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Listening Lessons

As a music teacher I try to expand the reach of what I teach beyond how to find notes and replicate sounds. I lead my students deeply into the rich realm of music by training their minds to vividly perceive and engage with the phenomena of this invisible dimension.


One technique I use to develop this training uses these "Listening Lessons." These lessons started as me and my young student beginning our lesson by going into my car, windows up, wrapping sweaters around our heads to cover our eyes, and really, really listening to one song at a time. Then we'd sit and talk about what we heard. 

Below you can read the emails I sent to my students during a period of distanced learning. 


Letter from me to the parents of my young music students, starting off this "Listening Lessons" series. 

Lesson 1: Quantic

This is a modern work. We can hear the sounds of the piano and some simple high hat drum open up the song - think of the opening to a room or a building, what does it look like? Consider entryway of your house and compare this "opening" to the doors to your school. Compare these to the doors of a church. What other places can you think of that have openings and entryways? Have you ever thought about a song as a place before? 

SUMMARY: What a good artist/musician does, is express important qualities of living, feelings of being alive, and provide opportunities (with music and other art forms) for other people who have those same qualities inside themselves as well. This creates a sensation of connectedness, and this is why artists are very valuable people in the world: Because the feeling of connectedness is one of the most, if not the #1 most important thing in life. With someone like Michael Jackson, he was more than a musician and an artist, but also an entertainer -- which is another lesson for another time, but the quick definition is that an entertainer does not just create artwork outside of their "person" (character and appearance) -- their person is also a work of art that they share with the world.

Currently Spotfiy has recorded 42,131,576 plays of this song. That's 42 MILLION 131 thousand 576 listens. People LOVE this song. Why? What makes this song so lovable? What makes this song so GOOD?! 

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