Teaching Popular Music by Ear - Course Outline

  1. Course Intro: The Art of Playing by Ear
  2. Episode 1: Play By Ear? I Prefer to Use My Fingers
  3. Episode 2: Translating What We Sing
  4. Episode 3: Sweet, Sweet Melody
  5. Episode 4: Getting Jiggy With It
  6. Episode 5: Get Dat Beat Down
  7. Episode 6: All About The Bass (No Trouble)
  8. Episode 7: Let's Get Some Bass in This Place
  9. Episode 8: In Case of Emergency, Use Chords
  10. Episode 9: Getting Colourful

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Teaching Popular Music by Ear with Simon Rushby

We’re so excited to bring you this next-level ear training course taught by Simon Rushby! While this course is a natural follow-up to Tim’s 4-Chord Composing Course and Simon’s The Complete Guide to Songwriting, this course can easily be taken on its own. Simon covers topics like translating what we sing, how melodies are constructed, recognizing rhythms, learning about bass line construction, simple chord progressions, and learning colourful chords. Follow along with Simon as he uses top pop songs as examples on how to learn and teach by ear.  


Simon Rushby is a music education expert, teacher, performer, composer, an ABRSM examiner, and author who taught music in schools across the South-East of England. With over 30 years of experience in leading UK schools as a Director of Music, he’s worked with many students of all levels. He’s published several educational resources, including Discovering Music Theory, an ABRSM exam prep series. As a composer, Simon has written songs that have charted for artists in Europe and Asia, and compositions that have been used worldwide for TV shows and commercials, including BBC, ITV, Sky and BT Sport in the UK. As an arranger, he’s been the lead on two albums for Alexander Shulgin, which have topped the charts in Russia. As a performer Simon remains busy as a pianist and keyboard player and has been musical director for productions of shows such as Sweeney Todd, Carousel, The Producers, Les Miserables, Anything Goes and West Side Story. He also plays keyboards in a number of highly respected pop, rock and jazz bands and has conducted performances of a vast range of choral and orchestral music, both with student and adult ensembles and choirs.  

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