Listening is easy to do, but because it’s so simple, it’s often overlooked. When a student listens well, they internalize the music and are excited to learn each new piece. Families often see this illustrated when a younger sibling begins lessons. Progress is often astonishingly quick because the child has already been learning the music for years before their first lesson. Although having years to listen before lessons is beneficial, it’s not necessary! This type of environment can be created in any home!
How do you know if your child is effectively listening? They’ll be able to sing or hum pieces with good rhythm and intonation. They can talk about the phrasing of the performer and the mood of the piece. Eventually they’ll even be able to hear what key a piece is in before beginning it. Most importantly, they’ll be excited by and engaged in the music!
If you need new ways to enjoy listening with your child, here are some things to try! For more physical or wiggly students, playing patty-cake or catch to the beat of the song is a good way to harness that energy! Dancing your new song can be fun too. Picking a quiet activity like coloring or another craft to do while listening is a great way to wind down in the evening. For families who like to listen in the car it can be fun to hum along. Whatever you do, make sure that listening is enjoyable and inspiring for your child.
- Shannon Jansma, published in the December 2016 issue of the Ann Arbor Suzuki Institute newsletter