Writing by Heart
Explaining the process of writing your own original music by heart is challenging. This is not because writing original music is more difficult, but because the principles of writing music are a little more intangible than those of learning to play the piano by ear. Perhaps this is why there are many sites that teach how to play by ear, but very few about writing your own music.
The writing process encompasses all the play-by-ear principles we have discussed, and ventures further into new territory. Sometimes someone will ask me, “How do you just sit down and write music?” This is difficult to answer because it takes mind, heart, and skill; and it takes a lot of each. But don’t be intimidated by that fact, because you have already become very familiar with the musical use of each.
It does take a great deal of practice. Keep in mind, however, that the practice required for learning to write music by heart is a much different kind of practice than is used for learning to read music. It is also quite different than learning to play by ear – though learning by ear is, to some extent, prerequisite.
If your intent in all of this is to learn to play music by heart, then you must recognize the role of learning to play by ear. Remember that in training yourself to hear and play a note, you are training much more than just your ear.