In elementary general music settings, children learn actively through direct experience with given concepts. As a result, it makes sense to approach listening instruction actively by using other musical behaviors (singing, moving, chanting, creating) and aural, visual, and kinesthetic learning modes to develop a deeper connection with musical material while fostering musical skills and introducing or reinforcing musical concepts.
Listen Up! provides sample experiences that utilize music excerpts as a means of not only providing an opportunity for children to listen and experience given pieces of music but to also foster musical skills and reinforce given musical concepts (rhythm, melody, form) that are prominent in the chosen selections.
In addition to providing an overview of the planning process for developing these types of lessons and providing sample experiences for 23 specific pieces, a companion website includes PowerPoint presentations to accompany each experience that provides visual material students can view and respond to as they listen. The site also includes sample videos demonstrating some of the listening experiences and a link to a Spotify playlist that includes musical recordings.
The listening lessons in this book, Listen Up!, developed through my own exploration of active ways to introduce wonderful music to children. I have spent the last 20+ years developing these ideas and utilizing them with children and teachers. Having the opportunity to put these together in one collection is extremely exciting, and I hope the book serves not only as a resource for existing lessons but can also provide ideas that can be applied to other pieces of music.
Brent Gault is professor of music education at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He specializes in elementary general music education, early childhood music education, and Kodály-inspired methodology. He also has training in both the Orff and Dalcroze approaches to music education. In addition to his duties with the Music Education Department, Gault serves as the program director for the Indiana University Children’s Choir, where he conducts the Allegro Choir. He is a past president of the Organization of American Kodály Educators.