Listening

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If we wanted to, we could make all children throughout the world tone-deaf. … This fact needs to be understood.   We need to understand the importance of the ear.

- Nurtured by Love, p.6

The Fundamental Benefits of Listening

Suzuki Violin Lessons rely on listening.  Listening is one of the most powerful and fundamental ways children can increase their understanding of the language of music.  Listening has many benefits.

 

Effortless Learning

First, it is the single most effective way of being able to learn the notes of a new song quickly and effortlessly.  Then, instead of learning notes, we can spend our time with the instrument increasing our technical and expressive mastery.

 

Playing In-Tune

Secondly, with regular listening the accurate pitching of the left hand fingers becomes easy and natural.  There is no way to tell a child what an in-tune note sounds like, it needs to be learned through listening.

 

Beautiful Tone

Thirdly, it improves the awareness of the subtleties of the bow such as phrasing, articulation, dynamics, and perhaps most important of all on the violin: tone.  Right from the beginning we want to aspire to make a beautiful resonant sound on the instrument.

 

Expressive, Nuanced Playing

And finally, like a language, music is rich with subtleties of expression and nuance that can only be absorbed through listening.  So listening allows a child to rapidly move towards beautiful, mature, nuanced, in-tune playing.

 

Nightingales to be used as pets are taken as fledglings from nests of wild birds in the spring. As soon as they lose their fear and accept food, a “master bird” is borrowed that daily sings its lovely song, and the infant bird listens for a period of about a month. In this way the little wild bird is trained by the master bird. This method has been used in Japan since olden times. The best environment is furnished for training the birds. In short, it is the nightingale’s “talent education.” … Whether the wild bird will develop good or bad singing quality is indeed decided in the first month by the voice and tone of its teacher. It is not a matter of being born a good or a bad singer.

- Nurtured by Love, p.5-6