Inner Hearing, or audiation, is the musical equivalent of being able to read and hear the words in your head, or being able to think in a language. When we listen to someone speak we must retain in memory their vocal sounds long enough to recognise and give meaning to the words the sounds represent. Likewise, when listening to music we are organising in our heads the sounds that were recently heard. We also predict what will come next, based on our knowledge of the tonal and rhythmic conventions of the music we are hearing.

Much of our school system is based on a teacher up the front talking through information, and certainly the University system is the same as it is based on lecture-style delivery. School and university may feel like a long way off for your preschooler or toddler, but we are committed to laying strong foundations in their learning behaviours and learning skill set, so they can be more comfortable in their future learning opportunities and excel.

Inner hearing is important to develop for so many reasons:

  • Understanding and processing sounds (words, music, emergency alerts, etc.)
  • Playing in an ensemble and hearing in your head what your notes should be, not following the person next to you who is playing different notes
  • Playing/singing in tune is based on hearing the note in our head first, so we know what to aim for
  • Rehearsing in your head
  • Recalling music heard previously
  • Recognising the same piece played by different performers or instruments (recognising a cover of your favourite song)
  • Distinguishing between different pieces of music
  • Hearing, retaining and recalling information presented in the classroom
  • Remembering the sound of a parent’s (or grandparent’s) voice

This is just a short list, so reply in the comments if you can think of some more points to add!