A Thought for Thursday: The Best Way to Teach Listening Skills


As an early-childhood music teacher, I believe that
what I do is very important in developing young
children’s listening skills. Singing, playing rhythm
instruments, moving to music – all these involve
auditory cues for children to focus on in a fun and
age-appropriate way. There’s generally an 
enjoyable consequence of careful listening in a
musical  context – the satisfaction of making music
together in a group of friends is a wonderful feeling.

Listening while singing and playing musical games
has a carryover effect. It helps children to listen
more carefully to friends and teachers. But there’s
an even more basic way to “teach” listening skills.

You guessed it – I’m talking about listening to the 
children. Absolutely nothing makes a child’s face 
light up so much as when a teacher really listens
to what they’re saying, making eye contact,
reflecting their feelings, and responding with
true interest. 

That’s how children really learn to listen.


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