#1
how do you learn to recognise the sounds of different intervals effectively?
i need to get a better signature.
#2
at school they taught us how to recognise them by comparing them to the first 2 notes of nursery rhymes.

major:
second - frere jacques
third - once in royal david's city
fourth - london's burning
fifth- twinkle twinkle little star
sixth - my bonnie lies over the ocean

i can't remember seventh and octave, but they're quite easy to recognise as 1 - 7 is one of those evil dissonant ones and 1 - 8 is the same note except an octave higher.

i'm not too hot on minor/augmented/diminished etc. sorry :S
#4
Heres what I learnt:

Maj/m 2nd=harsh
maj/m 3rd=smooth
per 4th=bare
aug4/dim5=strange
per 5=bare
maj/m 6th=smooth(ish)
maj/m 7th=harsh
per 8ve=bare/smooth

Its a bit vague, but it helps you get the idea.
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#5
Super easy. Im in my schools choir and band (it's actually cool where I go, isn't thatweird) and our teacher will give us 3 intervals on the piano, a song they sound like, and what their actual name is (like perfect 5th = Star Wars) then she mixes them all up and asks us what they are. We all caught on really fast.
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#6
When I started learning them, I related them to theme songs.
Minor 2nd=Jaws
Perfect 4th=Perfect Strangers
Etc...
#7
That's somewhat of the technique they use at my college.

m2 = Jaws
M2 = listen for the next scale degree
m3 = sad
M3 = happy
P4 = Here Comes the Bride
b5 = very dissonant
P5 = Star Wars

In my high school theory class, we didn't use any silly method for learning intervals. It was an AP class, and I learned alot more there than I did in the first two years of college music theory. It's kind of frustrating.