Joey Alexander is 11 in the video below, and he displays an artistry and control and musicality that few are able to achieve, no matter what their age. In the jazz tradition, he learned by ear, and listening to him talk about who he likes, you know he likes the heavies, and has absorbed them.
In school, learning by ear is usually not the way we learn music, and it’s too bad. Music is a language, it uses similar areas of the brain, and communicates emotion and feeling. Learning music the way we learn language, through imitation and experimentation, makes a lot of sense. He’s got some great advice and a champion’s attitude, too.
Listen to Joey Alexander to hear and see how powerful learning by ear can be.