I had the first day of school professional development days this past week and it continued to amaze me how much reading and music are linked! They are innately very similar processes and it’s not just in their appreciation and skill, but in the developmental continuum.

In appreciation and skill:
The parallels between reading and music listening are many. For a full description of this, you can view my article on my website entitled Listen Like You Read. In a nutshell, the things we do before, during and after reading and listening are a basis of this similarity. Before: learning about the author or composer, genre, background of the piece; During: enjoying by listening or reading repetitively; After: Interpreting what you read or listen to, responding to it, reflecting upon it.

In developmental continuum:
Listeners, just as readers continue to grow in their skills as they practice them. The most basic of these is in stamina: beginning readers read in small sections, small words, learn sight words, learn phonics. So is true with music. Beginning listeners should not be expected to listen to a long or complex piece of music, especially if it is one you are using to further their education.

On a side note: it is no wonder why young listeners do not appreciate or even desire to listen to Bach and Beethoven. It is often too much for many young ears to handle as Shakespear may be. There may be some sections that are appealing, but such a piece as a whole is just too much.

In providing listening experiences for our children, there are many things to take into consideration.

More to come…