A few months ago I performed a torturous experiment on a wonderful student. (All my students are wonderful, and this one is no exception.) It went like this:
The student struggled with rhythm and notes in a mid-book 1 cello piece. I asked if the child did the required listening, and the response was negative. (The father – who is a musician as well – was in the room to corroborate this experiment.) My response was to put our cellos down, put the song on repeat, and do some music theory work for 10 minutes. As the student wasn’t focused on the music this was just passive listening as the little cellist was intent on the theory work.
After 10 minutes of hearing Allegretto on repeat, we put theory away and I had the student play the piece. And the little one did – WITHOUT MISSING A NOTE OR BEAT.
Actual proof in Ms. Candace’s studio! And if you still don’t believe me, here is further information and a study conducted by the Bulletproof Musican (seriously worth the read.)
Conclusion: listen. To everything. Even if you aren’t aware, it helps – I promise.