The Benefits of Daily Listening
As I worked with a group of elementary students today, I was reminded how capable they are of BIG thoughts about beautiful music.
After we had listened to a couple of different sections from Swan Lake, I encouraged them in their listening efforts. Practicing Super Quiet UnInterrupted Listening Time for 3-4 minute stretches at a time transfers over into other areas of our life.
If we can listen to music for that long, how long can we attentively listen in a conversation? While a parent or teacher is instructing us? How long can we pay attention to our math lesson?
Listening is a skill that must be practiced, and listening to beautiful music is the easiest way to fine tune the art of listening (and paying attention!) in our children.
The Habit of Attention
Listening is a habit of attention.
The pioneer educator, Charlotte Mason, gave us valuable insight about the habit of attention.
First, we put the habit of Attention, because the highest intellectual gifts depend for their value upon the measure in which their owner has cultivated the habit of attention. To explain why this habit is of such supreme importance, we must consider the operation of one or two of the laws of thought. But just recall, in the meantime, the fixity of attention with which the trained professional man- the lawyer, the doctor, the man of letters- listens to a roundabout story, throws out the padding, seizes the facts, sees the bearing of every circumstance, and puts the case with new clearness and method; and contrast this with the wandering eye and random replies of the uneducated;- and you see that to differentiate people according to their power of attention is to employ a legitimate test.”
- Home Education, page 137
To help children be successful in developing this habit of attention, they need guidance and practice.
Three ways to help our child develop this habit of attention (no matter what the subject):
- Keep lessons short
- Have a fixed amount of time where attention is required
- Use different activities to strengthen attention (listen, draw, write, etc...)
SQUILT and the Habit of Attention
In Super Quiet UnInterrupted Listening Time the goal is simple: focus entirely on a short selection of music.
Initially I will ask children to lay their head down and listen with their eyes closed.
"Let your mind take a rest and just enjoy the music."
"Allow the music to make a picture in your head."
With children I teach in person, or those who are in my SQUILT LIVE! classes, they know SQUILT means full attention required.
After listening to a piece one time, I then give them something specific to listen for in the music and we listen again - but this time perhaps they are drawing or writing or using a manipulative I've designed to go with the music.
A Daily SQUILT Listening Calendar
So many parents ask me where to start with music appreciation. This is an exciting question, because my answer has a big bang for their buck!
How to accomplish daily listening/attention building:
Start very simply with the listening calendar. Each day there is a piece of music with a link to a beautiful performance (centering around a monthly theme).
Be consistent about listening and watching each day - maybe make it part of your morning time routine.
In this way, your children will listen to at least 30 beautiful pieces of music each month, you will be AMAZED at how their habit of attention AND their affinity for beautiful music will increase.
- Multiple ages can listen together
- The shared experience of music is a great family activity
- Listening to music improves memory, reading comprehension, math skills, and more!
- Music soothes the soul - truly.
In this way, the SQUILT Listening Calendar becomes the best and easiest five minutes in your day.
When all else fails in a day (as we know it often can do), you can rest knowing that you invested in your child's habit of attention!
A New Exciting Calendar Option
So many families purchase their SQUILT Listening Calendar at the beginning of each month.
This will now be easier - and you will receive MORE.
If you want to make a commitment to the habit of attention and beautiful music at the same time, this subscription is just the thing for you!
What you receive:
- a new calendar delivered to you each month (and it's not just a calendar - included are printables, extra links for learning, and suggested resources for extending learning should you choose)
- access to all previous calendars (this is HUGE - we currently have over three years worth of calendars in our archives covering so many themes - don't feel limited to the current month we are in - maybe you want to use a calendar from another month because the theme is interesting to your children!)
- a savings of 20% compared to the monthly listening calendar price
- email support from the team at SQUILT Music - if you ever have questions about a piece of music or how to implement the calendar in your day, we have you covered!