Selective Hearing – Ear Training in Academia

Essay
When people train, they work to get better at something in order to achieve a goal within
a specific system. Within the academic world, listening is taught through means of an ear
“training” class. Ear training class does not necessarily mean that students will be listening,
but rather students will be training to hear correctly within a system. In these classes across
universities, students learn to identify several things within tonal and even non-tonal
theoretical contexts. In both contexts, students come to class to learn how to identify pitches
in relation to one another. While there are other components to ear training that do not
focus on pitch relations, such as rhythmic dictation, the emphasis is put on harmonies and
pitches in a relative framework.
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