I wanted to take this opportunity to look back at what’s been going on over the course of the year. If you’re new to the site you might discover some things you didn’t know about, and if you’ve been with us for a while – well, join me in indulging in some premature nostalgia…
For information on a free eBook giveaway, big discounts on ear training apps and all that’s to come in 2011, you can skip ahead.
We kicked off the year introducing the site and (in the inaugural post) outlining our mission:
“Here at Easy Ear Training we’re devoted to finding new ways to make ear training easy, effective and fun.”
We delved into what ear training is and isn’t, and our authors began exploring different topics in ear training, from pitch and harmony, to tempo, frequencies, and the different ways you can effectively develop your ears.
Our first quiz was launched, to help you know where to start with ear training and identify areas you might like to improve. To close our first week we held a launch event in London, where a bunch of musicians and music researchers got some hands-on practice with our tutorials and ear training tools.
A big part of what we’ve been up to over the course of the year is developing six ear training series, each in a different area of ear training. You can find out more on our Series page – and with nearly 40 articles by 5 different authors you’re sure to find something to catch your interest!
Aside from our series, we’ve published dozens of articles on different topics in ear training. We’ve just introduced a new Topics system to help you more easily find information on the areas which interest you (find out more below) – and don’t forget you can also explore the articles available on the site by clicking an interesting tag at the bottom of an article, looking at a particular author – or simply searching the site for what you’re interested in!
Online quizzes are a quick and easy way to test your aural skills. We’ve developed 5 so far, and they’ve been used by more than 900 people in the last year – completing nearly 1200 ear training quizzes!
They cover topics ranging from the fundamentals of ear training to recognising the different parts of a drum kit, and beginner-to-advanced frequency training for our Frequency Fundamentals series.
The most popular is our “Intro to Ear Training” quiz, which tests you on a variety of aural skills and helps you figure out which kinds of ear training you might like to work on. 60% of people get at least half the questions right – but only 1 person in 100 scores 10/10!
After some in-depth beta testing by a group of EasyEarTraining.com readers, we launched our new ear training game for iPhone and iPod Touch: Step and a Half.
It’s proved really popular with users, with the majority of reviewers awarding it 4 or 5 stars. I think my favourite review is this one:
“This app fills a void in the ear training genre (to my knowledge) that was desperately needed. It is fun and beneficial to learn and use relative pitch in this way. Progression resembles that of their Relative Pitch app so they work great together, and you get a good sense of achievement with its scoring system that keeps you motivated! Strongly recommended!”
We’ve received some very interesting feedback about the gaming approach and the goal of using intervals to decipher melodies, and will be continuing to develop and improve Step and a Half and its companion app RelativePitch in 2011.
We’re continually looking for new ways to use technology to make ear training more fun and effective, and in this spirit we launched our new series of innovative ear training albums, called “Unravelling Music”. The idea is that you can learn to hear musical elements (such as chords, intervals, timbre, rhythm) by listening to real music instead of abstract drills – and learning in this way opens up your ear to hear these elements in any music you listen to!
Introducing Intervals is the first album in the series, focusing on musical intervals and introducing a variety of other musical concepts along the way. So far users have been reporting that it’s more fun to learn using real music, and that it helps them hear more in the music they listen to every day.
If you stopped by the site around October 31st, you will have seen a few changes! And we released a special Unravelling Music track to celebrate the spookiest of holidays, “Halloween Eve’s Birthday Bash”. It was released as a free download – so if you’d like to add a touch of the creeps to your day, or find out what “Unravelling Music” is all about, you can go grab your copy now!
What’s to come in 2011
Changes to the site
With over 100 posts and so many other resources now on the site, we wanted to make sure it’s easy to dig into the subjects you really care about in ear training. So we’ve introduced a new Topics system, to group articles and resources on the site by the area of ear training they focus on. You can find Topics for things like Relative Pitch (including Intervals, Scales and Chords), Perfect Pitch, Rhythm, Audio Mixing, Audio Effects, and many more.
To start exploring, visit www.EasyEarTraining.com/topics!
New ear training apps
Training your ears using apps (like RelativePitch and Step and a Half) is becoming a really popular way to develop your musicianship, and we’re working on several more apps to expand the kinds of ear training you can do on the move, whenever you have a few minutes to spare. Look out for an exciting announcement here very soon!
And remember, if you want a sneak preview of our upcoming apps, you can join our beta testers group by emailing beta@EasyEarTraining.com.