Play By Ear #1: Pick Out Melodies with 7 Tones in 1 Hour

For Piano, Guitar, Ukulele Players - Learn my Unique Method to play songs by EAR! 25 Songs Practice to play by EAR!
4.1 (46 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a
course's star rating by considering a number of different factors
such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the
likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
2,284 students enrolled
Instructed by Rosa Suen Music / Music Fundamentals
Take This Course
  • Lectures 91
  • Length 2.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
Wishlisted Wishlist

How taking a course works


Find online courses made by experts from around the world.


Take your courses with you and learn anywhere, anytime.


Learn and practice real-world skills and achieve your goals.

About This Course

Published 1/2015 English

Course Description

Rosa's Online School:

  • Teaching 22 Courses on Business Successes - Udemy, Kindle, Skillshare!
  • Teaching 42 Courses on Music & Piano Courses!

OVER 25,000 Successful students have already taken my online courses since July 2014 with 877 - 5 Star Reviews

Course Updated: Nov 1, 2016



Here are some Reviews by students already in less than 24 Hours after the launching of the course:

Niels Walkau: The dream of playing by ear is ALIVE!

I spent years learning to play piano by rote but could never play by ear. Embarrassing actually. I always thought I wasn't born with that "magical" talent and I would have given a lot to be able to sit down and play any tune off the top of my head. After only spending literally 30 minutes in this course, I have the confidence and evidence that IT IS POSSIBLE to learn to play by EAR. The piano notation that Rosa introduces is crazy easy to understand and will transform how you understand/enjoy playing music. I am only 8 lectures in at this point...I will report back as I make more progress...

Barbara: Learned to play 2 songs by ear in 30 min!

Wow! I am more excited about this course than any I have taken before. It's accelerated learning. Once again Rosa has shared so much knowledge with her students. Looking forward to the next course. If you are interested in learning to play by ear don't miss this course.

Judy Rae Harbin: This course really helped me with recognizing tones and their relation to each other.

Rosa, as always, was totally dedicated to making it all so simple to understand. Like learning a whole new musical language, but so easy-- with VERY impressive videos and demonstrations of each step along the way--typical Rosa highest quality!

Alene Thornton: A desire to play by ear?

As usual, I think Rosa has come up with another winning course. Rosa taught me this numbering system (Asian Notation or also known as Jianpu) several years ago and I have used it every since as a method to easily play any song in all 12 keys using just one lead sheet. The emphasis on Part 1 of this course is learning how to pick out a melody, and then also to write it down using the numbering system and also how to play using just the lyrics.

She explains, in her usual easy descriptive method, just how to know what key a song is in, what the starting note will be, whether it's a pickup note/notes and clues to where the melody is going next.

This first part 1 course is just the beginning of the fun! There will be more to come but you will be able to visualize the advantages of using this numbering system to make playing in any key so easy. There are lots of fun songs to practice this method in this course for beginners or intermediates to advanced, or anyone wanting to learn to play by ear, no matter what level you are at now.

Another super course!


Playing By Ear is a Fascinating Topic.

Is it your dream to be able to play your favorite song by ear?

Many people struggle for many years to read music. This course is going to free you from the traditional musical score sheets such that you can play by ear using my Number Method.

My Play by Ear Method is based on a 7 tone Number system. It takes only ONE HOUR to learn the system. That´s how simple the system is. You don´t believe me? Tell me about it after you learn the system from me. And before the day finishes, you are going to have a system in your brain and hands to play some of your favorite songs by EAR. Read the reviews and you can do play by EAR today before you go to sleep.

The Concept takes less than 1 Hour to learn, but to MASTER the skill, you need to have a lot of songs to practice on and this is why I have provided lots of song assignments from Beginners to Intermediate to Advanced for you to work on. Mastering this skill will take the next 2 weeks to become GOOD at it. The Assignment & the Practical applications are the most important and FUN part of the course!

My Testimony: Never did I dare to think that my DREAM would come true: I can now play many of my favorite songs by EAR. It's happening and HAPPENING every day. It took me 20 years to find the path to play songs by ear. I am so EXCITED that I want to share these easy-to-follow instructions so that DREAMERS like you can start playing your favorite songs by ear. For you, it will only take a few hours to finish this course to start gaining the knowledge and skill to learn how to pick out melodies of song using my 7 Tone Method.

This Play By Ear Course is a 3 part series. This is Part 1 of a series and this course will teach you how to start picking out melodies of simple songs in Key of C. You are going to learn about the dynamics and quality of sounds of these 7 tones so that you know how melodies move in songs, whether they go up, go down, or remain the same. In Part 2, you will learn to use the same 7 tones to play in all 12 Keys by EAR easily. In Part 3, you will learn to harmonize all these songs with Chords.

Although my demonstration of these songs are on the keyboard, this Play by Ear course is suitable for all musicians who want to learn to play by ear. If you play piano, guitar, ukulele or violin, and you want to learn to play by Ear, this course is also for you. My demonstration is on the piano/keyboard, but you can use the same principles to apply to your musical instrument.

Level: Beginners to Advanced

Playing By Ear Level 1 - My Unique Method!

1. Listen to tne 7 tones.

2. Learn to see song structure and patterns (BIG Secret)

3. Use a number system to see music in ONE flash

4. From my videos, you will be amazed to discover how EASY it is to play by ear, that you had never realized before.

5. Write the 7 tones into a piece of music such that when you look at the piece of music, it totally simplifies your thought process when you play songs by ear. It totally frees you from the traditional method of reading complicated musical staff notation. When you listen to tones and look at numbers, you will learn to listen to sounds deeply to pick out melody of songs without struggle.

This Play By Ear Course Part 1 will give you:

  • 21 Magic Tips to listening to the 7 Tones
  • Train your ears to listen to the quality of these 7 Tones
  • Spot musical patterns in song
  • Learn structure of songs
  • Feel the rhythm of the tune - 3/4 or 4/4
  • Put the 7 tones into a piece of music with bar lines
  • My 7 Easy Steps to Play songs by Ear

Play By Ear: You will learn to pick out melodies of these 26 Songs in this course:

1. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

2. Kum Ba Yah

3. Mary Had A Little Lamb

4. Braham's Lullaby

5. Happy Birthday

6. Clementine

7. O Christmas Tree

8. Jingle Bells

9. We Wish You A Merry Christmas

10. Silent Night

11. Away In A Manger

12. Today

13. Oh Danny Boy

14. Somewhere Over the Rainbow

15. Changing Partners

16. You are my sunshine

17. Yesterday

18. Edelweiss

19. Do Re Mi

20. Moon River

21. Unchained Melody

22. Yesterday

23. Yesterday Once More

24. Colors of the Wind

25. Memories - The Way We Were

26. Misty

Join our happy and fun music class together.

Enroll into the course, and I'll see you inside:



About Rosa's Online School:

  • Over 25,000 very happy students already in my Udemy classes
  • See the 5 Star Reviews from VERY satisfied students
  • You get free lifetime access
  • All videos are at your finger tips to watch anytime & anywhere
  • All future extra lectures and upgrades are always free
  • Unconditional Udemy 30 day money-back guarantee and that's my personal promise to your success!
  • Join this happy family of students
  • Enroll into this course

What are the requirements?

  • Know some favorite tunes in their head
  • a keyboard / piano

What am I going to get from this course?

  • PLAY simple songs by Ear
  • LISTEN to sounds
  • PAY ATTENTION to high and low pitches
  • RECOGNIZE scale tones
  • DIFFERENTIATE tones and pitches
  • PICK out melody of many songs by ear without difficulty
  • USE Numbers to write out a piece of music
  • SPOT out patterns in songs
  • SEE Music repetition in one glance
  • LOVE playing songs by ear
  • OVERCOME road blocks to playing by ear
  • ACQUIRE the ability to distinguish pitches
  • KNOW the 3 ways melody moves to help them play by ear
  • PREDICT the next tone going up or going down
  • DEVELOP good ears

Who is the target audience?

  • Those who have dreamed all their lives the ability to play by ear
  • Those who want to sit at the piano to play their favorite songs
  • Those who love to sing
  • Those who think the are tone-deaf
  • Those who think they are not born with the gift of 'good ears'

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction
Play By Ear is for EVERYONE - You and Me!
Overview of the Course
Section 2: Music is made up of Tones, Intervals and Scales

Play By Ear Method - Understand Music has 12 Unique Tones

12 Unique Tones form the Chromatic Scale


Play By Ear Method - 12 Chromatic Scale Tones are all half tones apart

Learn to distinguish the half tone intervals.

The piano is divided into Blocks of Octaves containing these 12 tones.

Five Types Of Scales
Western Music uses 7-tone Scales: Four 7-tone Scales
Section 3: Major Scale

In this video, I only show you one key - C key.

All 12 Keys move along the same scale tones of: W W H W W W H

Section 4: Play Song By Ear BIG Secret: Melody of Song uses 7 Tones

Watch this Video over and over again so that you know why it is EZ to Play By Ear!

You don't need to go all over the keyboard board to  hunt and peck.

All you need are these 7 tones!

Tap into the SECRET that is revealed in this video!

Section 5: Play Song By Ear Demo: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star C Key

Play By Ear - You must have the tune in your head

We have the mistaken notion to think that we can play by ear when we don't know the song.

You can't!

You must register the tones into your brain first.

You must be able to hum it inside your head.

Or else you can't transfer that sound into your hands!

It's incredible!

Our brains can signal our hands to play out the sounds.

That's why Play by Ear is so magical to people!


The MAGIC TIP of picking out melody tones is in this video!

Play by EAR is so easy when you discover that you only manoeuvre around these 7 tones only.

That's all!

No need to go all over the keyboard.


This kind of music notation is so easy!

You do not need music staff, music score sheet.

Get a Blank piece of paper and just record the Numbers!

That's it!

This is the SIMPLICITY of this method that helps your brain to register TONES to play by EAR!


Play by Ear is not difficult once you realize that there is PATTERN in songs.

Big Tip: You see it in this video!

Do you see that Musical sentences repeat themselves.

This is the MAGIC of Numbers!

You can identify Patterns easily.

They are staring right in front of you.

You can't miss it.

You then see how songs repeat themselves from one line to another.

Having picked out the melody of the first line, you have picked out the melody of the last line.

Listen Carefully!

Pay attention to Patterns!


Many frustrated people 'hunt and peck' all over the places for the melody tones on the keyboard.

I have already given you 2 BIG Secrets:

1. Melody tones usually move around these 7 tones.

2. Melody tones that sound the same remain the same and no need to do guess work to hunt and peck.

This lesson is very important.

Listen to the 'same' sounds in the video.

They are the 'same' pitch.

Magic Tip 6: - How To Predict Tones: Movement of Tones from Tension to Rest
Magic Tip 7: Melody Tones have 3 Movements: High, Low, Same

Ask yourself: Is the next tone going higher or lower than the previous tone?

Going higher, number goes up

Going lower, number goes down


Some people have a hard time distinguishing whether the pitch goes higher or lower?

Have no fear

Here's the Secret:

If you can't tell whether the pitch is going higher or lower, use your hand to move up and down. If you find your hand moving up as you sing higher, then the pitch is going up.

if you find your hand moving down as you sing lower, then the pitch is going down.

This takes practice.

I have many songs for you to practice, so do not worry when you don't get it on this first one.

You will eventually get it as we move along!


This video applies to the piano / keyboard.

When pitch moves higher , the number goes higher, your hand moves to the right.

When pitch moves lower, the number goes lower, your hand moves to the left.

Magic Tip 10: The First Tone of a song is not always 1
Magic Tip 11: The Last Tone of a song usually ends in Tone 1
Section 6: Train Your Ears To Listen to the Quality of these 7 Tones
Magic Tip 12: Tone 1 - Home Tone is the Most RESTFUL tone
Magic Tip 13: Tone 2 is not a restful sound and needs to resolve
Magic Tip 14: Tone 3 is a relaxing tone
Magic Tip 15: Tone 4 is a Restless Tone
Magic Tip 16: Tone 5 is a restful and resolving tone
Magic Tip 17: Tone 6 is an active tone
Magic Tip 18: Tone 7 is a restless & most unstable tone that needs resolving
Section 7: Rhythm of the Tune - Feel and put the tones in music pattern
Magic Tip 19 : Put in Rhythm, Beat, Note Value, Time Signature
Magic Tip 20: Play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star using the Number System
Magic Tip 21: Play Twinkle Twinkle By Ear Following the Lyrics
Section 8: Rosa's Play Song By Ear Method: 7 Easy Steps
My Play By Ear Method: 7 Easy Steps
Song 1 Assignment: Kum Ba Yah, My Lord

The first line of Twinkle Twinkle has the melodic contour of: 1 5 6 5

The first line of Kum Ba Yah has the melodic contour of: 1 5 6 5

You can actually 'sing' the first line of "Twinkle Twinkle" in Kum Ba Yah.

Close your eyes and listen to that first line of both songs.

They are the same, isn't it?

These are things you notice when you play by EAR.

Eventually, you will find how many melodic lines are very similar in songs.

The difference lies in the rhythm, and some rearrangement of the tones.

Answer: Kum Ba Yah 7 Tone Music
Take a Break and write a Review
Section 9: BEGINNERS Songs: Simple Songs & Chorus
Song 2 Assignment: Mary Had A Little Lamb
Answer: Mary Had A Little Lamb 7 Tone Music
Song 3 Assignment: Braham's Lullaby
Answer - Braham's Lullaby 7 Tone Music
Song 4 Assignment: Happy Birthday
Answer - Happy Birthday 7 Tone Musci
Song 5 Assignment: Clementine
Answer - Clementine 7 Tone Music
Section 10: Christmas Songs
Song 6 Assignment: O Christmas Tree
Answer: O Christmas Tree 7 Tone Music

I am using a music software to play O Christmas Tree for you.

1. I play the 7 scale tones of C Key so that you can familiarize yourself the 7 tone scales

2. I play each line to show you how to play the number notation

3. Notice that when it is a low 5, I move to the left side of the piano.

4. All you need to know are the 7 scale tones in front of you, and then you can orientate yourself an octave lower, when there is a dot underneath the number and then an octave higher, when it is an octave higher.

Song 7 Assignment: Jingle Bells
Answer: Jingle Bells 7 Tone Music
Play Jingle Bells with 7 Tone Music
Song 8 Assignment: We Wish You A Merry Christmas
Answer - We Wish You A Merry Christmas 7 Tone Music
Song 9 Assignment: Silent Night
Answer - Silent Night 7 Tone Music
Song 10 Assignment: Away In A Manger
Answer: Away In A Manger 7 Tone Music
Play Away In A Manger
Section 11: Rosa's Cheat Sheet to Play By Ear: How To Notate your 7-tone Music
Do All The Song Assignments!
Rosa's Play by Ear Cheat Sheet - Must Download for your reference
4 pages
Section 12: Bonus INTERMEDIATE Songs: Popular Songs & Standards
For Intermediate Students
Song 11 Assignment: Today
Answer - Today 7 Tone Music
Song 12 Assignment: Oh Danny Boy
Answer - Oh Danny Boy 7 Tone Music
Song Assignment 13: Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Answer to Somewhere Over the Rainbow 7 Tone Music
Song Assignment 14: Changing Partners
Answer to Changing Partners 7 Tone Music
Song Assignment 15: You Are My Sunshine
Answer - You Are My Sunshine in 7 Tone Music
Song Assignment 16: Yesterday (Beattles)
Answer to Yesterday 7 Tone Music
Song Assignment 17: Edelweiss
Answer to Edelweiss in 7 Tone Music


Doe, a deer, a female deer

Ray, a drop of golden sun
Me, a name I call myself
Far, a long long way to run
Sew, a needle pulling thread
La, a note to follow so
Tea, a drink with jam and bread
That will bring us back to Do

The first tone begins on Tone 1

Answer to Do Re Mi 7 Tone Music
Section 13: Bonus ADVANCED Songs: Standards & Movie Songs
Song Assignment 19: Moon River
Answer - Moon River in 7 Tone Music
Song Assignment 20: Unchained Melody
Answer to Unchained Melody 7 Tone Music
Song Assignment 21: Yesterday Once More
Answer to Yesterday Once More 7 Tone Music


You think you own whatever land you land on
The earth is just a dead thing you can claim
But I know every rock and tree and creature
Has a life, has a spirit, has a name

You think the only people who are people
Are the people who look and think like you.
But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger
You'll learn things you never knew you never knew

Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon
Or asked the grinning bobcat why he grinned?
Can you sing with all the voices of the mountain?
Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?
Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?

Come run the hidden pine trails of the forest
Come taste the sun-sweet berries of the earth
Come roll in all the riches all around you
And for once, never wonder what they're worth

The beginning tone is 3

Answer to Colors of the Wind 7 Tone Music
Song Assignment 23: Memories - The Way We Were
Answer to Memories 7 Tone Music
Song Assignment 24: My Heart Will Go On
Answer to My Heart Will Go On 7 Tone Music
Song Assignment 25: Misty

Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed

  • Loading
  • Loading
  • Loading

Instructor Biography

Rosa Suen, Best Seller Music Teacher, 35 Years Pianist, 25,00+ students

Rosa is the Pastor and Church Pianist for a local community church in Hong Kong for over 30 years. She graduated from University of British Columbia and received her teaching certificate specializing in Chemistry and teaching English as a second language. She taught public schools in Canada for a couple of years and then went on to receive her Master's degree in Christian Theological Ministry at Ontario Theological Seminary in Toronto. She started full time ministry with her husband in 1989 and received intensive Pastoral Counselling and Discipleship Training at Christian Disciples Church. They were ordained to become church ministers as Pastors in 1996 in a local church in Tsuen Wan and have been ministering to this same congregation for almost 20 years now.

Over the years, she has gone on church missions to Mongolia, Sydney, Nepal, India and expedition trips to the Holy Lands: Israel, Greece and Turkey. Wherever she went, she found herself taking up the music ministry and became the church pianist for that church.

Many people at church have asked her to teach them to play piano. As a result of her passion in playing piano, she started developing piano courses initially for church pianists online since 2008. The piano courses are very unique because she was finally willing to share her Unique Piano Method: Color Chord Improvisation Method known as CCI. The CCI method works for all types of music: Gospel, Pop and Standards.

This Piano Method is easy, fun and creative that you learn to play piano not only from music score sheets, but to play chords from fake books and eventually to play by ear. Students all over the world have requested for courses to teach them play standards and popular songs. As a result she developed 3 Great Reharmonization Method courses for them to play from fake books and play by ear. The Dreamy Piano Techniques courses, especially the one on Autumn Leaves is her students favorite. She has a piano website at Learn Piano With Rosa where she continues to offer new courses to her students. She also holds piano workshops for her local students and train church pianists.

With her education and expertise in teaching, her students love her piano courses and found her piano lessons extremely easy and fun to play piano. They are highly motivated to play piano and playing piano had never been more fun and satisfying for them. You can read their testimonies on her website.

She is now an instructor at Udemy. Come and join her hundreds of students to play piano in a fun and creative way.

Ready to start learning?
Take This Course