There has long been debate amongst musicians over whether it is better to learn music by ear or through the use of sheet music. In the West, learning by ear is associated mostly with folk or rock music, but in many countries around the world classical traditions lack a history of musical notation and are also taught by ear. At Kathryn Brickell Music, we make sure our teachers are equipped to help you whether you wish to learn by “ear” or by learning sheet music. When one learns by ear they are essentially listening repeatedly and intently to other musicians and then attempting to recreate what one hears. A process similar to that of how a baby learns their first words. There are advantages and disadvantages for both styles of learning music. When one learns using sheet music they usually have good technical quality but lack improvisation skills. Whereas a musician who learns by ear usually has the ability to play along spontaneously with a vocalist on a song the never learned but they may have problems playing with certain types of bands that rely heavily or exclusively on sheet music like orchestras.