|I couldn't figure it out . . .
"How does she DO it?" I kept asking myself. On the other hand, why can't everyone recognize and sing tones by ear?
Then it dawned on me. People call themselves musicians and yet they can't tell a C from a C#? Or A major from F major?! That's as strange as a portrait painter who can't name the colors of paint on his palette. It all seemed so odd and contradictory.
Humiliated and puzzled, I went home to work on this problem. At age 14, this was a hard nut to crack.
You can be sure I tried it out for myself. With a little sweet-talking, I got my three brothers and two sisters to play piano tones for me so I could try to name them by ear. But it always turned into a messy guessing game I just couldn't win.
Day after day I tried to learn those freaking tones. I would hammer a note over and over to make it stick in my head. But hours later I would remember it a half step flat.
No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't recognize or remember any of the tones by ear. They all sounded the same after awhile; how were you supposed to know which was which just by listening?
I would have done anything to have an ear like Linda. But now I realized it was way beyond my reach. So after weeks of work, I finally gave up.
Then it happened . . .
It was like a miracle . . . a twist of fate . . . like finding the lost Holy Grail . . .
Once I stopped straining my ear, I started to listen NATURALLY. Then the simple secret to Perfect Pitch jumped right into my lap.
Curiously, I began to notice faint "colors" within the tones. Not visual colors, but colors of pitch, colors of sound. They had always been there. But this was the first time I had ever really "let go" and listened to discover these subtle differences.
Soon to my own disbelief I too could name the tones by ear! It was simple. I could hear how F# sounds one way, while Bb has a totally different sound sort of like "hearing" red and blue!
The realization struck me: THIS IS PERFECT PITCH! This is how Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart could mentally envision their masterpieces and know tones, chords, and keys all by ear!
It was almost childish I felt sure that anyone could unlock their own Perfect Pitch with this simple secret of "Color Hearing."
Bursting with excitement, I told my best friend, Ann (a flutist).
She laughed at me. "You have to be born with Perfect Pitch," she asserted. "You can't develop it."
"You don't understand how Perfect Pitch works," I countered. I sat her down and showed her how to listen. Timidly, she confessed that she too could hear the pitch colors. With this jump start, Ann soon realized she also had gained Perfect Pitch.
We became instant celebrities. Classmates loved to call out tones for us to magically sing from thin air. They played chords for us to name by ear. They quizzed us on what key a song was in.
Everyone was fascinated with our "supernatural" powers, yet to Ann and me, it was just normal.