Because of the importance placed on the development of sensory listening, the study of listening helps the student find points of reference in bodily sensations, an understanding that can reinforce an ear that is off, unsure, or strained.
The approach fosters an ability to sustain accurate intonation and to enrich voice timbre. It not only helps develop concentration skills, musical memory, and sense of rhythm, but also releases bodily tensions through vocal emissions and instrumental playing. Stimulated by the conscious production of the full vocal spectrum, instrumental expression is enhanced by a much greater diversity of tone colours.
It is possible to make music without really consciously listening!
In the study of music, the listening stage is often skipped in order to plunge directly into imitation, into simply “doing” or reproducing sound. Future musicians – professional or not – are often disconnected from themselves and their bodies, and in instrumental learning the student is frequently given recommendations such as “listen to yourself,” or “relax” without being advised on how to follow this advice or consequently understanding why he or she isn’t able to.
Dare to take your time
It takes a certain amount of time to be able to perceive the vibration of sounds throughout one’s entire body. It also takes time for a student to discover the innate tools he or she possesses for learning. The time used to consolidate these basic skills is later easily regained.
The study of listening is related as much to the emotional as to the physical self; the student-teacher relationship plays an essential role in guiding the student towards self realization. A child or an adult who cannot sing well, or who doesn’t feel like singing needs to feel his or her difficulties are understood. He or she needs to regain confidence and to find a reason to sing by developing a sense of pleasure in the feeling of his or her whole body becoming immersed in musical expression.
The teacher doesn’t need to be a therapist; he or she simply needs to develop his or her own sense of presence in listening: a presence that will awaken better listening skills in the student, such as a feeling of openness, security and confidence. The teacher will then discover within his or her own body the reference points that will help him or her better guide the students towards their own self discovery.