Many people give up on music because they can’t read sheet music. In my opinion sheet music was not designed for creative people-many famous musicians can’t and couldn’t read music.
Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, Hans Zimmerman, Irving Berlin, Elvis Presley, Eric Clapton and many more. Even Pavarotti, a classical operatic tenor, was known as a very poor and slow reader of sheet music.
The ancient harpers didn’t even have the option of sheet music!
The left vs right brain theory is an example of why creative people may often struggle with reading music.
The Right Brain
According to the left-brain, right-brain dominance theory, the right side of the brain is best at expressive and creative tasks. Some of the abilities that are popularly associated with the right side of the brain include:
• Recognizing faces
• Expressing emotions
• Reading emotions
The Left Brain
The left-side of the brain is considered to be adept at tasks that involve logic, language and analytical thinking. The left-brain is often described as being better at:
• Critical thinking
So the left side of the brain is the part needed to understand and read musical notation, but it is the right side that is needed for creative expression. Many potentially great musicians get put off by music notation because often artistic, creative people have brains that are wired to be right dominant, so they struggle to get their heads around the rules and logic.
Traditionally folk harp music was passed on by demonstrate and copy, just like folk tales were passed on by word of mouth. It is only in recent times that everything has been written down.
We do teach music notation on our course but we have devised a learning method that makes sense to the creative people out there as well! We also wait until year two before we bring in music notation, which allows you to get to know your instrument before trying to grasp all the theory! We teach you to “learn to speak before you learn to read”.