Listening – A Musician's Necessary Skill

Editor's Abstract

Bill Cahn was a long-time member of the Rochester Philharmonic, and a founding member of NEXUS, a Toronto-based percussion ensemble. Bill has written for Polyphonic in the past, about the use of improvisation in performances and educational programs, and about the impact of social and economic issues on music and the arts. He is the author of ”Creative Music Making,” and teaches a course of the same name at music schools and conservatories. Bill shares with us some of his insights from his most recent course, particularly around the issue of listening and the lack of any formal training for most music majors on HOW to listen.
Bill proposes three levels of listening, describes each in detail, and suggests that the “ideal scenario” is to have all three listening levels at work during an ensemble’s performance.
Ann Drinan
July, 2015

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