Is it an oxymoron? active — listening — active
I think it depends on where I am. Sitting at a classical music, string quartet concert for which I have paid a good price … then active is not what I want the patrons behind me to be. Sitting with a class of primary students, opening up a world of new listening music … actively engaged is what I aim for.
Sometimes active means movement and dance. Sometimes it means drawing a visual map of the music. Sometimes it means making a face to show the mood of the music. Sometimes it means … ???? Eventually I hope that active listening means active minds and imaginations journeying with the music that is heard.
Ask students what their imaginations can hear in the music with leading questions … Where are you? What colour do you hear? Who is going to arrive in this music?
Most important —if this is a new genre of music for most students, keep the “active listening” simple and short in duration. Leave them wanting more.