Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Social Learning: Now More Relevant than Ever

After ten years of conducting an experiment using social learning techniques to teach piano to young learners I am astonished to realize that their learning has been modeled on two distinct areas::

The first is listening.  I, the teacher, furnish the model for listening.  They know that I really pay attention to what they play and value their instinctual responses to music, whether manifest in right notes or wrong.

The second is motivation which they, the students, model for one another in a way that I never could without making assumptions I find inappropriate--more about that in another post.   Listening for them seems to entail the in-depth perception of the drive that motivates each student to play as they do.  This is music making at an intensely personal level.

Striking is that the students never repeat themselves: They do not want or attempt to play a given piece the same way on two different occasions.

Also, that they trust one another to perform at their very best.  No judgment is involved, so why not? 

They surpass their own capacity over and over again.