100 Piece Listening Challenge

Every week I’m surprised at how many of my piano students do not listen to music. Not just classical music, but it seems any type of music (except for top 40 pop music.) Many have never even listened to the Beatles – or Led Zeppelin! Anyway this is what they tell me….

So this week I’m issuing a Listening Challenge. I’m asking all of my students to listen to 100 pieces – orchestral, piano, opera, jazz, classical, classic rock, anything…as long as it’s not something they hear every day. They can use YouTube, CDs from the library, their parents’ collection or their own. I just want to get them listening.

I’ve also asked them to keep a listening journal listing each piece along with the composer, performer, a brief description and to give it a thumbs up or a thumbs down. If they attend a live performance, they can get credit for five pieces.

Understandably, when I explained the challenge I didn’t get a very enthusiastic response from my students – that is until I mentioned that the first three students who complete the challenge will receive an iTunes gift card.

Considering that I’ve been under the impression that they don’t listen to much music, I did get a lot of smiles when I mentioned the “prize.” Makes me wonder what they would choose to buy. Hmmm.

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4 thoughts on “100 Piece Listening Challenge

  1. This is a very cool idea, Cathy! Thanks for sharing. It will be interesting to see how long it takes your students and if you notice any positive outcomes as a result. I hope you post again with your observations!

  2. Excellent idea! Might have to use it on my own students.

    For the web-savvy, I highly recommend Last.fm both for tracking listening habits and discovering new music. I’ve been using it non-stop for over four years.

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