- Phrasing and cadences
Materials needed: Professional recording, a score, a pencil, good speakers or earbuds.
The trick is to pay attention to one element at a time.
- On the first play, tap along with the beat and see if the tempo fluctuates. On the second play, mark in the score: Accel., Rit,. A tempo.
- Second play, pay attention to dynamics. Does the performer follow the dynamic markings found in your score? Did they vary the dynamics within a marked section? Say p, or piano, but you hear fluctuations between pp and mp or wider? How did they interpret the accents?
- Third play, articulations. How did they play the staccato, tenuto, legato markings? Did they match your score?
- Fourth play, balance, that is the relative loudness between the melody, accompaniment, and bass.
- Fifth play, phrasing and cadences. How did the performer play the first and last notes under a slur? For more advanced students, mark in and label the cadences. How were they interpreted?
Daniel Barenboim has some important thoughts on deep listening. Enjoy.