The Natural Listener  

Workshop biography

Excellence In Performance

NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming)

Deep Listening


The Natural Listener

Many believe that classical musical enjoyment is a gift bestowed on a lucky few, but listening is a skill that can be vastly enhanced by practice and training. In a series of sessions of lively listening and interaction with music, listeners will learn new skills that can make each concert a more profound experience, more concentrated and fulfilling. No previous musical knowledge is needed - just a love of music. Far from being music appreciation lectures, these action-oriented sessions (participants wear loose clothing) let people immerse themselves in music and listen with all their senses. The long range goal is to revitalize the orchestra-performer-composer-listener relationship and help create new music lovers


Object: To learn to listen like musicians and enjoy music on a deeper emotional level.

Participants learn how to:

* Let go of your inhibitions as a listener
* Explore the mysteries of musical creativity
* Experience music on a deeper emotional level
* Discern quality in music and in performance
* Share the musical process with the composer and performer

You will discover how to:

* Relax and enjoy listening
* Experience music with all of your senses
* Create an original piece of music
* Feel musical styles with your body
* Use your voice with power
* Relate music to your life

STEP 1) Listening with the Eyes: Hearing and feeling music by visual overlap. This new technique enables you to use all three primary senses to fully enjoy the listening process.

STEP 2) How to Create a Piece of Music: Participants jointly create and perform a piece of music using graphic notation - an insight into the origin of all music.

STEP 3) Hearing with the Body
: Using balance, space and distance to develop the inner ear. Participants learn the relationship between emotion and physical motion in music.

STEP 4) Deep Listening: A journey into the composer's mind. Self-hypnosis and intense listening.

STEP 5) Triple-Position Listening: Participants learn to switch positions between the listener, the performer and the composer.

STEP 6) The Six Levels of Listening: Participants experience listening from the standpoint of their daily environment, their workplace, their capabilities, beliefs, identity and spiritual self.

Exercises will include: Techniques from Neuro-Linguistics, mime, self-hypnosis, movement, and special exercises from Michael Colgrass' Excellence In Performance and Creativity workshops.

Music will include: Bach "Goldberg Variations," Mozart "F Major Piano sonata," Beethoven "Opus l31," Brahms "Piano Concerto in Bb," Debussy "Afternoon of a Faun," Stravinsky "Rite of Spring," Cage "4'33," jazz of Charlie Parker, the pop group The Talking Heads and African folk music.

Sessions are three hours, the groups are small, and the listening steps are explained in layman's terms.

Natural Listener Workshops for Orchestra and Opera Managements

Michael Colgrass also gives Natural Listener workshops to expand the listening skills of professional managers, agents, promoters, publicists and marketers.


* To fully understand and appreciate the product you are selling
* To communicate better with people you want to enjoy your performing group
* To learn to use a common vocabulary with listeners
* To discover what draws people to concerts

"Call it auditory group therapy, gentle mass hypnosis or a little bit of both, he has come up with a listening technique that acknowledges the emotional basis of our musical responses."
William Littler, Toronto Star

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