Good In, Good Out: Listening

Music is what feeling sounds like. ~Written by the all-time most prolific composer, writer, artist, etc: Anonymous

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Sound has an impact on us, a profound one. Whether it’s research showing that musicians can detect pitch difference language better; the discovery by Dana Strait–a friend and musical colleague of mine at Northwestern–that musicians are better at identifying emotion in sound; that trees communicate with sound; or that sound can also affect human development in a negative way as presented by Julian Treasure below in a six minute video.

What kind of music you listen to–your models–will shape how and what you play. Stretch your ears. Duke Ellington and Charlie Parker were into the harmonies and melodies of Debussy. Jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas jammed in the studio with percussionists and  electronic musicians and used the innovative stitch-it-together-in-the-studio approach for his album Freak In. Dvorak listened to American folk music to inspire his fantastic Symphony #9: The New World (mp3 download here).

Hybridization is what music is all about. Dizzy Gillespie once said, “I don’t care too much about music. What I like is sounds.”

There are no borders. Listen voraciously. Protect your listening. Protect your hearing.

Have fun and good luck with your practice.

Want to learn more about the best ways to practice? Get an e-mail with a discount code when The Practice of Practice is published (June, 2014). To learn more about the book, check out a sample from The Practice of Practice.

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