Like most kids, I didn’t really care for doing homework. And so like many youngsters, I decided the best way to do homework was to listen to music while I studied.
I put on the album Rubber Soul, The Beatles 1965 album. I tried, but it was hard for me to concentrate on my homework! Not with all that great music going on. During the song “You Won’t See Me” I truly learned what was meant by active listening.
It wasn’t Paul McCartney’s lead vocal that was drawing me in. Instead, it was the background vocal harmonies. This was before I knew much about music theory, but I recognized the dissonance of the major second being sung in harmony, and the stepwise motion to resolving the dissonance. As you can see from the example attached, the voices lead naturally to the harmony of the piece.
I remember losing myself in the piece so much, of not paying much attention to the words, but only to listening to the harmony and its resolution.
Active listening indeed! Homework had no chance.