Hello Parents and Students (adults too!),Big Ear graphic

You’re Invited to Take the Challenge

For our third year, we invite all of our students – new and returning – to take part in our Private Lesson Big Ear Challenge.

The goal of the challenge is to listen to music every day. Surrounding our children (and adult students too) with beautiful music will inspire them (or you) and gives everyone a goal to work toward.

How to Participate:

  1. Let your teacher know at your first or second lesson* that you are planning to participate.
  2. Visit the Current Students > Private Lessons Information page here on the web site at the beginning of each week during September.

AND     Look for:  “Big Ear Challenge”

-A new music clip will be posted at the beginning of each week of the challenge, starting the week of September 12th. The challenge will run from September 15-October 15.


  1. Listen to the weekly clip at home each day (or download to your handheld device? Is that possible???)
  2. Mark on your calendar every day that you listen. See how many days you can check off for the month. The goal is to listen every day.
  3. Bring your calendar to your lesson each week, and your teacher will check in with you and leave their initials that you listened for the week.
  4. At the end of September*, turn your calendar in to Leah Zelnick, Student Performance Coordinator.

*The challenge will run from Sept 15-Oct 15, but we encourage you to begin listening now, and keep listening after!


  • If you manage to complete 30 consecutive days of listening, you will be presented with a certificate of completion at our October 19 performance class.  (We’ll also list your name in our fall Newsletter.)
  • You can attend the class to listen and get your certificate (if you are not also scheduled to perform).
  • If you prefer not to attend the class, let us know and the certificate can be presented by your teacher at your private lesson.

Download Sept calendar here: sept-2016-calendar

Download Oct calendar here: oct-2016-calendar


Ideas:  Listen to music every day!

There are many ways to listen. Include them all in your routine.

Passive Listening:  Play the recording of the pieces that your child is working on every day. Put it on in the car, during a meal or during playtime. You will be amazed at how much will be absorbed.

Active Listening:  Listen and note specific details about the music.

For example:

  • Learn the names of the pieces
  • Play a track or a small part of one, stop the recording and then sing it
  • Tap or march the beat as you listen
  • Count and name the phrases.If they are the same, give them the same name
  • Students who are reading will benefit from following along in the printed music

Inspirational Listening:  Listen to music of different styles played by the world’s great musicians to inspire yourself and your child.

Just for Fun:  Stories about music and composers are enjoyable and provide valuable information.

  • Classical Kids Collection – each recording presents a story about a composer along with lots of the composer’s music. A good one to start with is Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery
  • The Musical Life of Gustav Mole – a cute story about loving music and wanting to learn how to play an instrument
  • Peter and the Wolf/Carnival of the Animals – narrated by Leonard Bernstein, it introduces the orchestral instruments.

Happy listening!