Music listening is an essential and fundamental activity in music education. Music listeners do not just receive the sound but create their own musical experience (Kerchner, 2000; Oh, 2006; Peterson, 2006; Reimer, 2003). This is done not only by selecting and focusing on some music elements and the relationships among the components (Kerchner, 2000) but also connecting their own background knowledge and past experience with imagination (Oh, 2006; Peterson, 2006). Therefore, “the attentive, [and] creative listener is making something new and personal during each listening experience” (Peterson, 2006, p. 20).
As part of an effort to understand listening experiences, many researchers have employed verbal, visual, or kinesthetic responses to music (Blair, 2007, 2008; Cohen, 1997; Dunn, 2005; Johnson, 2011; Kerchner, 2000; Verschaffel, Reybrouck, Janssens, & Dooren, 2009). These studies primarily dealt with these multisensory responses as a tool to understand the listening process and experience. In addition, some researchers argued these multisensory materials enhance music listening comprehension (Blair, 2007; Dunn, 1994; Johnson, 2011; Kerchner, 2000). However, in this study, drawing, which is one of the multisensory representations, was provided as an opportunity for students to express their unique experiences in an artistic way.
Music listening may include affective responses as well as perceptual responses (Dunn, 2005; Kerchner, 2000; Oh, 2006). These responses can create a holistic listening experience, connected to listener’s association and imagination. By providing an opportunity for students to express their listening experience in an artistic way, students’ arts experience can be expanded. Moreover, when students have an opportunity to express their listening experience, they can participate in the music listening actively (Espeland, 1987; Kerchner, 2000).
In this sense, the purpose of this paper was to explore the personal meaning and value of the integrated experience of drawing and listening to music in music class.
Through this study two research questions were developed.
1. What is the character of the students’ visual representation to the music?
2. What are the students’ opinions about the activity of drawing while listening to music?