Beginning Steps

How2PlayByEar [The title of the instructional videos] is based on a simple premise: When the sounds that we have played become organized in our minds and ears, and programmed into our fingers, we’ll be able to retrieve them as we improvise and play by ear. Our muscles remember what we have thoughtfully stored and practiced. The study of chords based on the scale facilitates the development of the ability to internalize the pitches of the scale.

Beginning Steps includes:

  • Playing melodies of increasing difficulty by thinking scale numbers or syllables, and intervals.
  • Common-tone chording in different styles and all keys.
  • Combining scales and chords in keyboard style (both melody and chords in the right hand with the bass in the left hand).
  • Mastering binary and ternary rhythm patterns, including the combining of these in mixed meter.

In addition to the MP4 videos, the “Snap Shot Views” (excerpts) are also included as digital files. The CD-R version includes Power point slides of music examples that can be projected on a screen for classroom presentations or viewed on mobile devices. These are available free of charge except for the cost of shipping. Contact Information: or 419-651-7155 (cell)

To download the Beginning Steps program, click the button below. Before downloading the Beginning Steps zip file, it might be helpful to take a few minutes to view Free Lesson and Preview and Free Lesson One

Free Lesson and Preview After sharing thoughts on the importance of connecting what we say and what do, and thoughts on the importance of working together, the focus of the video is on how chords work together. It’s exciting to discover how relevant the study of music theory can be when it’s applied in practical and varied ways.

Free Lesson One