Barbara Cass-Beggs created the “Listen, Like, Learn” approach for teaching music, which combined principles established by Orff and Kodaly— attempting “to help children discover the relation of music to the other arts. It offered basic training in pitch and rhythm” and provided age-appropriate ways to teach music to children. Barbara wrote, “Your child must like music before he/she can learn it. The earlier she learns to listen to music and enjoy it, the more she is likely to benefit. (Cass-Beggs 1986, 13). “The basic elements of the Listen – Like – Learn program are the basic elements of music, which are: singing, movement, rhythm and melody, and these elements can only be introduced successfully if, at the same time, the children are learning to listen” (Cass-Beggs 1986, 21).
Born in Nottingham, England in 1904, Barbara Cass-Beggs studied at the RCM (Royal Conservatory of Music), and taught music to children. After moving to Canada, she served as the director of the University Settlement Music School in Toronto, taught at the Conservatory of Music at the University of Regina in Canada, and founded the Regina Junior Concert. She also collected and recorded Canadian folk songs, and initiated music courses for teachers of preschoolers at Algonquin College, Ottawa. Barbara developed music classes for children from birth to age five called “Your Baby Needs Music” and “Your Child Needs Music” which utilized her Listen, Like, Learn Approach for teaching music to young children. This grew out of Barbara’s observations that children respond well to musical experiences that include “Listening, because he enjoys music; liking, because he is participating; and learning, which is wanting to discover something more about music (Cass-Beggs 1986, 17). Cass-Beggs was awarded the Children’s Service Award by the Association for Early Childhood Education in 1982.