From now through the end of the year buy one and get one on our 4-week lesson samplers. This special is one you’re not going to want to miss.
Check the “Enrolling” sidebar on your desktop or at the bottom of the screen on your mobile device. Second sampler may be used by a second family member or to try a different instrument. This must be scheduled by a receptionist – but the four lesson trial pack is a wonderful opportunity for an early Christmas gift or giving someone a purpose to staying inside during the cold weather.
The focus for music history over the next six weeks will be music from the 70s. Music videos from the time period are available to watch as well as questions to answer with a lab attendant or parents (or even just to ponder on their own). Come learn about this time period in music where Funk, Soul, R&B, Hard Rock, Soft Rock, Pop, and Disco – and even Hip Hop – made their way into our lives.
For many years, schoolrooms all looked the same: a teacher lectured from the front of the room while obedient students sat in rows and absorbed knowledge (at least that was the goal). I’ll bet some of you even remember rooms like this (I know I do). Schoolrooms now are a completely different story. Students are often moving as are the teacher (or teachers). There’s noise (and what may seem to be chaos) and the only quiet may be test day. Why this change though?
One reason is the use of differentiation in the classroom as teachers try to reach all students. The other is teachers adapting to learning styles. Yes, even in something like a music class.
Depending on which school of thought you adhere to, there are either five or seven learning styles. The seven learning styles to be considered are visual, aural, verbal, physical, logical, social, or solitary.
Visual–also called spatial means that students learn better by reading or seeing what they are trying to understand.
Aural–means that students learn better by hearing or having music involved in their lessons.
Verbal–means that students want to speak their lessons aloud.
Physical–also called kinesthetic means that students want a hands on portion to their lessons or to learn by doing.
Logical–means that students apply logic to their learning.
These last two are not always included with the others, but can help a teacher decide whether to group students or let them work alone.
Social means a student prefers to work in a group.
Solitary means a student prefers to work or learn alone.
Now all of these learning styles do not mean that is the only way the student learns, but just means that might be the way they learn best. It also means they might learn best in more than one way. They could be a visual and an aural learner. Or a physical and a logical learner or any combination.
What it all comes down to is there are many different ways to learn and no teacher should teach one way.
If you’re curious about how you or a student learns, here’s a quick test to see. A better way is to talk with your student and find out how they feel they understand best and discuss different methods to learn and see how each of them sticks.
Emma is 11, a guitar student, and pretty good. Mom said over the summer she wanted to try out for jazz band. Her teacher is a great teacher (Carrie, on Mondays) but not a jazz guitarist. We’re waiting for the audition piece.
On Friday Emma’s mom schedules a makeup with me to go over her jazz audition piece, which she had just received from the band director. She shows up, hands me music, and it’s hard. It’s in Bb (literally the worst key for guitar) and has a mix of melodic riffs well outside of 1st position and crazy tricky jazz chords that require insane hand acrobatics. I asked when the audition would be. “Next Friday.”
My heart sinks, but I hide it on my face. I do manage to suggest they should schedule as many makeups as possible between now and then. I take a photo of the music, and we spend the lesson learning what feels like a ton but is only a tiny percentage of the piece. On their way out, mom schedules another makeup with me for next Wednesday. (Carrie only teaches on Mondays.)
On Saturday, Walt (another jazz guitar teacher, but Emma’s schedule didn’t work) has a gap because his student called out. I bombard him, shove music in his face and say, I need chord fingerings for an 11-year-old, easy versions, as simple as possible. Go. He spends 18 of his 20 min gap writing chord voicings furiously while muttering things like, we can leave out the root, need the 3rd and 6th, she can play three strings here… then in the last two min I record his hands while he plays the fingerings he wrote. After, I texted the photo of the audition piece, the photo of Walt’s chord fingerings, and a link to the video of Walt’s hands that I’d uploaded to Drive all to Carrie, Emma’s regular teacher. We text back and forth for awhile because she’s panicking a little, too. We both spend our weekends playing the piece and figuring out what to show Emma.
On Monday, Emma has her regular weekly guitar lesson with Carrie, who also shares Walt’s fingerings and video w/Emma and mom. They get through most of the song, in rough-draft-ish format.
Wednesday, Emma has another makeup with me. Mom comments that she told her friends we have a “whole army of grownups helping my kid get into jazz band.” Emma is young but very mature and articulates well what she’s struggling with. I’d continued to play the song myself Monday and Tuesday and had determined a few ways to simplify even more than Walt had, so I show her. Overall, I’m amazed at how much she’s accomplished in four or five days, but I’m still nervous.
I changed a few things and she needs to practice them, so I want to circle back before the audition. I ask what time the audition would be on Friday. Mom says they have to turn in a video, and she’ll check with the director to see if they could submit it Friday evening (and therefore have one last lesson with me… and RECORD the video at the lesson.) The plan is approved by jazz band director, and mom schedules one last lesson with me.
Friday, Audition Day. Mom says Emma is considering not participating even if she makes it because it’s so hard. I tell Emma, “Don’t you dare!” and give her a huge pep talk about how she has more grit than most adults I know, and that she deserves to be in jazz band, and if she doesn’t make it, it’s not because she’s not old enough (most of the other kids are 12 and 13) or not good enough, it’s just that we could have used more time. I don’t know if the teacher handed them music one week before the audition because she was behind schedule or was testing the kids to see how quickly they could learn the piece, but if the quick turnaround was part of the test, Emma did the best she could and worked harder than any 11-year-old I’ve ever seen. I tell her if she doesn’t make it, we’ll try again next year. She rubs her sore, aching fingertips on the rough, bumpy surface of her chair and smiles.
We run the new stuff and she nails it. We start recording, but she makes a mistake and we scrap the take. The second take is pretty much as perfect as it was going to get in the time we’d had, and mom submits it.
Thursday: Mom just emailed to inform me that Emma was selected for jazz band, and I could dance, scream and cry all at the same time to express how happy I am for her.