About Us
Training materials

We Hear and Play facts


If a child begins using We Hear and Play at the appropriate age, they will develop absolute pitch after approximately two years.

A child can be expected to learn absolute pitch before they are 4˝ years old.  The best time to begin training is between 3-3˝.  Parents often don't think of their children as "teachable" at this age, and neglect the best time for learning absolute pitch.

A preschool child rarely has a natural drive toward piano instruction. The decision to play a musical instrument is usually made by the parents. If it is left to the child, by the time they are capable of making such a decision they will have lost the most important years for musical development.

After only one year, a We Hear and Play student will have developed the basic perception of absolute pitch.  As the student continues to study music, their ear will continue to develop.


Starting between age 3 and 4˝, We Hear and Play teaches your child abilities which include:

- absolute pitch skill
- development of rhythmic feeling
- a sense for musical structure
- musical literacy
- harmonic perception
- creative freedom in musical production.


Our method is radically different from conventional piano instruction because our students also learn absolute pitch.

Every child can learn absolute pitch.

Many people believe that this ability is innate and can't be learned.  Our extensive experience shows otherwise.  Some necessary conditions for learning include:

- beginning ear training at the appropriate age;
- the use of a suitable instrument;
- parental cooperation in We Hear and Play training.

The piano is the best instrument for training absolute pitch. This means that parents who wish to train their child in this method must own a piano in excellent condition.

A positive atmosphere is crucial. Preschool children can only be taught if the material is made entertaining and fun, so that the children will want to play. Teaching preschool children should never involve mechanical drilling or rote lessons.


Many examples demonstrate that absolute hearing offers many significant advantages in playing music.

It cannot be denied that people with absolute pitch have a clear ability to perceive sound. This facilitates playing and composing. Without absolute pitch, composing is usually only possible with the aid of an instrument. There are plentiful examples of musicians who, upon reading or hearing a piece of music, can immediately reproduce the work from memory. In the majority of these cases, the musician has absolute pitch.

The advantages of such aural clarity for conductors and violinists is self-evident; for a pianist, absolute hearing is advantageous in several areas. The time it takes to learn new pieces is shortened considerably. The pianist is able to play more easily from memory, and therefore can command a larger repertoire. The absolute musician, with definitive discrimination of tonal sensations, phrasing, and harmony, may concentrate on the artistic interpretation in its entirety. Now, of course, the ability to command a large repertoire is not dependent solely on absolute pitch; to be sure, absolute pitch does not replace knowledge of music theory. Our experience shows that students with absolute pitch may grasp and apply music theory more quickly than other artists.

Our method for acquiring absolute pitch is, at the same time, beginning piano instruction. At the conclusion of this course, a child may continue to study piano, or easily change to another instrument.


Naoyuki TanedaThis method was conceived by Naoyuki Taneda, former professor at the National University for Music in Karlsruhe, Germany.  Mr. Taneda is a piano educator and pianist.

Mr. Taneda received his education as a pianist at the National University for Art and Music in Tokyo, Japan. He has won national piano competitions in Tokyo on multiple occasions. His course of study involved intensive, multiyear concert activity in Japan, coupled with orchestra concerts, chamber music, and premiere performances of modern music. During this course of study, he began to work with children and youth piano pedagogics, which formed the basis for his later success.

In 1962, after a stay in Vienna, Mr. Taneda began teaching at the municipal academy for music in Darmstadt, where he worked with the academy’s students as well as other children. He began to notice clear differences between these German students and Japanese students, and began to experiment with different methods of piano instruction to find out which were most suitable for German children.

In addition to teaching, Mr. Taneda has presented numerous concerts in Germany and other European countries. Since 1967, he has achieved international acclaim for his teaching and the performances he led at the Karlsruhe music university. Aside from this, as a music university professor, he applied himself intensely towards the musical development of children and youth. He spearheaded many seminars, presentations, and advanced education organizations in Germany, England, Korea, and Japan.

Since 1994, Mr. Taneda has taught at several universities in Japan. In addition to extensive international concert activities, Mr. Taneda leads piano master courses and is especially interested in piano instruction for children.

Ruth TanedaIn collaboration with his wife, Ruth Taneda, his method of teaching absolute pitch underwent a multiyear trial phase and gradually expanded.  She taught classes of preschool children at the Ettlingen music school, using this method, and without exception her students gained absolute pitch, in addition to many other abilities.

Ruth Taneda studied music education and musicology at the Music University of Karlsruhe in Germany. From 1978 until 1994 she taught music in secondary school and high school, and in 1984 she began teaching and developing the We Hear and Play curriculum at the Ettlingen music school. Since moving to Japan in 1994, she has taught private piano lessons in Tokyo.


Contact Chris Aruffo at Acoustic Learning, Inc.