Thursday, 19 April 2018

We Play Music: Communicating fun in lessons.

We Play Music: Communicating fun in lessons


There are moments that happen in lessons and lessons which I teach to many Students.  I Blog as often as I can and my Blog Posts are short, so that I can quickly share some of the Teaching which comes up in lessons.

My specialism is Student/Teacher communication and today's Blog is on key aspect of communication: understand the meaning of a word.  All to often, communication breaks down because a word is used and the other person responds to what they think the word means.  This causes confusion and defenses go up.  Consider the following:

My Birthday is coming up and my wife said she wanted to get me a gift.  I know my wife speaks Norwegian fluently and I also know that the Norwegian word "Gift" means "Poison", so I am now defensive and I am not looking forward to my Birthday.  I'm only joking, but there is an interesting point here.  Students become defensive when Teachers say "Play".

I cannot change the language of Music, but I work hard, with Students and Parents, to communicate that Play is:

- a reward after hard work
- relaxing and refreshing
- a place of discovery and adventure

Play is a gift.

Play does not mean:

- An opportunity for criticism
- The moment that the Student gets caught for not working hard enough.
- Restriction

I wonder where Students learn that "Play" means the latter, rather than the former.  I see their defensiveness and work with them to alter their understanding of the word - it was great to see that break-through with a particular Student this week - and unleash their learning. 

I teach that "We play Music": 

"We" - support and encouragement comes from Teachers, Family and Fellow Musicians.
"Play" - Music is rewarding, relaxing and a place of discovery and adventure.
"Music" - How we communicate.

Robin's Experience and Style

Robin Thornton - Teacher At a young age, I decided that I wanted to be a Musician. I did not believe that I could support...