Listen to this!

March 31, 2016

Does your daily musical diet contain the essential Vitamin L – LISTENING?  Besides listening to oneself, it is also very important to listen to amazing musicians on a daily basis.  Be sure to listen to as many performers (not just your instrument!) and genres of music as possible. Attend live concerts.  Live concerts are fantastic because one not only gets to hear great music being made but also gets to see the artist perform.  Listen to great recordings. Listen many times to the recording until you have it memorized and can sing and play it just like the recording.  By doing this, musicians learn about style, phrasing, tempo, timbre of sound, balance, and blend, and also begin to create a mental picture of what they want to sound like in their mind. One of the best things for musicians to do is imitate amazing musicians.  Imitation helps develop our musical identity.  As a musician, we can pick and choose aspects of playing that we want to sound like and incorporate them into our own playing.

 

Here are some questions to ask one self when listening to other musicians:

 

  • What makes this performance or recording so special and unique?

 

  • How does it make you feel and why?

 

  • What can you do in your practice to sound like this?

 

  • What do you like or dislike about this performance and why?

 

  • Does the performer follow the musical instructions of the composer?

 

Some more listening tips:

 

  • Listen selectively - break apart music and listen to a different part each time.  What instruments or voice do you hear?

 

  • Listen with purpose!  Focus when you listen.

 

  • Listen to the recording while looking at the score.

 

  • Listen with a friend and discuss what you heard in the performance.

 

  • Listen to something numerous times.  It’s amazing how many details we miss upon one listening.

 

  • Listen to numerous recordings of a piece to hear differences of interpretations.  Pick your favorite and incorporate this into your interpretation.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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