Promoting Far Transfer and 21st-Century Competency Through the Aural Skills Capstone Project

David Heinsen, Robin Heinsen


This essay shares a project that is designed to connect first-year ear-training coursework to the functional use of aural skills beyond traditional classroom limitations. In particular, we focus on a second-semester capstone project that utilizes transcription, transposition, composition, and primary-instrument performance of popular music songs using multi-track recording software. In addition to reinforcing the knowledge and skills of the curriculum, this capstone increases student engagement, gives students ownership of their own skill development, and allows them to experience a broader application of their acquired skills. After a brief discussion of the concept of transfer and its relevance to the ear training classroom, we examine the details of the capstone, consider some of its challenges, and share examples of student work.


transfer; aural skills; capstone project; popular music; technology

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ISSN: 2689‐2871