Listen Closely

Can you hear it?  Are you listening?  No really, are you listening?  Because there’s a big difference.

Hearing is no more than our brains taking in ambient noise.

But listening, deeply listening – well, that’s a whole different story.  And one that affects our children enormously, whether they are infants or teenagers.

Listening is Emotional.

  • allowing someone else to be heard, recognized
  • giving respect and space to another voice and thoughts and individuality
  • showing care and concern with genuine empathy that says “I hear you.  I feel with you.  You are important to me.”
  • makes space for the give and take that makes conversation enjoyable
  • what makes best friends

Listening is Intentional and Complex.

  • learning to listen teaches us to pay attention (and is actually thought to possibly prevent ADHD)
  • learning to listen helps us learn to discriminate between and analyze sounds
  • involves interpreting data and meaning
  • “is a skill that is essential to school success. The way most schools are set up, up to 75% of the time your child will spend in
    a classroom will be spent learning through listening!”  (Suzanne I. Barchers, Ed.D. & Heidi Gilman Bennett)

Listening is Key to Learning to Read.

  • Through listening we develop phonemic awareness (or the ability to discriminate between phonemes – vowels, consonants, and consonant combinations).  With phonemic awareness we can sound out words in order to read or spell them.
  • Experts in pre-literacy skill development recommend telling stories, not just reading them out of books, which requires more auditory processing, helps teach story structures in a different way, and models storytelling (another important pre-literacy skill).

And of course, Listening Makes Us Better Musicians.

  • Through listening, we learn about timbre, or various sound colors (such as the many we are exploring in every class each week.)
  • Through listening, we learn about dynamics (how loud or soft a piece of music is).
  • Through listening, we learn about articulation (smooth – legato or bumpy – staccato).
  • Through listening, we learn about rhythm (long or short).
  • Through listening, we learn about musical patterns (dance forms, song forms, rhythm patterns, scales).
  • Through listening, we learn about tempo (how fast or slow a piece of music is).
  • And through listening, we train our ears (a skill that allows us to match pitch, time entrances, blend with an ensemble, and even sightread or sightsing a piece of music.)

Count on Kindermusik to offer opportunities for your child to practice her listening skills in class each week.

See a listening activity for you can do at home (for those currently in Village – Dream Pillow).

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  1. [...] Learn how listening will help your baby grow up to be a better friend, a better student, and a bette... ...

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