Monday night, I stepped into Palmer Commons for our weekly choir rehearsal. But I sat in the back. I wasn’t going to sing that night, but rather, just listen.
Ian and I sing with the University Musical Society Choral Union. Among other large works we perform, often with orchestra, our choir has the longest, annual tradition of singing Handel’s Messiah. That’s what we’re working on right now. This choir has performed it every single year since 1879.
I walked in with a headache that had been present throughout the day. That headache had a way of making visual surroundings a bit overwhelming, so I decided I was going to have an auditory rehearsal only. I closed my eyes nearly the entire time and listened.
And it was a wonderful experience.
I know this piece well, but still, I heard parts from other sections that I had not really noticed before. And though I try to listen while singing also, it was helpful to hear the sound as a whole without my own voice.
This made wonder, in what other contexts might I make the decision to listen only? If I do, what might I hear differently? What have I not noticed before?