Intonation: Ears Guide the Hand

  • To heighten awareness of the ear to hand connection.
  • How the ear is faster than the mind.
  • Thinking has its place in learning a passage or training an action, but thinking cannot tell you if you are in tune.
  • Mastery is born out of highly developed ears guiding the hand.
  • If you need to ask, “am I sharp or flat?” it can only be that your ears did not know what they want. The ears are capable of adjusting the hand even before you have had time to ask the question. Strengthen your “intonation concept” until there is certainty–only the ears can know, can decide.
  • Nurture a direct connection from ear to hand; bypass the brain.
  • Only a supple, alive hand can be responsive to the continual, instant and tiny decisions of the ear.
  • Alert, active listening predicts the note, guides a flexible, responsive hand and make instantaneous and microscopic decisions.


Mastery of intonation depends more on training the ears than the hand. Paul Katz

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