I made this video to illustrate a situation that may resonate with you. Pat answers can give the impression that a concept is understood, but an attempt at some synthesis can reveal whether or not learning has taken place. Are you the "sender" or the "receiver" of this new move-in student?
Here is a brilliant talk given by Stanford University music professor Mark Applebaum that deals with the concept of improvisation. Great insight into the process, listener expectations, and more. This should be a required listen for every jazz educator and many students as well. Check out the Stanford podcast here (iTunes link).
At one point they interviewed Dieter Rams, former Design Director for Braun. He made these statements.Good design should be innovative Good design should make a product useful Good design is aesthetic design Good design will make a product understandable Good design is honest Good design is unobtrusive Good design is long-lived Good design is consistent in every detail Good design is environmentally friendly Last but not least, good design is as little design as possible
Hearing those maxims, there was something very familiar ringing true to my mind. Consider: Good teaching should be innovative Good teaching should make a concept useful Good teaching is aesthetic teaching Good teaching will make a concept understandable Good teaching is honest Good teaching is unobtrusive Good teaching is long-lived Good teaching is consistent in every detail Good teaching is environmentally friendly (think resources) Last but not least, good teaching is as little teaching as possible (think PBL)
I know it's pc to use the word learning almost to exclusion of the word teaching these days, but I think we need to remember that deep, meaningful learning is the result of innovative, honest, and consistent teaching....by design.
"25 Things About Music Teaching and Education" started a few years ago as a post on Facebook during the (short-lived) craze where everyone was posting 25 things about themselves. I moved the post here when I started this blog and have continued to refine it. Now, with Apple making it so easy to export ePub files from Pages, I thought I would make an eBook out of it. I hope you will enjoy reading it on your reading device of choice.
Download here: http://db.tt/U3ypKZY
Take a look at this new iPad app called Seline HD. For those of you interested in using iPads in a music class for live performance, this could be your ticket. It provides a logical approach to modes, provides expression capability (volume, vibrato, pitch), and has numerous sound choices. The input method is really unique. It's great to see developers present viable alternatives to a traditional piano keyboard.
Here is a quick screencast to show you how easy it is to create lists on Twitter. Lists can help organize twitter users by criteria you choose so that you can narrow or focus your reading from time to time, rather than just using your timeline view. For example in the video you'll see my Admin list which is comprised of over 50 principals and superintendents that are using Twitter regularly. I review this list a few times a week to get a sense of how admins are using Twitter and to see what they are reading and discussing. Since I don't particularly interact with those folks on Twitter I chose to assign them to a list rather than follow each one of them. This frees up my timeline for people that I regularly interact with on Twitter. In addition to assembling your own lists, it is also very easy to "follow" public lists that many of us have already created.
Visit my page if you'd like to see my lists and follow any of them: http://twitter.com/teaching_music