Performing musicians must be able to hear and adjust to other parts sounding in real time. One valuable means of developing this skill is the sing-and-play (or play-and-sing), an activity that involves singing one line of music while accompanying oneself on an instrument, usually the piano. While keyboard proficiency limits difficulty, requiring the student to perform both parts builds skill in tuning, rhythm, and multitasking. Some of these goals could be accomplished through ensemble singing, another valuable activity. However, designing a task that can be performed alone encourages individual practice and, for the purposes of assessment, eliminates confounds from a weak group member.

This study advocates for the inclusion of sing-and-play activities in aural-skills and theory courses. In particular, it summarizes current materials and practices as a model for instructors considering incorporating sing-and-play exercises into their pedagogy. Part I of this chapter surveys published sing-and-play exercises and justifications proffered in recent writings. Part II reports results from an online survey regarding how sing-and-plays are currently used in today’s theory classrooms. Part III considers additional concerns based on the author’s experience developing sing-and-play assignments for her aural-skills courses. The value of developing skills through sing-and-play activities often outweighs the challenges, which can be overcome by adjusting materials, presentation, and assessment.