Piano Lessons Blog - The Importance of Listening

The Importance of Listening

Conversation with transfer students into the Conservatory may go like this too often...
"I don't want to play classical music, I don't like it."
I ask, "Well, which classical music?"
"I don't know...???"
Lovingly I always point out, "How do you know if you don't like BACH if you've never really heard him...yet?"

Don't misunderstand, many students yearn to educate about wonderful piano classics.

Universal truth is: we don't know what we don't know.

How did your children learn to speak? Listening to parents and older siblings? Friends and strangers at the playgrounds? Involved with a Kindermusik class? Children mimick sounds they hear even if they are not directed at them. They listen to EVERYTHING - good and bad. Yay!

Music is universal sound. Music can uplift, inspire, correct, love. Music is awesome.

Dr. Ralph van der Beek, Honors faculty, pleads that our Conservatory students listen to the piano music of the Masters!! --- Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Rachmaninoff, Debussy, Chopin the GREATS!! Too many to list. If our piano students do not take the time to LISTEN and develop a ear to masterful piano music, they will play the rest of their lives being slightly "off-accent." They will play sonatinas, fugues, nocturnes, and hymns as foreigners at the piano, with little sense of the style. Listening develops an ear for appropriate style, expression, and sensitive tone. Students must not only be practicers of the piano, but listeners and appreciate the scope of the instrument. We love our Piano Academy Composer of the Month Club. It merely exists to educate and inspire our students.

5 easy ways to include the Importance of Listening in your family:

1) Subscribe to UPC Youtube Channel and have fun watching masters play! Follow our Composer of the Month list.

2) Take a family night to the Utah Symphony Orchestra

3) Buy Classical CD's as a reward system for piano

4) FHE - Listen and color to piano music. Make up a story to the music.

5) Visit BYU, UVU, or UofU school websites and see what FREE music events are happening.

Here's one of our recent favorites, Lindy Taylor play the Grieg Concerto in A minor from Brigham's Concert Series featured in our new concerto hall:


Here's Conservatory Director, Karmel Larson, sharing details about our very own Summer Composer Series with Dr. Ralph van der Beek:


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