Listening is part of a master set of skills. It doesn’t matter whether you are a bicyclist listening to the traffic behind you, a museum visitor taking in the words of your companion, or the leader of a project trying to run a meeting. Listening carefully to your surroundings and the people sharing those surroundings is a key to enjoying what you are doing at any given moment.
As a kid I never wanted to go to sleep. The world was always knocking on my little door. I could hear it asking me to stay up late, to come out and play, to find things that were waiting for me to find them. Of course my mother didn’t share this perspective. So she invented “The Listening Game” in which she asked me to count how many things I could hear in one minute. I don’t ever remember making it the full minute. I just remember waking up the following morning… As an artist I use my mother’s listening game to check and see if I am hearing who and what is around me. It is a way to make sense of my aural experiences.
Here is a site we like because its creators are invested in careful listening. They asked a simple question and aesthetically organized the answers they got back. Take a look. And, when you get a chance try playing the listening game.