Do I Need to Read Music?

As a voice teacher in Austin, Texas, I love working with newer singers. And one of the best things you can do when you’re learning a new subject is to begin speaking the language. While music is heard by the ears, and played by the hands or sung by voice, music is also VERY visual.

In fact, students who are just beginning to learn to sing progress much more quickly when they’re able to actually SEE the notes they want to hit. This is because they are able to visualize the notes better when they are written on the page.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to sing with a stronger chest voice, or hit high notes with power, one of the best skills that you can acquire as a singer is the ability to READ MUSIC.

One of the biggest things I wish I had done as a young person is learn to read and write music fluently. It’s just not as easy when you get older. Let me convince you to start now and you’ll never regret it!

While it may be tempting to just dedicate an entire voice lesson to fixing your break, singing through your bridge, or overcoming your falsetto, I try to incorporate some of the theory of music and singing into every voice lesson.

That’s because at a certain point, as a musician, you will find yourself in situations where you’re unable to speak the language like other musicians.

Sure, you may be able to explain the Fach system (the classical system of categorizing voices i.e. Bass, Alto, Tenor, Soprano and all the different shades), but if you’re not able to read the melody line or follow the rhythm of a written piece, there’s bound to be problems.

I’ve spent a large part of my adult life (starting at age 21) struggling to read music because I relied completely on my ear when I was younger. So if you can’t read music, I can’t tell you how important it is to start, no matter how old you are. There is simply too much beautiful music out there to just listen to. Let’s not forget, singing is also a visual art!

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