After years of requiring Music Appreciation in many high schools and colleges we are stuck with the amazing fact that many people emerge from these well-meaning structures with no idea of what music actually is, that is, with no idea of how to listen.
Listening is the most difficult skill I ever had to learn.
Listening is not ear-training.
Taking dictation is not comprehending.
Listening involves hearing the whole, not the dissected parts.

A well-crafted composition becomes part of your physical memory even as you take it in. Hearing is a physical activity, not a mental exercise.  Some people combine the two effortlessly, as professional sportsmen and women analyze as they move, calculate as they throw the ball.  But it is not required that you master that level of skill in order to enjoy the results of a composer's hard work.


Comments are closed.