Music notation is essential to the learning process of an instrument. It will allow you to develop skills and techniques much faster. It will also allow you to have access to thousands of sheet music of classical Arabic and Turkish music pieces and songs that otherwise, you won’t be able to have access to or to perform. You need to offer yourself every advantage and being musically literate is one of them. Unless you were born with “supernatural” music skills and with a perfect ear, and that you grew up listening to good music from early childhood, learning by ear alone will limit you and you will most probably find yourself stuck with the same techniques and skills for the rest of the journey.
Reading music notation can be intimidating for some people at the beginning but it’s something that can be learned gradually and in an additive way.
I only teach the Oud instrument along with the music notation. It allows me to speed the process of teaching Oud by giving the student hundreds of technical exercises that otherwise (by ear), I won’t be able to. However, some of the sessions may focus on ear training and improvising on the instrument by ear, as developing a good ear is an extremely important aspect of learning music.
If you insist on learning certain music pieces by ear, or if you’d like to take lessons only to learn improvisation on the Oud, I’ll be willing to give you those lessons with pleasure. However, please keep in mind that packages cannot be offered for this, and that you will need to purchase individual custom lessons at $60 each.