Thursday, April 26, 2012

The iPod Theory

More from Parents as Partners video "7 Guarantees for More Progress During Practice" by James Hutchins, Suzuki violin teacher, teacher trainer, and parent:

Every performance a student hears gets "downloaded" and stays with them. We all know we'd like to have the best performances downloaded. But as we are learning, we will play mistakes: out of tune notes, wrong bowings, etc. These are also getting downloaded. If we are only playing it ourselves, that is the only version getting downloaded and memorized, and it's the wrong version.
For an example of what should happen, he drew a chart (for those reading music - if not yet reading, just take that step out):
Start with playing a piece by memory.
For every memory performance you want to have played it two times with the music.
For every two times with the music, you will want to have listened to it four times.
Often this is reversed - listened once, played with music twice, played by memory four times. This results in more mistakes as the wrong version was downloaded more than the correct one.
You may think all this listening will take a long time, especially for the longer pieces. But if you start early, even a year or two previous, the right version will be downloaded before they even start and the student will know a wrong note right away.
I can attest to witnessing both the good example and the "often happens" one!
When a good amount of listening has occurred, the learning is so much easier!

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