Listening Skills: Rehearsal to the Workplace
Learning Objective: Students will be able to transfer listening skills from an ensemble environment to a workplace environment.
This lesson was originally for a high school band, but it could be transferred to any musical rehearsal or lesson surrounding music in some capacity. Begin rehearsal with normal warm-up routine. Choose a warm-up exercise that includes multiple parts such as a chorale or a scale in rounds. Lead the students in a brief discussion about focusing our listening on specific parts in the ensemble. Then redo the exercise and have the students focus on listening to a specific instrument or part in the band.
Discuss the difference in sound when focusing on different instruments or parts in an ensemble. Lead the students in talking about what they did differently to focus their ears/listening to a different sound. Then move on to rehearsal of concert or performance music.
Begin rehearsal of concert or performance music as normal. Throughout the rehearsal bring the general focus to listening. Whether the discussion is balance, dynamics or articulations always keep the students' attention on using their ears to hone in on the sounds around them.
This part of the rehearsal can focus on various aspects of music, but balance and the essence of melody are most applicable to the ending conclusion. Balance and melody transfer well in the conclusion part of the rehearsal due to their emphasis on listening during music. These musical subjects are also accessible for students to focus on their listening skills.
Try to reserve extended discussions for the conclusion of the lesson. The body of the lesson is meant to reinforce using their ears in an ensemble environment. Once there is about 15 minutes left of class, move on to the conclusion of the lesson.
The conclusion of the rehearsal is the most important part of this lesson. The goal in this portion is to connect how listening skills in an ensemble can be transferred to the workplace or various other aspects of life.
To begin, have the students pair and share or reflect on how their listening skills in music could be applied to other parts. Then guide a discussion on what ideas they came up with. This is the moment when students will be asked to make the transfer from the classroom to their future workplace or place in life. Try to synthesize the ideas from all students and bring them together to create a picture of how the skills in music are both transferrable and applicable to real life situations. One important idea to understand is how listening can apply to both professional and personal situations.
This conclusion could be followed up by a project or written assignment which asks students to directly apply these listening skills in any specific situation.