Install theme

Posts tagged practice

See more
This post has 4 notes
Posted at 11:34 AM 21 February 2012

Why Smart Students Don't Succeed

world-shaker:

An outstanding collection of insight from reddit user lnri137. Here’s an excerpt:

You got A’s because you studied or because the classes were easy. You got a B probably because you were so used to understanding things that you didn’t know how to deal with something that didn’t come so easily. I’m guessing that early on you built the cognitive and intellectual tools to rapidly acquire and process new information, but that you’ve relied on those tools so much you never really developed a good set of tools for what to do when those failed. This is what happened to me, but I didn’t figure it out until after I got crushed by my first semester of college. I need to ask you, has anyone ever taken the time to teach you how to study? And separately, have you learned how to study on your own in the absence of a teacher or curriculum? These are the most valuable tools you can acquire because they are the tools you will use to develop more powerful and more insightful tools. It only snowballs from there…

This is one of the greatest things I have read in a long time, and something I actually relate to.

I never have had a period in my studies where I haven’t been equal to the challenges that faced me (well, not quite, but more on that in a second), but I’ve always worried what would happen when that day arrives. Most of what I was able to do in high school was with little effort - I memorized easily (and still do) by the time I listen to a lecture and take good notes. Performing on tests was never a challenge. I absorb quickly and retain well. I pretty much built my academic career off of that.

It’s been interesting, then, going into music. Classes like theory and history have been easy, and even my education classes, at least when it comes to written tests and ideas, have never been a challenge. Even quickly learning pitches, and holding onto them, is something I’ve adapted to. And fortunately, when it comes to actually getting in front of a classroom and teaching, I’ve found that I have a good disposition and enjoy working with kids.

But the problems I struggle with are study habits, and finding the motivation and ability to go practice. I did fine for six semesters, freshman through junior year, even as the material grew harder and harder. Towards the end of my junior year it began to show a bit that I didn’t have my practice skills very refined.

And then we hit this year (remember when I said I would get to that thing in a bit? here it is), and some major life changes introduced me to something called depression for the first time. I had absolutely no motivation to leave my room and go practice, and the few times I did find myself in a practice room my poor practicing skills (which can be relatable to studying skills) didn’t exactly help me excel. I managed to pull off a C in my voice lessons, and I’m reasonably certain that was a gif from my instructor (anything lower than a C and it doesn’t count towards degree credit for graduating, since it’s a class within my major). If it wasn’t for the aforementioned skills I had in grasping and retaining information, all of my classes would have been a wash.

So if you’ve stuck with this and read through this far, please please please do your students a favor and help them develop successful studying strategies, and give them opportunities to use and refine them! I think this, more than anything, will benefit them in the long run (the same as teaching students how to learn - closely related, but not quite the same thing). And if you’re a music educator, helping your students build their practicing skills - i.e. giving them targeted areas of music to review, pointing them in the direction you want the music to develop, and holding them accountable for progress outside of the classroom - will not only benefit them if they chose to pursue music, but I believe the skills they build there will be relatable to any field they chose to pursue (perseverance, problem solving, repetition, time management, etc).

Whew. Okay. I’m done.

(via world-shaker-deactivated2013092)

See more
This post has 330 notes
Posted at 10:03 PM 05 January 2012
If students aren’t practicing, I honestly think that’s the teacher’s fault.
Too many teachers assign practice as just a “fill out this practice sheet with so many minutes per week.” There’s no guidelines. Nothing specific for the students to work on. You’re probably lucky if they actually practice and don’t just fill in random times. And even if they do practice, you better hope they’re making good use of that time, and not just practicing the same section (and sometimes practicing it wrong to boot! good luck fixing it once a student has run it wrong 20 times).
A better situation is to make moving on contingent upon their improving outside of class. Work a segment of a song in class. Expect next time for it to have improved. Give the students specific instruction on what you want them to work on, what needs to change, and how it needs to sound. And when they come back, assess it - did it improve? Is it any better? Are they demonstrating that they understood and practiced what was needed? 
And if they aren’t… put that piece away and move on. Guilt them a little. It’s okay. As long as you’re right there to be their biggest cheer leader when they do something right. 
It’s okay to have high expectations for students, if you give them the tools to succeed and celebrate those successes with them. But there’s also no law that says you have to celebrate mediocrity. Don’t settle for anything less than the best.
The other thing I dislike about this photo is the grammar :/

If students aren’t practicing, I honestly think that’s the teacher’s fault.

Too many teachers assign practice as just a “fill out this practice sheet with so many minutes per week.” There’s no guidelines. Nothing specific for the students to work on. You’re probably lucky if they actually practice and don’t just fill in random times. And even if they do practice, you better hope they’re making good use of that time, and not just practicing the same section (and sometimes practicing it wrong to boot! good luck fixing it once a student has run it wrong 20 times).

A better situation is to make moving on contingent upon their improving outside of class. Work a segment of a song in class. Expect next time for it to have improved. Give the students specific instruction on what you want them to work on, what needs to change, and how it needs to sound. And when they come back, assess it - did it improve? Is it any better? Are they demonstrating that they understood and practiced what was needed? 

And if they aren’t… put that piece away and move on. Guilt them a little. It’s okay. As long as you’re right there to be their biggest cheer leader when they do something right. 

It’s okay to have high expectations for students, if you give them the tools to succeed and celebrate those successes with them. But there’s also no law that says you have to celebrate mediocrity. Don’t settle for anything less than the best.

The other thing I dislike about this photo is the grammar :/

(via fuckyeahclarinet)

See more
This post has 73 notes
Posted at 11:29 PM 26 October 2011

HELP! My child won’t practice his instrument!

I’ve often been asked by my “piano parents” how to encourage their children to practice their instrument.  They are constantly frustrated because they don’t “hear” their child “in there” practicing when they know they should be.  This post is to help you through this an hopefully give you some hope — not only with music lessons, but with other things in their lives.

I love this blog post. It stresses that parent involvement and support is crucial for a child to practice. And not just for music - this goes for homework and other activities as well!

Well worth checking out and reading through.

See more
This post has 3 notes
Posted at 1:12 PM 03 July 2011

6 Disastrous Mistakes You’re Making in Learning to Improvise

Constantly, we’re bombarded with information on how to improve. From the teachers that give us private lessons, to friends who recommend their personal practice routines, it seems there is improvement information coming from every direction! We’ll even purchase expensive books and videos, searching for  “the secret” (that must exist, right?) to improving as an improviser.

Hindsight is 20/20. Looking back at the way I learned to improvise, there is pivotal advice I wish I had followed and certain methods I should have avoided, had I known better.

Click through to read more.

In my Instrumental Methods class we discussed improvisation quite a bit. I’ll have to check online to see if the instructor shared any of the resources we talked about - if I can find them, I’ll try to share them on here sometime.

See more
This post has 3 notes
Posted at 10:22 AM 29 June 2011

The Zen of Practicing: 5 Steps to Increase Motivation to Practice | Line 6 Blog

Practice is one of the hardest things for students on all levels. Presented right, these pointers are helpful for all levels (beginner to collegiate).

(Source: urbannerds)

See more
This post has 1 note
Tagged with music, practice, motivation,
Posted at 11:28 AM 13 June 2011