The importance of listening to the music you’re learning cannot be stressed enough.  Knowing how the music is supposed to sound makes the entire learning process easier–and more fun.

While many music teachers insist that their students learn only from sheet music (so students improve their sightreading skills and are not influenced by interpretations by other musicians), current research into the science of learning and memory shows that listening enhances the learning process.

There are many sources of music to listen to and to practice along with.  Some sources are free, and others are paid services.  Paid or free, this music should be accessed by every musician who is practicing.

In the Musician’s Practice Planner, listening can be included in the “Other” category on the teacher page.  Under Specific Goals for listening, teachers can include things like:

–listening to the piece a certain number of times per day

–listening for a specific amount of time per day

–singing along with the recording

–hearing the recording, then singing a specific section from memory

–playing along with the recording

–hearing the recording, then playing a specific section from memory

Each of these strategies will improve the learning process, make practicing more fun, and propel the student forward toward their long-term goals.

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