Brianne Gidcumb | May 2017
Listening Maps as a Means for Understanding Music
In my days of teaching general music, one of my favorite resources to use with my students was the listening map. I found that, as a music educator with very limited instructional time and diverse student needs, listening maps provided a way to help groups of students engage with a piece of music and organize what they were hearing.
Flipping the listening map.
While there are many great examples of existing listening maps you may distribute to your students, you may also have students create their own listening maps to highlight their own understanding of a piece of music. This provides a more personally relevant experience with the music. Students may highlight musical concepts they recognize within a piece, organize the form of the music, or even tell a story based on what they hear. This is not only a great way to allow students to use some critical thinking skills to create a visual representation of their listening experience, but also a great access point to integrate visual art concepts and ELA standards! Check out this article on Line Graph Listening Maps for some ideas of how to engage students in creating their own listening maps.
Free for you, our Education Closet readers, is a listening map to accompany The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. You can find some classroom ideas for this piece in our 2014 article, “Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra”: Art and Writing Prompt for the Music Classroom.
Download your Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra Listening Map.
Please feel free to explore some additional listening map resources at my TeachersPayTeachers store, and be sure to check out future issues of ArtsEd Lab for more listening activities to engage your musical learners. Happy listening!