The Lost Art of Listening & A Conversation with Sara Groves


Our theme for today at North Wind Manor’s Opening Week is music. This evening, we’ll be celebrating the gift of music with a special Local Show at the Manor, and on our blog and podcast network, we’re highlighting a few pieces and conversations that engage with some timely questions: How do we listen to music? How have our listening habits changed over time? And what does it mean to become a better listener?

To help get the discussion going, we’re sharing a seven-part blog series called “The Lost Art of Listening” as well as a special episode of The Second Muse by the same name, all of which feature the perspectives and musings of the Rabbit Room staff. You can find links to each below.

In addition, we’ve included another Second Muse episode that comes at these questions from the perspective of songwriting—an interview with Sara Groves and Brown Bannister.

Part 1: Ubiquity and Scarcity by Andrew Peterson

A few weeks ago, my seventeen-year-old daughter Skye told me she wanted to take a walk and listen to a complete album, top-to-bottom. She said she was tired of listening to singles, and, though she spins full records all the time, wanted to experience an artist’s work in an intentional way. To my great pleasure, she asked what she should listen to…

Part 2: Miracles and Wonders by Chris Thiessen

Friends, I believe I am falling victim to one of the classic blunders—the most famous of which is never get involved in a land war in Asia—but only slightly less known is this: never go against a Peterson when your job is on the line!

I kid. And yet…

Part 3: Precious Impermanence by Jennifer Trafton

I was one of those present at the spirited lunch debate between Andrew Peterson and Chris Thiessen (and others) that initially sparked this “Lost Art of Listening” blog conversation, and what I remember most of that particular meal was, not only the copious amounts of cheese dip consumed…

Part 4: Chew the Cud by Drew Miller

Recently I was struck by the surprisingly earthy language used by 15th century Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cramner to describe the ancient—and at first glance, rather lofty—practice of lectio divina…

Part 5: The Case for Nostalgia by Leslie E. Thompson

Here’s my great confession: If you were to look in my musical library and scroll through the albums, artists, and playlists I’ve curated over the years, it’s likely you would think I’ve listened to really terrible music…

Part 6: A Scarcity of Mind by Shigé Clark

When I was twelve years old, my parents bought me the 10th Anniversary Concert recording of Les Misérables on VHS. I’d begun to demonstrate a zeal for musicals, starting with the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack, which I listened to on repeat until I could sing you the entire thing through—with all its varying parts—from start to finish…

Part 7: Can I Get A Witness? by Pete Peterson

Several weeks ago when we began this series on the “lost art of listening,” I don’t know that any of us knew exactly where it would end up. But it’s been a delight to watch the topic develop and gather steam. Andrew, Chris, Drew, Jennifer, Shigé, and Leslie have all articulated valuable facets of why and how we listen to music and carry it with us…

The Second Muse: The Lost Art of Listening (Epilogue)

Andrew Peterson, Pete Peterson, Jennifer Trafton, Chris Thiessen, Leslie Thompson, and Shigé Clark discuss their personal relationships with music in the wake of the streaming era.

The Second Muse: Sara Groves & Brown Bannister

Drew Miller talks with Sara Groves and Brown Bannister about the first album they ever made together, Add to the Beauty, and specifically the song “Why It Matters.”

P.S. Are you a songwriter looking to hone your craft? Is that, perchance, why you find yourself on this webpage, reading this very sentence? Do you happen to be a fan of Sara Groves? Well then, you really ought to know about her Songwriter Workshop, which she and Art House North host together every year.

It’s a virtual workshop and this year it features some remarkable songwriters, including Madison Cunningham, Don & Lori Chaffer, Christa Wells, and more. The dates are August 13th and 14th. Click here to learn more and register.

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