Many music students struggle with ear training, though it is a critical skill for musical development. The most effective learning method is one-on-one instruction with a tutor, at the piano. But ear training is a technical skill; the main thing the human tutor provides in this area is a stream of problems, adjusting to the student's proficiency. Sebastian gives the same kind of tutoring: gradually increasing problem difficulty and trying different types of problems as you get better. Save time with human teachers for more interesting things, like learning music and physical technique. Teachers can delegate repetitive aural training to Sebastian, and students will reap the musical benefits of highly trained ears.
Sebastian's interface is streamlined, to help you achieve a learning 'flow' with minimal distraction. The best ear training happens when you engage your muscle memory by using a keyboard and 'feeling' sounds. So you can use a MIDI keyboard with Sebastian, but even if you don't have one, the on-screen keyboard helps you learn to map sound to something tangible.
Unlike some other programs, you don't perform 'drills', with gaps of difficulty between drills and distracting accuracy measurements. Sebastian gives you one problem at a time, progressing as you do, and holding back where you struggle. And it sneaks in review of problems you missed before. Sebastian is designed to take a challenging skill and make it fun for anyone to learn.
Sebastian was created by Dr. Jonathan Crosmer, a software engineer, composer, and violist, who worked with students in aural skills classes when he studied at the University of Nebraska---Lincoln.
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