.
Knowledge of the basic tools of your gig is something you can control.
Learning to read music is a powerful way to prepare yourself for anything that comes your way. That builds confidence.
It doesn't have to be for professional reasons.
Reading music can be just for your enjoyment. That alone is enough.
One of the most brilliant minds of human history recognized the simple joy and pleasure of making music:
"Life without playing music is inconceivable to me. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music... I get most joy in life out of music."
There are studies that prove learning to read music develops your brain in unique ways.
Here is a study that suggests Rhythm abilities are connected to improved performance in other areas...
Some even argue that learning to read music can make you smarter...
I'm not so sure it's helped me, but I have read enough evidence to believe it can make a big difference in brain development of children.
There is also evidence that playing music may have a preventive effect against dementia. That's huge!
So, learning to read those little black notes may have some benefits for you.
It's your choice, of course. And I totally agree that you don't have to for a successful music career. Just ask Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder and many others.
But, reading music does give you tools and skills that will last a lifetime.
If you decide
to do it, do it the right way. Too often, bad teachers turn reading
music into a miserable experience.
I have my own way of teaching that is fun and super effective. To learn how to read music the right way, keep an eye out for my new course, "How To Read Music - See it, Say it, Play it".
I am excited to announce this will soon be available as a powerful video course early next year!