Sometimes it seems that I need to jump backwards through hoops in order to get my community college students to pay attention to what they are listening to, but I have finally learned that getting someone to pay attention for the length of time that a movement of a piece might take is not the same as having that person (or those people, in this case) get into the habit of paying attention. It is the habit of playing attention that ultimately allows people to get the most out of life and to appreciate the wonders of the world around them.
One naive hope I have is that listening to music carefully as a group might make a kind of "light bulb" go on for my students; but I am resigned to admit that it is only through practice and freedom from distraction that people can learn to pay attention to what they are doing when it is necessary to do so. My other naive hope is that through listening to music with an ear pointed towards its emotional content, people who ordinarily would not let themselves be connected to deep and complicated emotions would find comfort and freedom in "feeling" through the emotional expressions of great composers and performers.
So many of my community college students seem distracted and removed, both intellectually and emotionally. I often wonder if they will ever think of the content of their music appreciation course as anything more than material to study the day before an exam. I guess the rewards from having taken a class like this might come later in their lives.
I know that I can always help my private students pay attention to what is required, even if they don't always do things correctly all the time. Paying attention to what is wrong (when they make mistakes) is just as valuable as paying attention to what is right. They are eager to close the window on the rest of the world and, when prompted and encouraged, listen to their intonation, listen to the quality of their sounds, observe the function of their hands, arms, and fingers, and count. I think that they actually like being asked to focus their attention on the tasks at hand, and they seem to be pleased that I care about their progress.
Then again, the are not being graded, and the only reward they get (besides an occasional sticker for the young ones) is the satisfaction of making music.