Tag Archives: music

How To Study For A Music Listening Test

Since grade school, many of us have learned or were taught how to study for the average test. We are taught visual, active, and aural clues, tricks, and tips to learn how to take mostly visual exams.

But…

How do you study for a music listening exam?

For many students, when they encounter their first listening test, they freeze.

Non-music majors might encounter this type of test and music majors DEFINITELY encounter the aural listening test at some point in their life.

I have compiled a list of tricks and tips for the listening exam.

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Artistic Context

The summer after my freshmen year of college, I worked for the Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre.

I love this city!

I love this city!

My job was mainly stage management and I worked with a lot of actors and directors centered in the Pittsburgh area. As someone involved in the Pittsburgh theatre scene since the age of 6, these were people that I had admired for years. Forget the A-list actors in Hollywood, these were my living idols that I had grown up seeing in equity productions since I was very small.

One of the directors that I worked with was a particular celebrity of mine. I had seen her in many, many shows and watched a lot of her work as a director.

I remember listening to a discussion between this director and a fairly famous-even-outside-of-Pittsburgh actress during a rehearsal break.

Director: “I don’t understand the ‘researchers’ and ‘scholars’ that study and break down performance. They are removing the context and stripping art of meaning.”
Actress: “I agree. You can not replace the experience. That is the point of art.”

For some reason, this exchange has stayed with me.

Does scholarly study of art take something away from that art? Continue reading