Occasionally, something will creep into teaching, seem to work and, in the end, you can’t recall where it came from. Such is the case with Reversed Questions & Answers. The basic idea is as follows:
- Assume in all cases that the best way to tell pupils something is to lead them to the answer through questioning – then they come up with the answer
- You ask a question – nae answer
- You ask the opposite question – a satisfactory answer is given
- We now have the correct answer – to the reversed question
- Reverse the answer, and it might fit the original question
At this point an example might be useful. Continue reading Connect 9
It’s Science, Jim, But Not As We Know It.
There are three elements in music – rhythm, melody and harmony. Like other elements, they combine into the various compounds which constitute music. When tricky moments occur, the problem could be caused by one or more elements and some degree of separation may be required to locate the culprit. This is a process with which pupils may be familiar, through Science. Examing the relationship between component parts in a given scientific field often involves: Continue reading Connect 8
Major = Happy, Minor = Sad.
This has served for generations as a first step to aural identification of the two basic chord types.
Major = Reliable, Minor = Slippery Customer. How’s that, then?
The makeup of a major scale, once learned, remains learned. The minor scale, once conquered, simply grows another head and reappears in disguise. Brought about by historical change and (multi)cultural influence,* Continue reading Connect 7
I was never much good at maths and so would believe anything to be true if it felt vaguely correct. This led to an unusual situation where, by means of a stepping stone, so incorrect* as to be unreal, a conceptual stream was crossed.
I must have dreamt Continue reading Connect 6
The interface between the practice of forms and combat in tai chi is known as pushing hands – a repetitive two-person exercise. The idea is to build up sensitivity to the shifting weight of the opponent and to use this against them – pretty much as in judo and aikido.
In real life, when the push/strike comes, you parry this to one side and then smite the opponent with
Continue reading Connect 5
…sorry, couldn’t resist that title.
The Periodic Table
For right handed guitarists, that hand is relatively straightforward. The left hand is the complex one due to the multiplicity of techniques required. Within the first few lessons, pupils will have come across the following techniques:
- Press (the string – to make a note)
- Release (the string – to access the open note)
- Relax (the pressure, staying on that string while playing another)
- Re-press (the original finger on its string)
- Plant – (a finger on a note before playing)
- Transfer (pressure to the planted note)
- Lean (on one note, so that another note can stop without all notes coming to an abrupt end)
There are many more to follow * and Continue reading Connect 4
There is a very strong link between the pressure of left hand* notes on the guitar and gravity. The earth’s gravity is a natural phenomenon and gravity on the guitar a fabricated one – but necessary. If we mismanage natural gravity we stumble. If we mismanage gravity on the guitar, Continue reading Connect 3
Axis of Accuracy
A left hand position change on the guitar involves a horizontal shift – hopefully moving along the string*. Crossing strings involves a vertical move of one left hand finger. Often the two coincide – sometimes over quite a large distance.
To avoid dizzying uncertainty Continue reading Connect 2
The Field of Play
Thinking about the element of connectedness at the heart of extreme learning has encouraged me to reflect upon the multidisciplinary approach which can be helpful in instrumental teaching. Essential might be a better word as, when dealing with an abstract language such as music, connections to more Continue reading Connect 1
Being keen to keep the posts on arranging together, I have not yet mentioned Monday’s In Service. We spent some time on learning styles and filled in two questionnaires. The first was to determine whether we were inclined to a visual, auditory or kinaesthetic learning style, after which we discussed how a heightened awareness of this might affect how we view our pupils. Continue reading Hear No Evil