Reason #400,839,938,923 that I love #MusEdChat: I learn about things I never heard of/didn’t know it had a name/never was mentioned in my previous years of schooling.

The topic was: How does your understanding of “audiation” affect what/when/how you teach?

First, what is audiation anyway? The Gordan Institute for Music Learning says audiation takes place when we hear and comprehend music for which the sound is no longer or may never have been present.

Interesting! So how do you even teach that?

The best explanation that made more sense of the concept, to me, was from: brandtschneiderwe do a lot of “silent band” performances as students sing/play. I hold up one hand for “out loud” other hand for “in head.”

I remember doing a lot of these exercises in choir, which I thought were mainly intonation focused. I didn’t realize this was a practice of audiation at all. We would be instructed to do things like singing only on the second beat of the measures. We would get our starting pitch, and off we would go! After a few lines, or sometimes only after the passage, we would see how well we stayed in key. This exercise was a flawless way to see what pitches and intervals we were struggling with, but I never realized how it was training us to hear the pitches that were not being heard.

As the discussion carried on, I began to wonder if there was any correlation between audiation and sight reading. I know for me, I play by ear and hear pitches in my head far better than sitting down and sight reading. However, my singing sight reading is decent. I don’t know if that is because I can see what’s on the page and hear it as I go, or if I am a good guesser, or if there is no correlation at all. I’m interested in finding that out! I find it so fascinating!

Here is an interesting article I found on audiation, music learning theory, and creativity.

Some quotes of the night:

  • @richardmccready: In Art, visualization=being able to see in your mind. In music, audiation=being able to hear in your mind.
  • @lovedrummin: To me, it is when you can look at music and hear/understand it before even putting out sound.

If you are interested in getting involved in #MusEdChat check out – the chat is held on Twitter on Monday nights at 8pm EST. It’s a great deal of fun and knowledge from musicians and educators around the world!

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