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learning by listening course

Learning by Listening: The Wiscasset Music Listening Course
Selected, compiled, and edited by Betsy Warren-Davis, A.B., A.M., Harvard University, and Susan Baker Godoy, A.B., A.M., Ph.D., Harvard University

Vol. 1: Twenty Musical Examples and Glossary.

Vol. 2: Twenty-Three Musical Examples and Glossary.

In 1997, Betsy Warren-Davis and Susan Baker Godoy began putting their philosophy of learning by listening into action with The Wiscasset Music Listening Course. In a paper Warren-Davis wrote, "The Lost Art of Listening," she makes a case for returning the art of listening to school curricula, and the course series is designed to forward music education through supervised listening.

The course offers an easy, flexible, and cost-effective way for educators to introduce students to music from different cultures spanning 8 centuries. Volume I contains a 60-minute CD of short excerpts from 20 compositions. Each piece is preceded by an announcement of the title of the excerpt and name of the composer. An accompanying book includes the printed music for each excerpt. Using the book, students gain a familiarity with the written form of music, just as they are exposed early to the alphabet before learning to read. Click on the links below to view sample pages.

Volume 3 (in publication) draws from different compositions but is similar to Volumes 1 and 2 in format and range of music. All volumes will contain a glossary of music terms.

The short playing times of the excerpts and different styles of music make the course easily adaptable to the needs and resources of any school and teaching staff. Teachers are encouraged to keep commentary about the music or composers to a minimum, simply letting the music speak for itself. The course can be used to form the core of a music program, or one or two excerpts can be added to enrich an existing class. Selections can also make a thought-provoking backdrop to a course in history or art.

As envisioned, each volume has been designed to stand alone and will be available to order in any sequence. Please refer to the catalog for prices. Orders of 20 or more books include both the standard CD and a free CD without the announcements for testing students' recall of the music.To purchase Learning By Listening course online, please click here.


Learning by Listening

"I had the pleasure of using Learning by Listening: The Wiscasset Music Listening Course in my classroom during the past year.

The program introduces students to classical music by mentioning a composer's name and time of life, along with the title of a short piece of his or her work. Students then listen to a minute or two of music by that composer.

Within a few days, I began to notice some of them tapping their feet, some directing with a finger, some just listening. Students began requesting repeats of some pieces that they liked and smiled warmly when they were given.

I would rate the program as a success, its objective being to introduce students to classical composers and pieces. In fact, I would rate it highly. It is just that added touch that fills small pieces of time that inevitably arise in any classroom."

Richard Delano
teacher, grade 6
Topsham, ME

"Children of all ages love music, rhythms and songs. The young children who come through my classes enjoy listening to the musical CD during our class. It has a splendid variety of selections that attract even the parents' attention."

Renee Sutton,
teacher, 18 mos. to 3 1/2 years
Austin, TX

"From the very beginning, time should be devoted as often as possible to listening, uncomplicated and unhindered by explanation; for no other way may children be brought so effectively into direct contact with beauty."

Archibald T. Davison,
eminent 20th century music educator
Harvard University

Copyright @ 2003-2008 Wicassett Music Publishing. All rights reserved.