The loss of vision for a sighted person takes away many of the activities the person enjoyed. Learning to replace the loss of activities can be a challenge or a new and exciting journey of discovery. A visually impaired/blind person for instance has the opportunity to learn how to play several musical instruments using the process called, “Playing by Ear.” Learning to play by ear does not involve learning Braille or any form of printed material. Bill brown has taught people of all ages to play a variety of musical instruments during his teaching/educational career using the play by ear method. Mr. Brown began recording his play by ear method to allow students to take the recordings home and learn a larger number of songs at a faster pace. Mr. Brown discovered that the play by ear method was especially helpful for teaching individuals who are visually impaired/blind how to play songs on a musical instrument. During Mr. Brown’s years of teaching music, he has developed over 950 lessons for about a dozen instruments. The lessons available for the different instruments include the Piano, Guitar, Bass and Drum, Saxophone, Violin, Flute, Mandolin, Banjo, Ukulele, Harmonica, and the Penny Whistle.
Mr. Brown has graciously provided his song lessons for checkout without cost from the following services; National Library Service(Library of Congress – USA), the Canadian National Institute for the Blind and the Royal National Institute for the Blind(United Kingdom). You can learn more information on how to obtain the lessons from the National Library Service by reading a previous article on BellaOnline Vision Issues Homepage titled, “Free Music Lessons National Library services.” You can locate the article by visiting the Vision Issues site and click on the Sports and Leisure section.
If you would like to own your own CD of the lessons then visit Bill brown’s website titled, “Music for the blind.” All the lessons can be purchased for approximately Ten dollars each. The website address is http://www.musicfortheblind.com.
The website also contains several samples of the songs and lessons taught. You can also visit a lesson of the month page to checkout new song titles and lesson samples or sign up for a newsletter for updates and free lessons. The website offers a variety of lessons such as introduction courses and play by ear song title lessons.
If you are interested in learning to play an instrument or learn a song on one of the instruments listed in this article then, visit the “Music for the blind” site and listen to a sample lesson. Who knows! Even, I may try to play a song on the piano.
I have not received any form of compensation for writing this article. In addition, I have not used any of the lessons discussed in this article.