Somehow this post got “lost” in my draft folder. But it’s never too late to share some notes from a presentation right? I hope you are able to get something from it as it’s been awhile since I attended this presentation last June. When it comes to the brain and music, there is always some interesting things we can learn… enjoy!
Presenter: Robyn Meahl
Offers a new lens to examine your teaching, reaffirms currently teaching process
Offers new teaching practices,methods backed with evidence.
What happens in the brain when we learn?
Brain myths- static, unchanging, use only 10% of brain, male and female brains are radically different, ages 0-3 are more important years for learning- all not true.
Learning cycle models:
Sense-Integrate-Act (hear a rhythm, clap and count, then play)
Act-Sense-Integrate(playing, hearing and correcting)
Motivation-No intrinsic motivation rewards centers in the brain are not activated.
Spacing- spread it out to insure maximum retention
Reflection- stop and reflect
Active learning- auditory and motor regions in brain are linked. Movement reinforces musical understanding.
Get students moving as much as possible, clap or step to rhythms, play on drums, games and role playing.
Create a learning addiction:
-Learning is emotionally colored
It carries over (ie: parents attitude affects child’s)
Successful learning experiences causes the brain to release dopamine. Hormone release when experience pleasure.
New formats and info- Change things up.
Exciting engagement- creativity and humor
Reinforcement- return to concepts, find different ways to teach the concept.
Flow state- match skill level with appropriate challenge
Too difficult- frustration, anger, shut down
Too simple- boredom, careless errors, disinterest
Within reach- flow- clicks
Set small goals on the way to the destination.
Learning is more successful when material is personally meaningful (like jazz- give them jazz)
Allow students to make learning choices- repertoire, styles, projects
-Spark interest in a topic before introduction
-Make advancing intriguing, rather than stressing.
Adjustable across all ages
Myth- you either got it or you don’t- wrong
Studies show- talent does not exist
Exceptional cases: Mozart’s education began in infancy. Long period of rigorous training.
Cultural differences: African children- earlier motor skill development. (when raised in different area’s the are “normal”)
Every student is equally deserving of our time and energy. Best indicators of success: Time spent practicing, Parental and teacher encouragement.
Environment- all children are “talented”. She gave example of when she was with one teacher she was the talented student, when she changed teachers she was no longer the “talented” student and performance tanked.
All deserve the same amount of effort and encouragement.
We can’t expect the same results from every student.
Interdisciplinary activities- math can help music, music can help science, etc….
Teaching applications- studio projects, now students interest, incorporate other fields into lesson material.
Praise- Tradition says you are so talented, smart, good musician… (more harm then good)
If something goes wrong they feel defeated
Address effort. You listened so well this week, you played well because you worked so hard. Talk about accomplishments…
Intrinsic- learning addiction
Flow state- in absence of fear/stress. info doesn’t get there if student is stressed out about the info
Lessons need to be safe places where they don’t fear failure.
Video games- instant feedback
Have individualized achievable challenges
Frequent feedback en route to a goal
Break final goals into stage (level)
Automaticity- you can’t think of every note, but focus on the bigger details, musicianship.
Performance script- Musicianship, form, harmony, constructive guideposts
Myth: critical listeners are increasingly rare.
Novice listeners have stronger emotional experiences with music.
They are more likely to continue.
Create playlist, concert trips, listening guides, projects…
Enhance your practicing-
Enhance our teaching
Wider variety of tools
Better understanding of student
Share info with parents
Share info with students
Incorporate info about the brain into lessons