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A Word on (Kittens and) Listening

Announcing the arrival of Jim, Claude and Hercules, a trio of gorgeous babies who came to live with us last week. They're small and squeaky at the moment and the old cat is distinctly unimpressed by their presence in the house. Formal introductions will commence once vaccinations have been given.

I other news, here are some thoughts and reminders about listening to your repertoire.

The foundation of the Suzuki method is listening, listening and then listening some more for good measure. The more we listen to what we're trying to do, the easier it gets to do it.


By listening to the music we play we know when we have it right and when we need to try again Listening to the music we have already played helps to retain the music in our mind, even if our bodies and fingers are busy elsewhere (this is particularly useful when going on holiday). Listening to the music we are going to play soon, later or far into the future, sets us up for success when we get there and generates excitement and anticipation for what is to come.


As Suzuki (and many others) constantly observed, when we are in an environment which is positive for something, be it music, art, mathematics, dance, we pick up that thing. Children learn the language of their parents without trying, we never think that it is unusual to hear a very young child conversing at a high level - in fact, we worry when they can't. Music is the same, it isn't some magical gift from the heavens that is only accessible to a few, it is a gift to everyone if only they will accept it. Create a music positive environment and watch how your children, your family and you change as a result.


Listen daily, listen hourly, listen to the core repertoire but also listen to other music, other instruments, other styles. If you're stuck for things lo listen to, find a radio station and listen, or check out playlists on things like Spotify, YouTube or Amazon.


Make it easy for your children, put a device in their room so they can listen to music in the morning and evening, this doesn't need to be complicated, go old school and get a small CD player and play CDs. This is ideal really, because it means they aren't relying on a mobile phone or other borrowed device that is potentially full of distracting games and toys.


Listen in the car, at home, in the bath, when reading, just make music a background part of your life, if you get sick of one recording, go and find a different one, or change styles for a bit, all music is music and all listening counts.


Listen to everything available (and there is a lot out there!) and let me know what you like.


Happy Practising

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