Ear Training Exercise by John Henny
April 8, 2019
Our ability to hear is one of our most important skills. Key to this skill is being able to
focus on subtle details. Focus is a skill that can be learned and practiced.
Of course, learning what to listen for and getting experience teaching lessons is a big part
of our training.But there is also the training of the brain to be able to concentrate and filter out what we need to hear from all the other stimulus we receive.
I have created a little exercise I use to train my brain while running mundane errands, such as shopping. While standing in line, rather than check my phone, I try and listen to all the sounds around me. I cast my attention as wide as possible, allowing every sound in the environment to be experienced at once. Then I will choose just one sound, and focus on it to the exclusion of all else. It can be the background music, the rumbling of someone's cart, or a distant conversation. I then go wide again – hearing everything – and then go to a singular focus on another sound.
By practicing this during random moments, I find my ability to bore down on subtle
nuances in my studio is enhanced. This also makes standing in line a lot more interesting!