I found several: books, CDs & software on ear training.
I have heard that headphones help with transcribing, allowing you to focus on the tune.
Also, have any of you tried the much advertised Perfect Pitch course? I got it as, coincidently, did a colleague. I have mixed feelings about the product:
- Well thought out
- Professionally produced
- I managed a small amount of success
- the basic principles are quite well explained
- the author is obviously knowledgeable and passionate about ear training.
- probably best for a musician with a fair amount of experience already.
- prob. good for serious music students looking to develop their ear as part of their formal music education
- Better off to start with Relative pitch*
- long, & long winded -- perhaps it has to be
- it is not a quick solution ... it takes a lot of time (although if you already have some abilities in this area or good relative pitch you'll make faster progress)
- not cheap
- you are not supposed to move on from an exercise until you have mastered it (which is well defined). In practice, you may take years to complete the course or might never finish it. Regular sessions is probably key.
- piano-based although you are encourage to use your own instrument and a partner for some exercises - which will not always be practical.
*This was probably the wrong product for me: Relative Pitch (rather than perfect pitch) is more useful and easier to learn. It also helps with perfect pitch - so probably best to start with a Relative Pitch course, either from the same author or one of the books/CDs on the link above or using some of the excellent shareware software out there. Some of the software is amazingly good for this sort of repetitive practice, adapting to your improving abilities and detecting and working on weaknesses.