According to Gary Karpinski’s Aural Skills Acquisition, the first step in taking melodic dictation is ‘hearing,’ which relies on control of attention and focus. Of all the steps he lists, Karpinski discusses this one the least, and yet it is a crucial perceptual fundamental that is necessary for developing higher-level aural skills. Beyond melodic dictation, training students to hear harmony relies in large part on their ability to train their attention on both holistic aspects of a musical stimulus and bass lines, while multiple-line dictation requires the ability to switch one’s attention back and forth among multiple simultaneous stimuli. These abilities will suffer if we do not work with students explicitly on attentional control, particularly since the high-stakes individual assessments common to many aural-skills classes can impair students’ ability to focus – and, presumably, to gain control of that focus. This chapter will propose ways to more effectively help students develop attentional control to foster success in aural-skills classes. First, we must recognize the crucial role that attentional control plays in a huge number of aural-skills tasks, and which factors introduce distracting information (unfamiliar timbres, changing key contexts, etc.). Second, we must give our students scaffolded attention-control exercises, beginning by paying attention to something they have already learned and culminating in searching out different ways to pay attention to unfamiliar stimuli. And finally, I will suggest ways of mitigating the effects of assessment-related stress on attentional control, including alternative grading schemes, allowing resubmissions, group work, and crafting lower-stress assessment environments. In these ways, we can help students develop active rather than passive listening skills and better foster success in the many attention-related tasks we undertake in the aural-skills classroom.