Art and Music



 Holland, D. (2016) Developing heightened listening: a creative tool for introducing primary school children to sound-based music. PhD E-thesis. Available from:

Kolb, D. A. (1984) Experiential Learning experience as a source of learning and development, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Kratus, J. (2017) ‘Music Listening Is Creative’, Music Educators Journal, 103 (3), pp. 46-51.


Research background

 Kratus (2017) states that listening to musical properties is unnatural listening, however, this will enhance the appreciation (Wolf 2013).


Successful learning is achieved following these stages:
Concrete Experience, Reflective Observation, Abstract Conceptualisation and Active Experimentation (Kolb 1984, 30). These steps are often also described with “feeling” (Concrete Experience), “watching” (Reflective Observation), “thinking” (Abstract Conceptualisation) and “doing” (Active Experimentation).



Best practice

Problem: How can we help pupils to listen to sounds and music?


Follow these steps:

1. Sit still and listen

2. Think about the sound/music

3. Link to musical terms

4. Respond (talk, draw, imitate, perform, compose…)



 As music educators we regularly expect our pupils to listen to music or sounds. However, often pupils find it difficult to relate to what they listen and do struggle with the listening process. Listening has been described as a creative process (Kratus 2017) and part of a composition process (Holland 2016). Yet, this view has neither been researched much, nor been adopted by many practitioners.


Here is a suggestion of how to scaffold the listening process better, see best pracice.


Scaffolding Listening Experiences

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Scaffolding Listening Experiences


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