Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I've been teaching a little boy how to play recorder for what is edging up upon a year now, as many of you know, he is an ornery little guy, a regular pain in the buttinski as my mom would say. Nonetheless he's a sweet kid. We came upon a break through just yesterday that sort of blew my mind.

I've always known about different sorts of learning, I am for the most part an aural learner....I think (?) . If I'm paying attention I'll remember most everything that I'm told, of course the trick there is the "if I'm paying attention" but still, I remember things like conversations. But it's still hard to wrap your head around the fact that people learn in different ways.

My student is going into the first grade next year, he's young for his grade so I don't think that he turns six until later in the year. I have been teaching him mostly things by wrote and imitation. I play something, he copies me, I finger things while he plays etc. He really struggles though, so I have all year been slowly acclimating him to the idea of written music, how it works how to write it and other complicated things that I wanted to introduce him to but don't expect him to fully get for another few years.

Yesterday I decided to have a little experiment. We took some written music and we sang through it on letter names, then with finger numbers and then I asked him to play it. BAM! did it. so I did it again today, except just singing letter names no finger numbers, the kid totally got it! He's a visual learner of sorts! It was really exciting and gratifying.

We'll still do somethings by ear because it's good to stretch the part of your mind that you're less comfortable with, but wow! It was incredible. I'm really glad because now when we work hard it is with results.

We still have to seriously work on his memory and his sense of pitch....

1 comment:

Alex said...

The different learning modalities are probably the coolest thing I learned this past year. Not only is it interesting to see the different ways in which people learn, but it's amazingly gratifying to know that you as a teacher are able to teach into a person's strengths and connect with them, even if those same strengths aren't your own.