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Listening Skills

There are numerous skills to develop in music. These skills require many mental and physical senses/facilities to work together. Imagine having the skill to analyze everything happening in a piece of music you are listening to. Imagine having the skills to perform well, to compose and arrange music. These are skills that every music student hopes to acquire from learning music.

However, these musical skills are not a natural process that everyone can easily do. It can be acquired through formal education and training in music. While music education teaches music rudiments, music theory and playing a musical instrument, there are other skills to develop.

Among these skills would be listening skills. Peter Fletcher in his book says that the musical process does not have to be active and listening to music is a crucial component of any music process. Listening to music creates aural awareness to appreciate every aspect involved in the music making process. Imagine for a moment that you can identify the chord progression in the piece, can analyze its musical form and identify other features in it. Would that not be quite an achievement that would gratify you greatly?

Students would have to be guided by inspired teachers to develop those skills. Students have to be made aware of the relation between melody and harmony. They must explore the relationship between tones to create melodies. They have to explore chords and chord types that best compliments the melody. They have to explore rhythms and grooves to assign one to the song. Listening to music can help develop these skills.

Being able to appreciate certain melodic lines, chord progressions and rhythmic groove means your ability to pick and isolate the interesting parts of a music. If it inspires you enough, you will attempt it on your musical instrument. That signals your keen interest to recreate what you heard.

Such inspiration can come from many sources. Music teachers are in the front line to inspire their students. Attending music workshops to learn from others is greatly recommended. The more students get to listen to others speak and perform, the more they learn and get inspired. However, the students' musical minds need to be shaped as best as can be, to fully appreciate and derive the most from any musical experience they encounter.