He studied composition in Salzburg and Basel, then worked in the travel industry for two years. He lives with his husband in Berlin. In my ear training course in college, my teacher would play intervals on the piano. Going in a circle, he would point at the students and ask us to identify them. Some days, I got every single interval wrong.
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He studied composition in Salzburg and Basel, then worked in the travel industry for two years. He lives with his husband in Berlin. In my ear training course in college, my teacher would play intervals on the piano. Going in a circle, he would point at the students and ask us to identify them. Some days, I got every single interval wrong. Once in a while, I would panic and simply say nothing.
The teacher would look at me with confusion, then sympathy, and then he would move on to one of my classmates. I felt awful for days after those ear training classes. One friend told me she thought the main objective of ear training was not to improve your ears, but to see if you had the sheer will and perseverance it takes to become a professional musician.
Another friend recalled how his teacher would play random notes on the piano to the class. A third friend of mine is a rock musician by training. When he started studying classical music, his aural skills teacher made him transcribe—notorious difficult, harmonically ambiguous, post-Wagnerian—lieder by Alban Berg from an iPod onto staff paper.
After the two hour lesson, he would have nearly nothing written down. But these skills can be gained with persistent practice.
Musicians learn to recognize intervals, chords, progressions, and given a starting pitch, can name other notes accurately. Of course, like miracle diets, the scientific evidence that this is even possible is dubious.
I decided to try it anyway. The website www. I order the set on Amazon, used, for over euros. One morning, I make myself comfortable next to my electronic keyboard and pop Masterclass 1 into the player. The masterclass begins by talking up the value of perfect pitch.
He says that listening to music without perfect pitch is like watching a movie on a black-and-white TV. There are introductions to basic concepts such as the chromatic scale and the idea of concert pitch. Can we move on? I decided to press on, hoping for some concrete tips in Masterclass 2. The sounds he means are an F and an Eb. The F , he says, sounds bright and twangy; the Eb, round and mellow. Or is it just the power of suggestion?
Before I decide, the second Masterclass is over, too. In total, two minutes of the first 53 seemed relevant. Then, I try to imagine a bright F and sing it. His name is branded everywhere: on the CDs, the handbook, all over the website.
A picture of him shows a handsome man with a beard, glasses and a fedora. I asked her if I could interview David Lucas Burge. She answered that he was currently busy working on a new ear training course.
Could I reach out in a couple of months? Sure, I said. A few months later, I write again and ask if I can try the next course. Burge is currently working on very large projects which are outside the sphere of music. Like David Lucas Burge, Sherri could be a stock photo. I do a Google Reverse Image Search for her picture.
I find it on other websites: www. I also find Sherri, with her headset, offering loans to people with bad credit scores. One day later, I move on to Masterclasses 3. He also keeps bringing up his live seminars. At least I get one real exercise to do in Masterclass 3. I flip through the booklet listlessly and come across a black-and-white picture of a lady in glasses. It sounds like what somebody in Iowa in the s might think a European name sounds like.
But I google her, and there are a few newspaper articles about her. It looks like she actually did exist. Am I trying too hard, I wonder? I start over, this time trying not to squint. Masterclass 4 is short, a series of questions: an anonymous man with a deep voice asks and David Lucas Burge answers.
But the questions he asks are not the questions I want answers to. Does he really exist? Is there anything behind his so-called expertise? Did he really write a book about Eastern spirituality? And why, around a decade ago, was he involved in a lawsuit against a multilevel marketing company named FreeLife, claiming that it was lying about the purity of its Himalayan Goji berries?
I do, however, have another assignment. Anticipating my snideness, David Lucas Burge tells me not to skip this exercise. No matter how smart I think I am. If you already have a subscription, click here to log in. Why subscribe? We're an independent magazine, we pay our writers, and our advertising will never slow you down.
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Doctor of Music
The true story by David Lucas Burge. I'd slave at the piano for five hours daily. Linda practiced far less. Yet somehow she always shined as the star performer at our school Springer Junior High, in a suburb of Wilmington, Delaware.
Can I Learn Perfect Pitch?
Few believed there was actually a way to develop this impressive virtuoso skill, the Holy Grail of musical talents. At the time Burge released his initial course, musicians were skeptical. But Burge had an ingenious answer to this skepticism. He toured U. And it worked. Whether people believed it or not, it made no difference. In his live workshop, Burge first explained exactly what Perfect Pitch is, and equally important, what it is not.
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