Musikgarten can help so much in this area, because the curriculum was designed in consultation with child development and sensory integration specialists to make sure that the children are given exactly what their minds and bodies need at each stage of development. The science behind learning to sit and listen is that the ear combines two very different functions. One side guides movement and gives a sense of balance, the other is focused on listening to sounds, and then words.
In Musikgarten we start with priming the balance and movement side (see my post on Balance and Vestibular Function in the Archive). As this function is stimulated and developed, even young children can become amazingly able to quiet their bodies and focus on listening activities for a few minutes.
In the early classes we start with simple sounds on the Musikgarten CDs. Your child loves to listen for the bird and animal sounds and imitate them. As she grows she naturally learns to distinguish between the sound of a cow and a horse, or the song of a blue jay and robin.
In later classes we begin to combine the listening and vestibular functions of the ear with our recorded movement activities. Learning to listen to the wind and move like a leaf, or imagining you are a creature described in a song gives added stimulus to the auditory function by connecting it to the vestibular movement.
Then your child is ready to listen to me tell them a story. Why do we take time to tell stories in a music class? Because this rich and unique art form is dying out in our society, yet it provides developmental benefits in many ways. Firstly there is a difference between telling a story and reading a book together; listening skills are developed most strongly when there are no props or pictures to distract the imagination. Your child's imagination is stimulated and activated more with aural inputs alone, because the visual sense is more easily accessed than the aural if both stimuli are present.
Secondly, we develop emotional awareness and empathy when we imagine what a character in a story is feeling. And thirdly, we nurture creativity when we encourage your child to visualize what something looks like, or to decide what might happen next.
Ultimately we are allowing the children to contribute to the story, and determine its direction and outcome. this sense of ownership creates great satisfaction and interest, enabling your child to sit still and listen!