Helping Children Become Great Listeners

Good listening skills are necessary for all learning.  It is a known fact that many learning disabilities are linked to listening problems.  This may not mean that the child has a actual hearing loss, but more likely a problem with the way he processes the sounds around him.

In Music Class, we spend time doing Focused Listening activities.  With younger children, we move to a special location in the room called the Listening Corner.  We model correct listening posture and how to focus in on the prerecorded sound.  We listen, label and imitate, thus integrating language, our voice, and often map the experience on our bodies through movement.  Sometimes we also include a visual image when it is necessary for understanding the sound.  By giving the child this structured listening opportunity, he can integrate this sound into his own repertoire of sounds so that when he hears this sound in the natural environment, it “jumps out” at him, and BINGO, the child filters out all other sounds, thus focusing on the desired sound only! This is the most natural and logical way to train good listening, and it is so much fun for the child when he discovers the sound for himself.

Musikgarten Families, are you playing the CD at home often for your child?  Does your child “perk up” when he hears one of the Focused Listening sounds in the natural environment?  If not, you can facilitate this action by gently reacting yourself to the sound by saying something like this:  in a gentle voice filled with intensity, “Ooo!  What was that?” Soon your child will be pointing the sounds out to you!  What a fun way to bond with your child and help them become a great listener at the same time!!